The Street Machine Summernats 36 Last Chance Wildcard Shootout is always a tough competition. With the last few Burnout Masters qualifying berths up for grabs, it’s always a high-stakes battle as desperate tyre-shredders vie for their shot at the big dance.
This year’s Shootout was initially moved from 4pm Thursday to 2pm due to the threat of rain, but the heavens well and truly opened before then, necessitating a later start of 3:30pm. Eight drivers managed to tear up their tyres before another shower halted the smoke show, with the remainder having to wait until Friday morning.
Of the lucky few who made it across the pad on Thursday, highlights included Liz Gracie in her blown ’69 Camaro, who had a great run until fire broke out in the engine bay and she had to push the car off the pad.
Jamie Ball laid thick clouds of coloured smoke over the pad in his Commodore ute, SHITTORQUER, before fire crews rushed the car as flames spat from the bonnet. Peter Thomsen also laid down a solid skid in his XD, using all corners of the pad and driving off on bashed rims.
The action continued at 11am Friday, when the remaining entrants finally had their chance to fight it out for the last four Masters spots. Needless to say, it was game on, with plenty of memorable performances – and a bit of carnage.
Thomas Baz was unlucky to experience the latter. Debuting his insane Range Rover, complete with a blown 4.8-litre LS up front, Baz proceeded to tear up the pad and was looking to be a real threat – until a nasty wall hit put him out of contention. A real shame, as the Rangie was an absolute beast until then.
When the smoke cleared and the results of the unexpectedly two-part Shootout were tallied, the four lucky winners were Chris Orchard in his NASCAR-powered VH Commodore, THE GAME; Adrian Cuthbertson’s blown SBC-powered SKIDMA, former Burnout Master Tim Brown’s CEMBLO VK; and the blown LS Commodore of Codie Free, who put in one of the best skids of the tournament. They all won the chance to prove their mettle in Masters qualifying at 4pm that afternoon.