HAS it really been 10 years since the Myers family first brought Gazzanats to WA? According to my records that seems to be the case, and this year proved that the West Aussies still love heading to Collie for the three-day event to smash tyres and cut hot laps around the Motorplex circuit. Ten years ago, Gary Myers’ son Jake was still riding shotgun, probably barely able to see over the dashboard, while these days he’s leading the charge in the S1CKO Mustang, throwing helis down the main straight in a demo superskid and doing great burnouts. There’s no doubt the apple didn’t fall far from the tree when it comes to driving skill and showmanship.
It’s a big ask to bring a show like this to a small country town, but with the help of High Grade Mechanical, they made it happen, even bringing across some interstate competitors, including a legend of the scene, Danny Smith and his SOLID C10 pick-up. He always puts on a great show, and the crowd loved seeing the big rig hit the pad, although he did do a little damage to the rear quarter when he tagged the tyre wall. Keeping Danny company were Jason Sweet in TERIFRY, Aiden Leist in JOYRD3 and Frank Paesel in RUB1OUT to name a few.
The 2019 event saw the biggest crowds in recent years and a very healthy number of entrants as well. Some 55 blown cars were entered, with 40 of them making it through to the Saturday-night burnouts, while at least 100 cars were entered in the Normal class. While it made for a lot of action on the burnout pad, it would have been cool to have a few more cars out on the track. Whether it’s a safety or a logistics issue, I’m not sure why they can’t run the cruising and burnouts at the same time.
When the cars did hit the track, the action was intense! In the early years of Gazzanats, there were only a handful of cars that could carry a superskid all the way to the braking markers at the end of the main straight; Gary Myers, George Separovich and Justen Brown’s cars come to mind straight away. But this year – wow! Plenty of cars had to back out of the power with the smoke still pouring off the tyres.
One stand-out for me was Jay Okely, and not just because of the wild paint colour on his VE Calais that flipped from emerald green to gold to bronze. His BYE Performance-tuned single-turbo 408ci LS punches out 803hp at the tyres and had no problems blazing rubber lap after lap. It was no surprise to me when they announced he’d won the superskid competition.
IT’S not too often you come across someone with the surname Leist, unless of course you’re reading Street Machine and looking at some of Jordan’s photos. As it turns out, there’s an even more famous and more handsome Leist living in country Victoria, and his name is Aiden. He brought across his recently updated VK Commodore and was doing the family name proud. He’s gone for a methanol-fuelled LS2 that’s been toughened up with good rods and pistons, all screwed together by All Gen Engines. Gone is the tunnel ram, and in its place is a 780cfm Pro Systems carb and Super Victor intake. That combination adds up to 646hp at the engine, more than enough to smash tyres at any speed. Unfortunately Aiden’s Gazzanats burnout didn’t go to plan when the battery tipped over as soon as he tipped it in, but it was looking pretty good up to that point.
A NEW car that hit the pad for the first time at Gazzanats WA was Alex Korber’s VF Calais that’s been upgraded with genuine GTS plastic. Dubbed BLACKLIST, it was recently completed by the team at Pro West Performance and features a very tidy engine bay with the tanks neatly built into the inner fenders. “I like a tidy engine bay but a busy engine,” says Alex. The L98 has a 6/71 blower and mechanical injection, backed by a Powerglide from FTC Race Converters and a sheet-metal 9in. It performed flawlessly at Gazzanats, ripping superskids and grabbing a couple of trophies to boot: Top Holden and Toughest Ride.
Darryl Ferguson always puts on a great show in SMOKNRAT. The blown LS screamed, and towards the end of the skid, with the tyres blown, the stacks got hot enough to shoot flames high in the night sky
STEVE Sines and KINGER are legends of the West Aussie burnout scene. The car has evolved and improved over the years to the point where you could almost call it a show car, except that not many show cars can rip skids like this one can. Steve was on a mission to pick up the Show & Go award, a trophy that Darren Green had won with LX-383 on numerous occasions. With Darren hurting his engine on Friday, Steve made sure he did all he could to take home the award, which is given to a car that performs well in the show ’n’ shine portion of the event but can also hold its own on the burnout pad and the track. That was no problem, with KINGER taking out Best Paint and Best Undercarriage as well as entering all of the driving events.
