SKIDS FOR KIDS

CRUISE FOR CHARITY AND TREAD CEMETERY TEAM UP TO RAISE MONEY FOR CAMP QUALITY

STORY CRAIG PARKER & SCOTT TAYLOR PHOTO S SIMON DAVIDSON, BEN CADWALLADER, SHAWN MCCANN & RENE MITCHELL-PITMAN

CR U I SE FO R CHARITY A N D TREAD C E METERY TEAM UP TO RAISE M O N EY FO R CAMP QU ALITY

FEW other Australian events attract as many enthusiasts as the Victorian round of MotorEx Cruise For Charity, and this past November an impressive 2354 vehicles cruised out to Lardner Park for some show ’n’ shine, dyno-testing and tyre-frying action.

Cruise For Charity has always been big, but for the 2015 event it was partnered with the Tread Cemetery burnout competition, which saw spectator numbers pass the 9000 mark. More importantly, $83,915 was raised for children’s family cancer charity Camp Quality.

A unique feature of C4C Melbourne is its twin meeting points, Cranbourne Turf Club and Williams Landing Railway Station. The early morning’s gloomy weather and odd spot of precipitation didn’t deter the passionate car community, with both venues brimming with stunning machinery along with smiling, sociable enthusiasts. Following the obligatory drivers’ briefing, it was off to the destination, Lardner Park – a short 80-kilometre jaunt east from Cranbourne and a cruisy 130km from Williams Landing.

Despite the volume of traffic converging on the semi-rural venue, traffic marshals did an admirable job getting everyone parked up, with only minor congestion.

As the stream of polished and preened rides rolled through the gates, what stood out immediately was the incredible diversity on show. Few events bring together traditional streeters with classic machinery, Japanese and Euro tuners, mini-trucks, bikes and even 4x4s!

Proceedings clicked into top gear when the brutal Tread Cemetery field began furiously smashing tyres.

Tread Cemetery is a unique concept within the burnout scene. Typically burnouts are one person and their car against the world, but Tread Cemetery pits teams of five against one another in a kind of burnout war of attrition. It’s not like Summernats where the action is spread out over several days; Tread Cemetery is foot-to-thefirewall action all day long.

From a spectator’s point of view, it’s awesome. Not only do you witness 100 tyre-fryers doing their thing, but you also get to see the best 20 cars go again in the

AS THE STREAM OF POLISHED AND PREENED RIDES ROLLED THROUGH THE GATES, WHAT STOOD OUT IMMEDIATELY WAS THE INCREDIBLE DIVERSITY ON SHOW

semi-finals, and then the best 10 putting it all on the line in the final. It is brutal stuff and is tough on cars and competitors alike.

The rules are that each five-car team can only have a combined total of 2000ci and a maximum of four blown cars. This stops entrants from loading their team up with five blown cars or a stack of massive big-block machines.

The teams were as varied as the entrants themselves. Some teamed up with mates, some teams were all one make of car, others went for no blowers at all. And the team names were hilarious – Loose Kids Love Skids, Donut Kings, Rods Out Racing, Alcohol Zombies and Rim Reapers were just some of the names called over the PA. It all felt like a bit of fun, without the pressure that usually comes with burnout comps.

“That’s something we try to get across to the entrants,” Tread Cemetery organiser Aaron Mackley says. “We’re all about the fun and it’s cool that we attract so many quality cars without big dollars involved.”

The winning team got $5000, the runners-up $2500, and prize money quickly diminished from there, but Aaron says it’s not about the money. Nineteen teams showed up to compete and the walls took their toll; we reckon at least 10 cars found the concrete. Throw in a few fires, some rods out on the track, and cooling system destruction, and it was just another day at the burnout pad. After 180 tyres were ripped to shreds the field was narrowed to just 20 cars.

The top four teams paired off to go head-to-head, with 2014’s winners, Rods Out Racing, facing the Sydney-based Commodore-only H8tread team in the first semi.

The other semi pairing saw 2014 runners-up, the Donut Kings, up against Addicted To Skids.

Rods Out Racing – with LYNCHY, H8TREAD, QUIET1, LSONE and UCSMOKE – were points leaders heading into the semi-finals, but unfortunately that didn’t help them when Trent Brooks lunched the donk in his LS-powered VS Commodore wagon and Steve Loader’s UCSMOKE caught fire and then smashed the tailshaft, auto and floorpan, rendering him unable to drive off the pad. H8tread, on the other

WE’RE ALL ABOUT THE FUN AND IT’S COOL THAT WE ATTRACT SO MANY QUALITY CARS WITHOUT BIG DOLLARS INVOLVED

hand, were flawless, with IH8FDS, MILF, GHETTO, LS2WAR and CUTSIK going through to the final.

The Donuts Kings romped it home in the other semi after James North from Addicted To Skids had a massive oil fire and team-mate Darren Bromage found himself pinned near a wall.

The final showdown between H8tread and the Donut Kings was the closest result of the competition, and though the Donut Kings – Paul Cook, Ross Heasley, Lisa Howie, Daniel Blok and James McGregor – gave it their all, they couldn’t quite match the Commodores of H8tread’s Steve Marsh, Mark Montgomery, Jason Sutton, Shane D’Amato and Craig Whiddett. H8tread took the win by just 23 points.

Bringing the previously stand-alone Tread Cemetery to Lardner Park to be part of Cruise For Charity proved to be a risk worth taking, and we’re tipping they’ll be back there again in 2016.

C4C’s other gratuitous display of unadulterated horsepower was the DynoTech Hunt For Horsepower. Hosted by Dyno Dynamics, the rollers of truth attracted a number of heavy hitters, including Quentin Feast and his two-time Street Machine Drag Challenge-winning LH Torana. Its eight-second, twin-turbo LS donk spun up the top power of the day with 915.5 neddies at the treads. Other notable competitors included Zeljiko Tommaskovic’s FPV F6, which took out the Six-Cylinder Forced Induction class with 537.8rwhp, and Michael Schena who topped the N/A V8 class with 514.69rwhp in his HQ Monaro.

The driving force behind each of the seven C4C events around the country is a veritable army of volunteers. Without generous people like these, along with national sponsors Meguiar’s MotorEx, Just Car Insurance, Turbosmart, Dyno Dynamics and Lowe Fabrications, C4C could never take place.

Although Victoria is the biggest gathering on C4C’s national calendar (followed by Perth and Sydney with around 1000 vehicles each), it’s a surprisingly relaxed and stress-free event. So do yourselves and some sick children a favour and add Cruise For Charity to your ‘must do’ list for 2016. See ya on the cruise! s

WHAT IS CRUISE FOR CHARITY?

MOTOREX Cruise For Charity is Australia’s biggest national motoring event, attracting over 5000 vehicles to cruises in Western Australia, Queensland, Northern Territory, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria and New South Wales. It’s about coming together to cruise, hang out and have fun with fellow modified car enthusiasts – all while raising money for sick kids. Over C4C’s 12 years of operation it has raised $1.63 million, with Camp Quality being the current beneficiary.

Participants gather at a meet point before cruising to the destination in a community- and police-supported convoy. All types of vehicles are embraced, including street machines, hot rods, customs, classics, tuners, and daily drivers. 2016’s season kicks off in September. Check out www.motorex.com.au to find out when MotorEx Cruise For Charity 2016 is heading to your state.