Northern Nats burnouts and drags

A taste of the action from day one of Northern Nats 2021 at Springmount Raceway in FNQ

Bandag Bullet Northern Nats

Northern Nats 5 didn’t hang around in bringing epic action on Day One of the Far North Queensland horsepower fest.

As the sun dipped all eyes turned to the burnout pad, kicked off with a demonstration by Jake Myers in the SICKO Ford Mustang. For spectators in these parts that have never seen proper skids and wild smoking before, this was one hell of an introduction as Jake displayed the driving skill and throttle control we’ve come to expect from such a talent.

Steve Robson’s SPOTTO 57 Chev went out hard but stopped after a scorching run and was sadly last seen on the back of a tow truck. With judging taking place across three days, and combined burnout scores deciding winners, it’s all about consistency for cash.

And it’s big cash. $15,000 for the Pro Class burnout champ, and some seriously strong markers were put down early.

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Alex Hirst’s BAD HT Holden ute’s tip-in was spectacular, but the engine then immediately died and looked like being a non-starter. After a few minutes and some few false starts she finally fired, and we had 20-seconds of epic tyre smoke, before the inevitable once more and a call for the tow truck. Gutted.

Tim Brown’s CEMBLO Commodore also had us with hearts-in-mouths as his tip-in saw him fly towards the barriers, sliding on the greasy pad. It briefly brought back memories of Summernats 33 when he remodelled the front of his VK, but he hauled it up just in time, screamed: “I’m comin’ back, I’m comin’ back!” and nailed his second effort to the crowd’s roars.

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Tough start for Alex Hirst in BADHT. After a spectacular tip-in the 400ci supercharged small block Chevy died and looked like being a non-starter. After a few minutes and some few false starts she finally fired, we had 20-seconds of epic tyre smoke, then shut down again. Engine woes have plagued this beautiful HT recently – hopefully it’ll make a comeback this weekend.

Kev Davis’ EPA WHO VZ SS Thunder ute whipped it round with serious speed, while UNFAZD, TUFF20, LETSGO, LS ONE and plenty more all put on epic shows. SICKO was back for the Pro Class and looks very tough to beat, while local Queenslander Jessie Barbeler was a huge crowd pleaser in his SKEATA Mighty Boy, whipping the little Suzuki round with impossible speed.

The pad action went deep into the night, and followed a varied day of entertainment at the beautiful Springmount Raceway.

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Jessie Barbeler in his 1150hp SKEATA Suzuki Mighty Boy is fresh from second place at Cairns’ Tropical Meltdown 7. With blown 408-built LS this little ‘Zook smokes, screams and spins spectacularly, despite its titchy size. Jessie made the car famous at Northern Nats two years ago, his mental tip-in sending it into the barriers to re-arrange every panel. No such dramas this time, and the fearless Jessie has every hope of taking home some serious cash at NN 5

Friday afternoon felt like the calm before the storm as entrants rocked up and started prepping, while locals not needing to go to work or school perched on the banking to watch the drags.

Cruising, Test & Tune and Race Ya Mate drags got things underway, followed by some tasty matchups in the roll racing. This was just the start, too. The weekend promises more of the same, with Saturday night set to host up to 10,000 fans to see if the burnout pros can somehow go even harder.

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Fresh from a debut at last month’s Rockynats is this slammed, tubbed and stunning burnout FX. WRINKLES the ’52 FX ute with 454 big block Chev was an old-school hero on the pad. It may be ‘just for fun’ but Paul Khan went hard in this stunning classic

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Townsville’s Jay Chun Tie didn’t need to travel as far as most of the Pro Class entrants to reach Far North Queensland’s mountain-view Springmount Raceway, and his fellow Queenslanders in the crowd went nuts for his ’78 Suzuki Carry with mid-mount LS1. Its extended chassis makes its tip-in a spectacular sight, and was up there with the smokiest, loudest and most entertaining under lights. 

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Ash Pemberton HI ROLLA ’84 KE55 Corolla tore up the pad, stopped to salute the crowds, then made sure his tyres were left behind as he sparkily spun away on the rims. Huge crowd favourite.

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Rick Fuller was 2019 Northern Nats burnout champ in his FULLON VF Commodore ute, and this year it’s the turn of his LSONE bright yellow VK with blown LS1. The Summernats 33 hero punished the pad and smoked the crowd, showing why he’s amongst the strong favourites here.

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Iain Curry
Ashleigh Wilson
Alistair Page

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