You have to be brave to book an event in winter, particularly one that revolves around a hardpark and burnouts, but seeing over 5000 punters come through the gate for the first ever WinterJam at ASB Baypark is proof that if you get the formula right, and deliver on it, then people don’t mind a few drops of rain — smoke, headlights and engine revs make for an ideal combo on a Saturday night, and then throw in a strong family vibe to form a solid recipe. Even my own kids had a great night helping me MC. 

The word on the street was that it had been 15 years since the last official burnouts at ASB Baypark, and when a further announcement was made that the event would also be held in the twilight, spots were quick to fill with the event actually selling out to around 400 total competitors.

The club scene was once again to the forefront with emerging powerhouse Disruptive Car Club travelling in numbers along with new trophy winners Project car club, the always strong NZ Fijian Cars, and a solid display from Tauranga Evolution. To the delight of the crowd Girls in Motorsport also grabbed a first club award to the sounds of much cheering and applause.  Individual standouts were Jamie’s VR4 known as ‘LATEAZ’ and Steve’s ‘PROHSV’ along with usual suspects Vik Bhatti and Faizal Rahman in their respective Nissans. 

Over on the burnout pad, Rob Macree was the winner of the pro class with his methanol fuelled ute torching tyres and smoking out the whole venue. HPR brought out its RXs to play and grabbed a win in the 600hp RX-4, while competition regular Darren Roberts drove his silver ‘L1MITR’ plated Holden to V8 class victory. Local legend Calvin Clark made a last minute call to enter and won the combined four-/six-cylinder class in his Silvia, while Jason Scott was again a crowd favourite in his heli-dual with Deon Clark-Hobson. Others to showcase considerable talents were Shane’s ‘1EV1L3’, Ricky’s ‘ENVEED’ and Hayden’s ‘NUTOUT’ all the way from Wellington. The popular car limbo comp went to a surprised and delighted Rhianna in her S6 RX-7, while the WMCC team again showed dedication to the cause with full costumes in the roof chopped Subaru. 

For an event in its infancy, WinterJam was a massive banger — don't just take my word for it though, check out all the goodness in the gallery below: