WHEN it comes to burnout competitions, the Summernats Burnout Masters is the finals series, or if you want to use an American term, the playoffs. What started out as an invitation to 20 of the nation’s best tyre-killers has grown into a year-long qualifying season that sees guys and girls travelling all over the country to try and get a spot in the big show – Summernats.
Thirty cars had already qualified for the Burnout Masters final, but there were still three spots up for grabs on Thursday arvo in the Last Chance Wildcard Shootout.
When you have guys like Matt Purnell, Peter Grmusa and Phil Kerjean – some of the biggest names in the game – lining up to qualify, you know how competitive the scene has become. At the end of the high-intensity shootout, the three left standing were Peter Grmusa, Phil Kerjean and Nik Fraser, with Shane D’Amato a close fourth – which would come into play later.
Late Saturday arvo was when the action really hotted up, when 33 master tyre-fryers lined up to fight it out for just 10 spots in the Sunday final. With Lynchy having had a bit of an indiscretion on Friday night, a spot opened up for D’Amato and GHETTO. He put on a pretty good show in his naturally aspirated combo against all the blown cars; not quite enough to make the final, but he didn’t disappoint.
The Sunday final saw everyone putting it on the line, with melted bumpers, smashed quarters and more smoke than a hippy convention. While every burnout was tackled with total commitment and aggression, many competitors lost points due to fires and not keeping the tyres on the car for at least 60 seconds. When the smoke cleared, the three that rose to the top were Jake Myers, Brett Battersby and Andrew Pool, with Pool’s carby-fed, blown 350 proving that you don’t need massive cubes and a big hat to be the best in the land.
Andrew hails from Townsville in Queensland, so it was tough enough for him just to get to Canberra. “It took us 27 hours to get here,” he said. “The slave cylinder on the clutch let go and I had to drive 1000km without a clutch!
“In the final I tried to use the whole pad and keep the revs down a little to save the tyres, so I got to 60 seconds for once – they usually only last about 55 seconds.”