With the weather being hot leading up to the March 4–6, 2016 Kiwinats event, the organizers were hoping that the beautiful weather would last the duration of the three-day horsepower festival — and they weren’t disappointed.
Held at Mike Pero Motorsport Park on the outskirts of Christchurch, the event kicked off on Friday, March 4 with food traders and those setting up their campsites getting the chance to set up early. Towards mid-afternoon, the first cruise session got under way, giving some drivers their first taste of driving on a proper racetrack. Early evening saw the track being opened for drifting, which lasted about an hour before the track was again opened for more cruising.
Come 9am on the Saturday, cruise lovers could again get out on track, and a number of cars took the opportunity, with drivers testing their vehicles and skills against their mates. Prior to lunch, the track held what is known as the ‘hour of kindness’, where kids got the opportunity to go for a few laps in their favourite car. The police present at the event also got their patrol car out for some laps.
Over the course of the afternoon, not only was there more cruising, but there was also a show and shine, ‘Go to Whoa’, off-street racing, powerskids, drifting, and burnout competitions.Once that was all over, the track was opened up for even more cruising, and for those that chose not to utilize the track time, it was time to kick back and relax with a cold one or two.
Sunday morning saw the pit wall lined with spectators watching the action before the finals of the driving events took place throughout the afternoon. Without a doubt, the most popular event — not only for participants, but for spectators alike — would have to have been the burnout competition. The fence was lined with people bearing witness to man and machine being tortured in the hope of being crowned ‘The Burnout King’. Once the smoke had cleared, a small cruise session took place before the trophy presentations were held. Michael Ledgerwood was crowned the Grand Champion for 2016, with his weapon of choice being a 1980 KE36 Corolla wagon running a 4AGE turbo engine. Pumping out 350hp at the back threads, he showed that he was there to win by displaying some amazing driving ability over the course of the weekend. Once all the prizes were handed out, it was time to call an end to another great event. If you are always bragging to your mates about how fast your ride is, or how great you are behind the wheel, put Kiwinats on your calendar and enter next year to prove it.
- Drifting: Callum Ford
- Norty North Drift Trophy: Brian Gilpin
- Best American: Ian King, 1967 rs/ss Camaro
- Best Australian: John and Fee Alexander, 1971 XY GT Falcon
- Best Jap[anese vehicle]: Don Lumberg, 1994 Toyota Supra
- Best Cruiser: Anna Veeves, 1971 Vauxhall Velox
- Best Creation: Sam Adkins, golf cart
- Best Undercarriage: Michael Reeve, 2009 Mazda Axela
- Best On Show: Mike Proctor, 1963 Chevrolet Belair
- Best Interior: Mike Proctor, 1963 Chevrolet Belair
- Best Engine Bay: Mike Proctor, 1963 Chevrolet Belair
- Best Paint: Darryl Thian, 1971 XY Falcon
- Powerskid Winner: Jason Fleck, Ford Capri
- Sponsor’s Choice: Darren Blackburn, Ford Capri
- Promoter’s Choice: Geoff Kissack, 1971 XY GT Falcon
- Go to Whoa (first): Phillip Jaymet, 2004 Subaru legacy
- Go to Whoa (second): Geoff Kissack, 1971 XY GT Falcon
- Off-street racing (first): John Healy, Ford Angila
- Off-street racing (second): Cary Adams, Holden Torana SLR5000
- Burnouts V8 (first): John Healy, Ford Angila
- Burnouts V8 (second): Aaron Venning, 1977 Holden Kingswood Ute
- Burnouts six-cylinder (first): Cameron Benns, 1989 Nissan Skyline
- Burnouts six-cylinder (second): Dale Strong, 2003 Ford Falcon
- Burnouts four-cylinder (first): Michael Ledgerwood, 1980 Toyota Corolla Wagon
- Burnouts four-cylinder (second): Damien Veitch, 1994 Nissan 180sx
- Grand Champion: Michael Ledgerwood, 1980 Toyota Corolla Wagon