WAGGA Wagga in NSW had been starved of burnout action for over a decade until the folks from Riverina Thrashers put their heads together and decided to build a brand-new pad at the Wagga International Speedway. And what better way to celebrate the pad’s opening than with a good old-fashioned burnout party? That’s what happened on 11 May, with the venue jam-packed with a full field of entrants and a crowd of thousands turning out to watch.
The Riverina Thrashers are a group of modified car-loving people based in the Riverina district of NSW, who travel to Summernats and numerous other car shows. Dave Vearing – owner of the infamous VANMAN burnout panel van – is a Wagga local, and along with Andrew Coen is co-president of the club. “The last time a proper judged burnout event was held in Wagga was the Riverina Revfest [put on by Mark Arblaster] over 10 years ago,” he explains. “So Riverina Thrashers in conjunction with the Wagga Motorcycle Club decided to put on this event to provide entertainment to the local public by bringing burnouts back to our region and to get it off the streets, as well as helping towards paying back the cost of the pad. It’s just great to see the sport back in Wagga.”
Entrants from near and far came together to christen the new concrete burnout pad, with two rounds of qualifying followed by the top 10 finals. The pad was a tad slippery to begin with and saw plenty of limiter-bashing action until a decent amount of rubber had built up.
Chris Smallmon won the day in BLWNVY ahead of Bryan Smilie in TIPNIN, with Brad Kilby in HAMMERTIME taking home third place.
Karl Haining’s FATLX Torana runs a worked LS1 with a 6/71 blower up top. Karl rode the rev limiter hard and ended up having a spectacular fire, lighting up the night skies.
Chris Smallmon in BLWNVY came out on top, taking out first place in the 10-car final.
Chris Veitch has had his 4LAPPN Commodore ute up and running for a few years now, but the burnout party was its first real skid. Things didn’t go to plan though, with the crank pulley parting company with the engine part-way through Chris’s burnout, bringing his day to a premature halt.
HAMMERTIME did double-duty as usual, with both Brad and Britt Kilby taking turns behind the wheel. Brad came third in the finals.
The 700rwhp, methanol-fuelled, blown 393ci Cleveland in Jeremy Shaw’s RUSTIC XC ute was on-song, a clean-revving combo that made it through to the top 10 finals.
Troy Campbell’s Mazda ute runs a worked and blown EFI LS2, with a Powerglide transmission and a nine-inch rear end. The little Mazda didn’t sound too happy in the first round of qualifying, but cleared its throat eventually, with more revs and some limiter-bashing from Troy. The second round didn’t go any better, with the misfire returning, and Troy decided to save the engine by driving off the pad early with tyres still intact.
Matthew Allen put in a couple of huge qualifying skids in his Mini, pulling rapid-fire doughnuts in the short-wheelbase car and getting the tyres off in quick time on both runs.
Bryan Smilie’s VK Commodore, TIPNIN, runs a BNR Engines-built blown injected small-block Chev. Huge revs and no lifting off saw him walk away with second place in the finals.
MONGREL is owned by Jaime Coggan from the ACT and runs a blown, injected 308 Holden. But Jaime had a mongrel of a time at Wagga, with the 308 developing a misfire soon after hitting the throttle, coming to an abrupt halt before smashing the tyres and being pushed off the pad.
James McGregor made the journey up from Melbourne to put his VN through its paces, using the whole pad and every rev he had on board to get the job done.
All in all, the Riverina Thrashers Burnout Party was a great first event at the new pad, with an estimated 4000 people through the gates.
“The driving forces behind this event were Robert Cottrell [owner of 4DH8RS] and Jack Seaman [LOOSEQ], with a special shout-out to club secretary Britty Hackett, who managed to keep us all in line and organised,” Dave Vearing says. “But it really was a total club effort; the club came together as a whole to make this happen.
“Wagga really dug deep as a community and we had help from a lot of sponsors in a short time. We also had Summernats judge Kevin Peisley kindly donate his time and help out with judging, which helped us out a lot.
“Our next show will be Thrashernats, to be held on Saturday 14 September. We’re looking to cap entries at 100 cars, and this one should be a cracker of a show,” Dave enthuses.
Lock in the date and book in early if you want to compete at Australia’s newest burnout venue.
Riverina Thrashers would like to thank the following sponsors for helping get the pad and event off the ground -
Perry’s Earth Moving and Excavation
Smallmon’s Brothers Waste
Junee Bobcat and Tipper Service
Passlow Kiroti Tractors and Mowers
Street Machine Summernats
Ingram’s Race Engines
Custom Car Care Detailing
Tool Force Tools
Jack Seaman Automotive
ARB Wagga Wagga
South City Quality Meats
Auto Paint and Trade PPG and Taubman’s Paint
BIG4 Caravan Park
The Victoria Hotel
Michael Hudson Painting
Barklem Autromotive and Exhaust
WOLF Engine Management Systems
Seaton Shade Solutions
Riverina Traffic Services
Sure Cut Concrete Cutting
Az Tech Security
Burnouts Australia Magazine
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Street Machine is the bible of Aussie modified auto culture, celebrating wild muscle cars, customs and hot rods – and the incredible humans who create them.
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