“The plan was to hit the scene pretty hard,” Sam told SM when we caught up with him at Good Fryday in Sydney last week. “I knew the Capri would be a popular car and as each new comp comes up, I’m just like, ‘Yep, I’ll do it.’ I got the taste for it and I just want to get out there and do as many skids as I can.”
Sam has quickly established his place among the Pro class elite, scoring his first big win at Springnats Shepparton in November before laying down what he considers to be his best burnout ever in Wildcard Qualifying to book a spot in the Summernats Burnout Masters in January.
His other highlight this year was taking first place in the $10k Murray Bridge Burnout Classic in SA, which earned him a golden ticket into next year’s Burnout Masters.
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His lowlight was undoubtedly Good Fryday, which ended with rods in the sump and fire in the engine bay as the Capri’s 1300 horses were finally flogged into submission after roughly 60 skids without requiring anything more than basic maintenance.
“The crowd is pleased to have the car here for the first time, and I like the pad – it’s a big pad – but the skid didn’t go my way,” said Sam. “We lost oil pressure and none of my warning lights came on. I could hear it playing up and I wasn’t sure whether to keep going or stop. But I took the chance and kept going, which I probably shouldn’t have.”
The injured Cleveland is now back in the hands of Brett Niddrie at BNR Engines and is due to get new rods, pistons, crank and sump, as well as some repairs done to the damaged cam.
“We will be at Northern Nats in two weeks,” Sam stated assuredly. In the meantime, Sam is off on a reconnaissance mission to New Zealand, checking out their burgeoning scene before he takes the Capri over alongside Andrew Lynch’s LYNCHY Corolla for the NZ Burnout Championship in Masterton on August 12.
“New Zealanders love Fords,” said Sam. “Me and Lynchy will be over there on August 12 and hopefully this kind of thing will be the start of getting other countries involved in burnouts. It would be good to expand it and have the Americans involved one day, too. It would be good to get it worldwide and show people that this is a fair dinkum sport.”