THERE were a lot of changes for this yearís Motorvation, the biggest being the move from a three-day event to one day. If you havenít been keeping up with the news from the Perth Motorplex, the changes were due to the previous long-time management standing down and VenuesWest, a state government statutory body, taking over. Itís not all doom and gloom though, as a lot of the previous volunteer staff were still on hand to ensure that the event ran smoothly.
While it might seem like a bit of a downer, the one-dayonly format actually worked pretty well. The traders and entrants set up on the Friday and could camp on site, and then the public were let in on the Saturday at 10am with the event winding up around 11pm, so it was a pretty full-on day of cruising, burnouts, checking out cars, and of course, the lovely ladies competing for Miss Motorvation.
The other major change was the lack of an elite show tent, with all cars entered for judging part of an outdoor show íní shine. Once again, this might seem like a major drawback, but it was always a logistical nightmare shuffling the cars in and out of the elite tent as they competed in driving events to gain points for the Grand Champion award. To be honest, I donít think too many people missed it, and it also gave the folks entered in the show íní shine plenty of opportunity to cruise the track.
This also meant that there wasnít an official Grand Champion award this year, but there was still a Top Judged prize, and that went to Kevin Scheepens and his HQ onetonner.
Itís been upgraded with a WB Statesman front, LS3 engine swap and a true-fire flame job that covers most of the cab. Kevin wasnít afraid to give it some curry on the cruise track, with smoky burnouts and powerskids the order of the day.
Even though numbers were down with around 300 cars entered, there was plenty of cool stuff to check out with lots of variety for all tastes. People are still claiming itís a Commodore-fest, but those people clearly havenít actually been to Motorvation for a few years. The majority of the cars were wearing steel bumpers, and letís be
serious, when was the last time you saw a í72 Mercury Cougar convertible smoking it up sideways down a drag strip? How about a twinturbo Windsor stuffed into an old school-styled XP ute? An HQ GTS four-door on airbags?
Of course, if you got sick of looking at the cars, there were no less than 16 girls strutting their stuff on the stage for Miss Motorvation. They even went through several costume changes, and Iím glad to report, they were all swimsuits!
The weather was spot-on this year, not too hot, and the refreshing Fremantle Doctor came in nice and early to make sure things stayed comfortable. The other benefit with the sea breeze is that it blows the smoke away, and there was no shortage of it on the track and through the Snakepit Ė and maybe a touch of it in the pits as well.
The Megaskid Max competition saw Matt James take it all the way to the finish line in UNWANTED, with Mick Hamon in WIDE OPEN taking second place and Nick Smithís JOBZON in third. In the blown burnout comp, the top two spots were reversed, with Hamon narrowly edging out James by two points, and Summernats 30 Burnout Champion Anthony Page a further three points behind in third. With only 10 points separating the top six places, it shows how competitive the burnout scene has
become; if you thought someone else should have won or got a place, there may have just been a point or two in it.
The naturally aspirated burnout comp was another close-fought affair, with Colin Byrne in SEWERSIDE finishing just three points ahead of Jason Tanian in KENOATH. Jake Higgs in FOGGIN was a further four points back, once again showing how tight the competition was.
Considering all of the hurdles the organisers had to leap over, I thought it was a pretty good day out, although there are a couple of ideas for next year that might help add a little more atmosphere. As most of the entrants are already there on the Friday night, maybe allow some casual cruising Ė and a bit of the more lively stuff Ė without going to the trouble of having any organised competition. Just cruise, chuck some skids and have some fun.
Late Saturday afternoon it started to thin out a fair bit in the pit area as trade stands packed up and people started pulling down their camping area Ė most attendees headed over to check out the burnouts. Maybe it would be possible to get through the burnouts a bit earlier and then have some kind of entertainment on the Saturday night, allow the campers to stay overnight and then head off at their leisure on Sunday morning.
But thereís one thing that definitely has to change. As most photographers know, thereís a ĎGolden Hourí, that time when the sun starts to set and you get a beautiful golden glow to the light Ė and quite often stunning sunsets on the west coast. For some reason, the Motorplex always decides to have a break at this point and shut down all the cruising. Fair enough, people need to eat, but imagine how awesome the photos would be as cars tore it up on the strip with the setting sun streaming through the trail of tyre smoke. Oh yeah. s