WHILE many shivered through the first day of Summernats Slam, Day Two brought a complete change in the weather. Sydney Dragway was hotter than a stolen donut in a cop shop as the sun finally showed up, just in time for a sold-out crowd to descend on the facility.
With 4000 spectators and 200 cars, there was a killer vibe flowing through the COVID-safe event from the time the gates opened in the morning until the last skid was pumped late in the night. All up there was 16 hours of killer Summernats action!
The western side of the pits became the Show ’n’ Shine, though cars could still cut a lap down Skid Row or have a tilt at the motorkhana, which helped keep the show constantly moving and changing.
Because the motorkhana was being run under IHRA rules, there were no timed runs, as explained by Andrew Hawkins, who was running the stop-and-steer challenge. “It’s a ‘come-and-try’ motorkhana because of the insurance aspect, so we can’t time, but we have ended up almost as a second Skid Row,” he laughed.
Midway through the day, the seven Grand Champion contenders filed down to have their crack at the ’khana course. These cars included Peta Psaras’s AGIT8 VE wagon, Tim Saliba’s 383ci, air-bagged ENIOL8 VP, and Simon Mokdassi’s XYKING, which he power-skidded in spectacular fashion.
Also going for the top gong at Summernats Slam meant Mark Hayes had a crack on the motorkhana in his epic, six-second 765ci LC Torana race car. Because turning isn’t one of the car’s skills, Mark wisely did one mild run, also partly due to the small radiator in Torry not being up to handling minutes of driving in the Sydney summer heat.
Charlton Sherry’s 50SIXX ’56 Chevy is one cool cruiser, but the big Chev’s size counted against it in the ’khana component of Grand Champ. The formerly left-hook sedan was brought in from the USA and treated to a Magnuson 1900-blown 6.0-litre L98, tricked-up 6L80E six-speed auto, a stout nine-inch diff, four-wheel Hoppers Stoppers disc brakes, and 18x8in and 19x10in Intro billets. With 468rwhp plus cruise control, power steering, air conditioning and EFI reliability, it is a super-tidy streeter.
Nathan Grima wasn’t shy on the motorkhana course during his tilt for Grand Champ, wheeling his Vortech-blown VL Commodore. The stout side-mount-blown 355ci plastic motor runs pump 98 fuel and a Microtech ECU, which liberates 675rwhp through a Powerglide and nine-inch. Nathan did all the mechanical work, plus fitted the tubs and 20x10in Simmons FR rear wheels before bringing it to Summernats Slam.
One killer car we spotted in the pits was Anthony Cipri's 1968 Dodge Dart, built as tribute to the fearsome L023-code Hemi Darts that Dodge used to rule Super Stock racing. While the factory models packed angry 426ci elephant motors, Anthony's rocks 505 cubes of Mopar power backed up with two stages of nitrous. With a 727 trans, a ladder bar rear end and Strange nine-inch, he hopes to run into the nines aspirated and spray it into the eights. The Dart arrived at Summernats Slam as a fresh build but Anthony has actually owned the car since 1996 and used to run mid-10s before the two-and-a-half-year rebuild.
Being a Summernats event, bulk skids were to be expected, and the burnout pad was roaring from 2pm with a four-hour practice session. From 6:30 until 10:30pm, the Sydney Dragway pad became a gladiatorial ring as entrant after entrant threw everything their car had the rubber-coated tar.
With a lack of skid comps due to Covid restrictions, burnout entrants were absolutely frothing to bang a set off, and they didn't disappoint. The Sydney Dragway pad was opened up from 2pm with a four-hour practice session, before the first round of the comp proper kicked off.
Mick Brasher had the reborn ULEGAL on the pad with a new matte purple look, and having switched from bent eight power to a screaming supercharged rotary! The mega-RPM triangle motor was singing its song hard, and might just be louder than the old blown V8!
Another Summernats legend to hit the pad on Day Two was Fred Watson in the repaired FEAR HSV GTO, who came out early in the day to bang a set off with an epic skid. With such a strong performance in the bag we’ll be waiting for the famous black two-door to hit the Sydney Dragway pad.
With its new Nardo Grey paintwork, Kyle Priestly threw his blown LS-powered VH Vacationer, FILTHV, around the pad like he hated it. Making solid, instant smoke he punched the iron LS's 7500rpm limiter only a few times in an excellent display of car control.
Britt and Brad Kilby shared driving duties in the HAMMERTIME LS Daihatsu Feroza. Having brought eight sets of tyres they had destroyed four before the competition even started! "We couldn't be happier with the event as the last comp we went to was the last Summernats," says Britt.
If you thought Day Two went off, Day Three is set to be even hotter still! There’ll be more challenges for the cars gunning for Grand Champ, Skid Row will see plenty of action from 9am-2pm, while the Motorkhana will be running from 9am-3pm. From 2-6pm, the burnout comp will see entrants vie for three tickets into the Burnout Masters, which will be held at Rare Spares Rev Rock ’n’ Roll in March at Summernats’ traditional stomping ground in Canberra.
Keep your peepers tuned to Street Machine’s social media channels as we bring you all the action from the scorching Sydney Dragway and the final day of Summernats Slam!