SHAWN JOHNSON – 1970 DATSUN 1600
ADAM SLORACH – HB HOLDEN TORANA
1ST – ANTHONY PAGE – HZ HOLDEN UTE 2ND – TIM BROWN – VK HOLDEN CALAIS 3RD – PETER GRMUSA – 1976 FORD F100
THE weather gods were pretty forgiving this year at Summernats; it was still warm, but nothing like it’d been in previous years. But that all changed once the Burnout Championships started running, with quite a few cars lighting up the pad – and the signage and the odd fireman – in an epic show of horsepower, driving ability and outright craziness.
There were so many cars entered that the burnout qualifying went over two days – Friday and Saturday – with well over 100 cars hitting the pad on the first day before time ran out, leaving another dozen or so cars having to wait until Saturday for their qualifying tilt. I lost count of how many more came through the next day – I’ve got notes on another 60 or so cars, but there were many more.
Two days of mad burnouts, blown tyres, fires and a little bit of carnage meant the judges had their work cut out for them whittling down the 200-plus entrants to a final 50.
As burnout legend Clint Ogilvie said to me at the track: “At this level you’re looking for mistakes and taking points off; that’s how competitive it has become.” Some people may not agree with the results, but for such a subjective sport, you need to find an objective way to judge it, and assess every skid using the same criteria. It’s a tough job; I know I wouldn’t want to do it.
Whichever way you look at it, you can’t deny that the winners of each class were all highly deserving and pulled off ripper skids, proving once again that Australia is the burnout capital of the world. With our international guests Farmtruck and AZN from Street Outlaws spending a fair amount of time at the pad – and getting to experience an Aussie-style burnout first hand – you can bet the Aussie scene is going to attract a whole new audience in the nottoo- distant future.
When the smoke finally drifted away on the very slight breeze that had kept it hanging around all weekend, the cream rose to the top, with the winners list filled with longtime competitors.
In the four-cylinder class, Shawn Johnson’s QIK510 Datto 1600 put on a great show – although he didn’t have a huge amount of competition – and his burnout was just as smoky and aggressive as many of the bigger cars.
When it comes to six-bangers, there aren’t many that do it better than Adam Slorach, who skidded his new TRIKSHOT machine for the first time. Formerly a drag car, Adam has kept the Torana’s old warpaint and stuffed one of his trademark blown red motors in to create a giant-killer. He was given some strong competition by Matt Watts, who was unlucky to tag the wall in his gorgeous LJ Torry.
In the open class, three big names filled the podium, with Peter Grmusa in his brand new F-DIS/F-DAT F100 blocking out the sun during his qualifying burnout and then going on to finish third. With the 700-cube BBF screaming, I’d almost put money on this thing being louder than a Saturn V rocket on lift-off.
The other side of the podium was filled by Tim Brown in his VK Calais, CEMBLO, now sporting a blower and injection on the SBC.
In another win for the West Aussies at Summernats 30 – along with Top Judged Elite and Grand Champ – Anthony Page put on a faultless display in the new-look PAGEY, now sporting a classy PPG Moss Madness paintjob. As it turns out, Anthony got married just before Summernats, so he was actually on his honeymoon! But don’t worry, he then spent a couple of weeks on the east coast checking out the sights.