TH E BU R NO UT FAITHFU L H EAD TO S H E PPA RTO N TO TORCH A SET (OR NINE) ON THE LA R GE ST PAD I N TH E C O U NTRY AT XTRE M E POWERFEST #6
SINCE burnout competitions began their rise to dominance in the modified car scene, there has been a notable shift away from promoter-run events to those put on by the competitors themselves.
These grassroots-style shows have given enthusiasts opportunities to be creative on the pad like never before, and are all about celebrating the soul and passion of burnout culture rather than trying to make big dollars.
Peter Grmusa’s Xtreme Powerfest is the latest shining light in this regard.
Now in its fourth year, Xtreme Powerfest has quietly grown from humble beginnings into a must-do event for burnout drivers. The venue – the Driver Education Centre of Australia (DECA) in Shepparton – boasts the largest pad in the country, and with an all-day cruise track as well, there is no shortage of tyre-smoking amusement to be had.
While the three-day affair is family-friendly, Xtreme Powerfest caters primarily for the drivers. Peter set out to create an event he would like to enter himself, with the aim of providing the next generation of burnout devotees a sanctuary away from the streets where they could smash multiple sets off the rims. If you don’t have a skid car, being a passenger is the next best thing, as competitors can carry as many mates as their car has seatbelts.
Entry numbers at the sixth Xtreme Powerfest were over the 300 mark, a sign that the event is growing in the right direction. High summer temperatures didn’t deter the spectators either, with a huge crowd turning out for Saturday’s burnout qualifying.
With a skid pad over 250m long, drivers were afforded a chance to really unload. The more powerful cars negotiated the extra space with ease, maintaining thick plumes of smoke with a healthy mix of speed, while the milder ones tended to sacrifice smoke to maintain momentum. There were
plenty of limiter-bashing LS-powered Commodores; cheap horsepower in a seemingly indestructible driveline looks like it’s here to stay.
With several cases of ‘rods out’, the on-pad carnage soon thinned out the field, and the surviving top 50 qualifiers returned on Sunday for a hard-fought finals session, with Ross Heasley taking the win in the Open class in his MRBADQ Monaro and Michael Krause’s ALLTORK one-tonner coming up trumps in the Pro class.
The cruise track, meanwhile, was all about fun, freedom and self-expression. For most cruising participants, a set of tyres lasted about as long as they would in a competition skid – which is to say, not very long at all. Rumour has it the average number of sets smashed per car over the weekend was around nine. Things got a little out of hand for Ben Falk though, who tipped his LS-powered Suzuki van on its side on the Friday, and it burst into flames when fuel spilt onto the hot pipes as it was being righted back onto its wheels.
Over the years I’ve heard many people ask: ‘Why?’ when it comes to burnouts.
If you need an explanation, you’ll probably never understand. In the end we are a slightly eccentric family who share a love of watching high-horsepower cars drive to the edge of destruction while throwing smoke high in the air – and that’s exactly what Xtreme Powerfest delivered. From the drivers to the car builders, engine builders, families, spectators and media, when it comes to burnouts, it’s an affair of the heart. s