EASTER Sunday was the final day for Rare Spares Rockynats and it finished on a high with rain clearing for burnouts – after the previous day’s near-washout - drifting and Show and Shine which had the locals out in force, as has been the case throughout the long weekend.
Photos: Ashleigh Wilson & Brad McDonald
Overall, just under 1200 cars and 400 bikes had been entered for this first-time event. Unlike any other event of this type, here there were street drags along the CBD’s picturesque riverfront main street, and burnouts on the boat ramp. “Where else but Rocky?” said Rockhampton’s deputy mayor, Neil Fisher.
Jai Goward won Skid Freak after making a three-hour journey home to grab another seven sets of tyres for his VY ute, then secured third overall in the Burnout Comp. Keelan Heit took second in his ’75 HJ one-tonner, while it was an all-ute podium with Peter Adams securing the win in his ’04 VY.
No surprises Warren Gersekowski nabbed Burnout Master in his 1TUFHG ’71 HG ute with an epic run, followed by Phil Kerjean’s ’80 Commodore wagon and crowd-pleaser Jay Chun-Tie in his ’78 Suzuki Carry ute in third. With rain on and off conditions were already tricky enough, while Jay added: “It’s a great size pad, but tricky. There’s a little bit of camber like at Summernats. It’s huge and challenging, but overall it’s mint.”
The Street Class eighth-mile drag along Rocky’s riverfront was won by Jye Core in his VG Valiant Safari wagon in 7.77-seonds at 99mph, while Pro Class went to Shane Page in his ’88 Calais with 7.08-seconds at 112mph.
Dyno Champ and Boost Demon was Mark van der Togt in his Drag Challenge Weekend-winning twin-turbo XW showing 1420hp at 33psi, while Torque Monster Andrew McRae saw 1951Nm in his ’57 Chevy Bel Air.
Serial winner in the Street Awards was Billy Shelton with his SICKEST VL Calais, securing Top Engine Bay and Top Competition, while taking home second in Top Paint, plus second in Top Bike with his full airbrushed ’06 Harley Custom Soft Tail. People’s Choice was Daryl O’Sullivan’s freshly unveiled Brandy Wine HK ute.
Charles Harley’s ’57 Chev Bel Air - 2020’s Summernats Top Judged Elite – deservedly took out Top Interior and Top Bodywork, while Judges Choice – securing entry to Summernats 34 - went to both Darrin Fry’s ’75 Torana and Stephen Couper’s Electric Orange Valiant VG Coupe.
The first-ever Rockynats Grand Champion was Paul Hart in his ’67 XR Fairmont sedan.
“I had no expectation my car would ever get near anything so prestigious,” he said. “I’m feeling stunned, blown away and humbled.” Despite numerous high quality unveils and Elite opposition, his was a deserving winner in this Central Queensland regional town that’s warmly embraced the inaugural Rockynats.
Opening the presentations, Rocky’s deputy mayor had been so impressed with the turnout, support and reception from locals he confirmed Rockynats 2 had been locked in for Easter weekend in 2022. “It’ll be an even bigger event next year, and we want even more people to come to Rocky, so tell your friends,” he said.
We’ll be back for more in ’22!