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Car nuts rev up to put new track to the test

Date

Lisa Cox

Summernats General Manager Russell Avis, with the Summernats' Holden HQ Statesman Convertible, pictured on the new burnout track at EPIC on Sunday.

Summernats General Manager Russell Avis, with the Summernats' Holden HQ Statesman Convertible, pictured on the new burnout track at EPIC on Sunday. Photo: Rohan Thomson

It makes a spectacle of burnt rubber every year, but Summernats 2013 will put even greater emphasis on the track than usual.

In three days the annual street machine festival will wake Canberra from its Christmas slumber with a new burnout track that organisers say is the "masterpiece" of this year's event.

The track has been repositioned 200 metres north of the old site to take advantage of a new ACT government-funded grandstand built for spectators at Exhibition Park.

"The direction it operates has changed; the cars will run north to south," logistics manager Bridget Jonas said. "It will be better for the spectators and also in terms of the noise and smoke it creates for our neighbours, it will benefit the non-event community."

Marquees and tents have been set up over the past week and food and beverage trucks are starting to move in for the 85,000-plus spectators and entrants expected over the festival's four days.

Summernats will begin with the Civic city cruise at midday on Thursday. Gates at EPIC will open at 1pm.

Organisers are making much of a

Guinness World Records attempt on Friday for the longest simultaneous burnout. The world record attempt will happen in partnership with the national anti-tobacco campaign Quitnow.

"The idea is that the only place for smoke is on the track," general manager Russell Avis said. "We need to have over 50 cars on the track doing a burnout for 10 seconds."

Mr Avis said stringent security measures would be in place for what was likely to be a larger crowd than in 2012. At this year's event organisers promised a life ban for a group of men involved in a brawl with security staff.

"We're not expecting anything out of the ordinary [this week]," Mr Avis said. "The crowds over the years have become much better."

Summernats has also cancelled the Saturday night strip show as part of its continuing efforts to remake the event as a family-friendly festival.

"There's no adult entertainment on Saturday night," Mr Avis said. "The event's just moving forward - it's not part of what it's about any more."

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