1. MATT JAMES – UNWANTED 2015 HOLDEN VF COMMODORE UTE 2. MATT JAMES – COMPACT 2. MATT JAMES – COMPACT 1964 FORD FAIRLANE SEDAN 3. RICK FULLER – LSONE 1985 HOLDEN VK COMMODORE SEDAN 4. JACK SEAMAN – LOOSEQ 1973 HOLDEN HQ ONE-TONNER 5. STEVE NOGAS – KILLA-B 2010 CHEVROLET CAMARO 6. SHANE D’AMATO – GHETTO 1997 HOLDEN VS COMMODORE UTE 7. ANDREW POOL – IBLOWN 1979 HOLDEN VC COMMODORE SEDAN 8. ANTHONY PAGE – PAGEY 1974 HOLDEN HZ UTE 9. FRED WATSON – FEAR 2005 HOLDEN MONARO COUPE 092 STREET MACHINE
THE Summernats 31 Burnout Masters final was a title fight of epic proportions.
The various Masters feeder competitions held across Australia throughout 2017 had funnelled the best of the best into the ’Nats to compete for ultimate Burnout Master honours. Added to this pool were the top five cars from last year’s Masters and the winner of the 2017 Burnout Championship, as well as the cars that had survived the Last Chance Wildcard Shootout held on Thursday. In short, there were killer cars and gun drivers coming from every direction.
Come Sunday, it was down to nine cars (Wildcard qualifier Jason Schmidt made the top 10 but had issues with his FRASHR Commodore so had to pull out of the final) to battle it out for the $15,000 first-place prize money and the title of Burnout Master.
Anthony Page in his PAGEY HZ ute was up first and hit the pad towing a plume of smoke.
With a strong tailwind playing havoc with visibility for drivers, judges and spectators, Page had the small-block screaming and displayed great driving skills to set a high bar for the rest of the field.
Shane D’Amato in the immaculate LS-powered VS Commodore ute, GHETTO, rose to the challenge. The big revving, tunnelrammed LS-powered beast turned on a dime, from the narrows of the start and finish areas to wild tip-ins in the main pad. It was impressive to see this little aspirated engine serve up the smoke to the blower brigade.
For West Australian Matt James, it was a fairytale weekend. His stunning Cronic Customs-built VF Commodore ute, UNWANTED, had been in blistering form from day one, and Matt was also the first competitor in Masters history to have landed two spots in the finals with his Top 60-quality ’64 Compact Fairlane. Both cars sounded insane; the tune-up was perfect, complementing a blower howl that was a street machiner’s wet dream.
It was near-impossible to separate Matt’s two performances, both carried out with surgical finesse and the kind of mechanical disrespect you’d normally dish out to a rental car.
It set a standard that proved impossible for the other finalists to top. Matt took home first place in the ute and second place in the Fairlane, narrowly edging out the hardcharging Victorian Rick Fuller in the LSONE VK Commodore in third place.