Burnouts under lights, a stack of heavy hitters and even some nitro are headed for the pad at Red CentreNATS

Red CentreNats

THAT’S right; Red CentreNATS contestants will be qualifying under lights in Alice Springs. It all kicks off at 6.30pm Saturday 5 September, with two hours of Burnout Championship qualifying, and then things will click into overdrive at 8.30pm for the Burnout Masters.

“It’s a compact program for this year and we’re going to jam as much into it as possible,” Summernats co-owner Dom McCormack says. “Obviously it’s been pretty tough to run burnouts at night at Summernats because of the EPA, but there’s a lot more freedom out there in Alice Springs. There’s also the entertainment value too, it’ll be great to watch burnouts under lights after a long day in the sun.”

As is the case with Summernats, the Red CentreNATS will operate two separate burnout competitions – the Red CentreNATS Burnout Championship and the Burnout Masters – on Alice Springs Inland Dragway’s burnout pad.


The burnout pad has an interesting history. It was built after a financial donation from Taryn Harders – wife of local racer Dave Harders who passed away after a yearlong battle with cancer in 2012. The guys and girls of the Central Australian Drag Racing Association showed their appreciation by naming it The Hard Ass Burnout Pad in Dave’s memory.

More recently, the NT government tipped in another $100,000 to extend the pad further and now it closely replicates the Summernats burnout pad in size and shape.

The Red CentreNATS Burnout Championship will give all entrants a chance to prove their worth during Saturday’s qualifying session, and then the top qualifiers will shoot it out for the cash on Sunday, starting at 1.00pm.

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Running alongside the Burnout Championship will be the Burnout Masters ‘Desert Storm’; with around 25 of the country’s biggest and baddest burnout warriors battling it out for a $10K first prize. They’ve been chosen from a range of events including Murray Bridge, Gazzanats WA, UBC, and Summernats 28 and the list reads like a who’s who of burnout bad asses. It includes Mark Schwirse, Gary Myers, Dave Cufone, Matt Power, Fred Watson, Justen Brown, Steve Edsall, Jason Earl, Matt Purnell and many more.

The top three placings will go to Summernats 29 for the National Burnout Masters (if they haven’t already qualified).

“They will definitely need to bring their A-game,” Dom says. “The heavy hitters are coming in from all corners of the country and will undoubtedly be keen to leave their mark on the first event of its kind in Central Australia.”

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In addition to all the wild Burnout Masters action, Peter Gray will be unveiling the world’s most powerful burnout car at the Red CentreNATS. We’re not going to spoil the surprise, but let’s just say it’s packing around 8000hp thanks to an ex-Darren Morgan Top Fuel engine. Nitro burnouts anyone?

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