You can’t have an event without the people who make it up, and it just so happened that the first round of the New Zealand Burnout Championship (NZBC) at Masterton Motorplex hosted a fair number of them. From Aussie burnout superstars through to well-travelled competitors from Southland, and the regular Kiwis who make these events what they are, the event that took place around the burnout pad couldn’t have been more interesting.
Things pretty much kicked off with a drivers briefing, pretty standard fare at a professional motoring event. We’ve got the event organizers in the blue high-vis — Jenn Ireland at ground level, and Ricky Ireland and Brett Kenny up on the barrier. Judging is handled by the fella with the big ginger beard; special guest Nathan Owens-Place, better known as ‘Red’, who is, for all intents and purposes, the top Australian burnout judge. He was joined by Nigel Dixon and Aaron Jenkins, up on the concrete barrier, with commentary handled by the inimitable Jamie Connors, wearer of the finest hairdo in this photo.
While Andrew Lynch and Sam Surace with the big-name Aussie competitors attending, they were by no means the only ones. Matt Watts and Matt Ellis were here to party, managing to score an AU Falcon with which to represent their homeland.
Matt Watts (left) is known for his ‘BLO202’ Holden LJ Torana, powered by a supercharged Holden 202ci straight six, while Matt Ellis (right) pedals his ‘MATLS1’ Holden VZ Commodore ute back home.
Lynchy should need no introduction. One of the world’s most respected burnout drivers, Lynchy is known for his wild driving style and love of the rev limiter. The ‘LYNCHY’ Corolla is a KE55 series of 1981 vintage, powered by a tunnel-rammed six-litre GM L98, which has been freshly converted to run on E85. It’s a remarkably simple combination, and one that proves you don’t need to spend moonbeams to remain competitive — even better, then, that for Lynchy it’s all about having fun first and competing second.
Sam Surace (right) is all about having a good time, too, but as he gains time in the hotseat of the ‘MADSAM’ Capri it’s likely that he’ll soon be a force to be reckoned with. The Capri was built by Brett Niddrie (left) of BNR Engines, and there was no way Sam would be bringing it to New Zealand without him — not only is Brett a mechanical genius, but he’s a great friend of Sam’s, too.
Elsewhere, Glenn ‘Easty’ Eastwood could be found with a wig and sunnies combo looking like something straight out of the ’80s — pretty much exactly where this veteran of the Australian burnout scene is from!
In terms of distance travelled, the Aussies had it in the bag, but Chris Daley spent far longer getting here! Taking two days to drive up to Masterton from his home in Te Anau, Southland, he meant business with his tough ‘SYCO8’ Holden HQ Monaro.
Unfortunately, the blown 540ci big block spat the crankshaft front seal, although Chris is quietly confident they’ll have it sorted in time for the following weekend’s Taupo round.
Jacob Warren also made it up from the South Island, bringing his tough Holden LH Torana Sedan. The 6-71 blown 400ci small block is one nasty piece of gear, and Jacob has run a traction-deficient 11.5-second quarter-mile on street tyres. He is currently building a ’57 Chev for burnouts, which is set to receive the Torana’s 400 mill, while the Torana will receive a milder 383.
Muddy tyres saw Arnie Donaldson cut his first skid short, with traction evading the big front rollers. He didn’t let the disappointment get in the way of making time for fans of his roof-chopped Ford XC Falcon ute, though — ‘LOLIFE’ is for the children.
Speaking of children — or manchildren — Lynchy does take some things seriously, and being handed the keys to Ricky and Jenn Ireland’s supercharged Holden HZ ute was one of them.
As you can see, he didn’t disappoint, either.
Nor did Shane Denton, until his tunnel-rammed 454ci big block let him down in a big way, with bits of the bottom end finding their way outside of the block. We hope he’ll have it running before long, because his HQ wagon is one cool machine.
Other cool vehicles could be found parked on the Masterton Motorplex drag strip, with a small but diverse selection of cars to browse.
Of course, at an event like this, it’s all go on the pad — read up on the competition side of things right here. And if you’d like more, keep your eyes peeled for an upcoming issue of NZV8, where we’ll have a full event report.