The burnout pad isn’t just a culture, it’s a cult. It’s ritual. It’s a proud parade of rubber smeared faces, sunburnt dad bods and majestic mullets fueled by cold cans of VB (Aussie beer) , having spent hours, if not days worshiping custom cars built for one thing, to burn rubber.
If we ask the judges, a good burnout is all about the smoke, the driving skill and of course "blowing tyres". But if there’s one thing we love more than watching an aggressive tip in and choking on smoke, it’s the carnage. It’s the zero f*cks giving attitude that keeps spectators pushed up against the fences.
Out here it’s all about determination. Slamming into a wall or spitting fire won’t stop drivers from bashing the rev limiter.
They keep the tyres spinning, guided by the roars of the crowd as they burn blindly in a sea of smoke. Rev heads throw their hands in the air, a salute to the carnage, the flames, the crumpled steel and the hours of hard work now engulfed in fire.
This is where men become legends…
And, where legends become legacies as in the case of Jake Myers , who took home the title of Burnout Master in the iconic Myers Mustang, S1CKO, following in his dads footsteps and three previous Masters wins.
But while the biggest and baddest are rolling off the burnout pad on bare rims there are screeching tyres and clouds of smoke coming from a place they call Skid Row. It’s a playground, a dedicated stretch of road off the infamous Tuff Street.
It’s loud, its dirty, it’s car culture heaven. Fans line the street, drink in one hand, phone in the other, hundreds of rubber tanned men missing their shirts, but not missing a minute of action. It’s a guard of honour, and everyone’s welcome, from the stock commo skid pigs, backyard builds, ratrods, and the blown, injected show cars that rolled straight off the showroom floor.
They overflow onto Tuff Street.
It’s time for a PHAT LAP . A convoy of cars loop the showgrounds deafening onlookers with a battle of lumpy cams and deep, ear piercing idles.
Eye watering methanol and the smell of fuel and fumes fills the air. It’s the slow cruising that calls attention to the masterful builds, quirky rides and the straight up outrageous over the top cars that snap necks as they drive by.
It’s not just mental metal lining the streets.
When it comes to the Elite, the Meguiar's Top 60 has crowds pouring in to drool over the immaculate street machines as they hit the blacktop to secure their scores in the driving events before crowning a Grand Champion.
With the trailers loaded up and the last of the smoke fading there’s already excited talks of next year. Summernats is not for the faint hearted, but it is for tens of thousands of people who share the same passion and will continue to come through the gates each year.
Tickets for SUMMERNATS 33 are already for sale. We'll see you guys there!!
- Ash Wilson