Dean Parker had a carload of mates in L3G-IT and had no problems baking the tyres, earning second place in the Normal class
I’m not sure how many tyres got killed over the weekend, but there were plenty of cars entered in the burnout comp as well as the superskids and cruising, so it was a mighty effort to keep one’s car – and engine – in one piece with all the punishment being handed out.
There was still plenty of carnage though, and the effort of the weekend would have to go to James Lacey, who rodded the LS in his aptly named CARNAGE VE wagon. The block was windowed through-and-through, and you might think that would be the end of it, but that’s not how these boys roll. With a wrecker engine sourced, James and a bunch of mates pulled the front end off the car, got a forklift to hoist the damaged mill out, then proceeded to swap another donk in its place. It was a massive effort, and the car hit the pad on Saturday night, but the motor didn’t want to play along and coughed and spluttered its way to an early exit.
To win at the Gazzanats burnouts, you have to perform two skids, with the points from both going to a cumulative score. This makes it real tough if you have a bad skid first time out, but what that can also mean is that people then have nothing to lose, so they go all-out on the second attempt. You might think that slow and steady wins the race, just get to the finish without blowing up or hitting the wall and then drive off the pad with both tyres shredded. Then Anthony Page’s PAGEY HZ ute comes along after a bit of a break from the scene and completely destroys the burnout pad on both skids. Just a few weeks earlier he had the car up for sale, but had a change of heart, got the blown small-block singing and now he’s heading back to Summernats with a ticket to the Burnout Masters. Runner-up in the Blown class was Darryl Ferguson in the SMOKNRAT Morris Commercial truck, who earned himself a spot in the Red CentreNATS Burnout Masters. He’s got rid of the stock-bottom-end LS that’s been copping a hiding for the past few years and slotted in a built combo that was one of the best-sounding engines out there.
The other big winner was Kevin Mantach in ALCOTRAZ. He’s gone back to an aspirated combo in his HQ One Tonner, but that didn’t seem to slow him down or reduce the amount of smoke the car could create. This car was at the first Gazzanats WA, and it’s still going as strong as ever. And don’t worry, that old blown combo will be back soon, but in something that will make the HQ look decidedly modern.
After three days out in the sun getting covered in rubber and dirt, you’d think people would want a bit of a break, but nope, folks are already talking about next year’s show – and if NT you in can’t August!. wait that s long, there’s always Gazzanats NT in August!.
Glen Taylor – BARK
Steve Sines – KINGER
Alex Korber – BLACKLIST
Aiden Leist – JOYRD3
Steve Sines – KINGER
1st: Jay Okely – VE Calais
2nd: Darryl Ferguson – SMOKNRAT
3rd: Sam Lord – BADHABIT
4th: Anthony Page – PAGEY
Mick Hamon – WIDE OPEN
1st: Tracey Tolver-Banks – HERTOY
2nd: Sindy Allen – PUSSYWHIPD
1st: Jesse Liddell – BARKSUP
2nd: Jack Alfirevich – AUGASM
3rd: Tracey Tolver-Banks – HERTOY
1st: Kevin Mantach – ALCOTRAZ
2nd: Dean Parker – L3G-IT
3rd: Jason Tanian – KENOATH
4th: James Calway – RAVIN
5th: Frank Paesel – FILTHY
6th: Yahoon Mitch – YAHOON
7th: Jason Garrigan – ANGR MGNT
8th: Regan Bernardi – SKETCHY
9th: Jason Sweet – TERIFRY
10th: Tony Ward – NOBODY
1st: Anthony Page – PAGEY
2nd: Darryl Ferguson – SMOKNRAT
3rd: Chaise Bouchere – LMFAO
4th: Sam Lord – BADHABIT
5th: Justen Brown – STRUGLIN
6th: Matt James – UNWANTED
7th: Liam Okely – BLOW ME
8th: Glen Taylor – BARK
9th: George Separovich – NUTTR
10th: Bevan John Russell – ONE2FEAR