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Summernats world record burnout attempt: monster Mini provides shock and awe

A total of 107 Summernats entrants turned out to help make history by taking part in a successful world record burnout attempt in Canberra on Thursday afternoon.

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Summernats burnout world record attempt 2015

More than 100 cars did a burnout at Summernats at the same time, which organisers believe is a new world record.

Just before 2pm the burnout track, which was filled to capacity with cars of all shapes and sizes, exploded into a cacophony of ear splitting sound as almost 50,000 cubic inches of mostly V8 muscle and an estimated 250,000 kilowatts of power drove 214 rear tyres to the point of destruction and, in some cases, beyond.

Summernats co-owner Andy Lopez said he was still pinching himself over the level of entrants support for the latest bid to better the world record of 69 cars in a single burnout set at the event four years ago.

"People have been very patient," he said. "They've had to wait while we position the cars on the burnout track, there have been safety briefings and the organisation has been quite complex."

While the original expectation had been that 110 cars would take part the eventual size of the record was finally determined by the physical limitations of the burnout track itself.


There were only 107 safe spaces behind the wire and concrete barriers designed to protect the large crowd who packed the stands to watch and a clutch of last minute arrivals had to sit out the big moment.

The official record, validated by Chris Sheedy from the Guinness organisation, now stands at 103 as four of the participating cars failed to complete the necessary 20 second long burnout due to transmission failures, shredded tyres and other mechanical causes.

Craig Davies of Warragamba wasn't one of those however.

The Warragamba resident and long term Summernats participant said beer had played a big part in the design of his uniquely open-wheeled monster Mini van that provided a spectacular show.

"It came to me as a good idea in the shed," he said. "I'd seen two [Mini] bodies for sale [on ebay] and it went from there."

This is the monster Mini's second Summernats. "It was finished the night before last year's event," Mr Davies, who travelled to Canberra with mate Wade Wasielewski, also of Warragamba, said.

Mr Davies said taking part in the burnout was "awesome" and that the light truck tyres fitted to the rear wheels for the occasion had spun well.

And the trick to a good burnout? "You hold it on the brakes, put the throttle down and then move it up through the gears," he said. "If you stay in low the wheels aren't spinning fast enough for you to get a good burn."

Participating cars ranged from a highly modified Austin Lancer through to a mid-engined Suzuki ice cream truck, Brock Commodores, Falcon hardtops, a Valiant Regal with the rare 360, a VN Commodore covered in Astroturf, a highly modified Mercedes W126 coupe and even a HB Torana.

Filming the event was like being at ground zero on the set of Dante's Peak and even officials and organisers were forced to take shelter from the acrid smoke, petrol fumes and pellets of burning rubber.

The aftermath could have come from Operation Desert Storm. At least one car had suffered massive transmission failure, others had shredded tyres and the burnout track was left pitted and potholed.

Mr Sheedy who, remarkably, lives in Canberra worked for Guinness for five years in Britain the UK before moving here.

"This is just one of those classic Australian categories," he said. "This is one record I believe belongs to Australia and should stay in Australia. I'm sure that in the future Summernats will be pushing it even further."