Northern Nats 2021 is go!

Northern Nats has kicked off at Springmount Raceway for three days of tyre-frying action!

Photographers: Ashleigh Wilson
Videographers: Alistair Page

Northern Nats 5 has kicked off in Far North Queensland as the burnout big guns compete for $25,000 in prize money across three days of competition.

The biggest horsepower festival in the region includes drags, roll racing, powerskids, Go-Whoa and show ’n’ shine, but there’s gold in them thar skids: a chunky $15k, in fact, plus trophy, plate and glory to the Pro Class champ.

Second place takes home $4k, third scores $3k, fourth $2k and fifth $1k. Best Modified Burnout grabs $500, while the same amounts go to the weekend’s powerskid champ and Car of the Show. Needless to say, there’s some serious four-wheeled weaponry trying to grab the cash.

Money aside, this isn’t a bad spot to be in May as the rest of the country settles into winter. Springmount Raceway plays host to NN 5, its strip and pad surrounded by mountains in every direction. Throw in blue skies during the day followed by mild nights and you’ll struggle to find a more picturesque spot to shred rubber.

Burnouts scores are combined over three days – Friday night, Saturday night and Sunday afternoon – with consistency set to decide the winner.

Organiser Lee Harvey said this format was key to NN’s appeal. “It’s like a marathon and not just a single burnout to win it,” he said. “You really have to perform and it shows how well your car is set up. The drivers love it. They’re pushed in three burnouts and if you miss one and don’t score then you won’t win.”

Also less common are the first two burnout sessions being staged under lights with the sun long gone down. “It’s great for the atmosphere and the crowd,” Lee explained. “On Saturday, there’ll be 10,000 people out there, and you don’t want them sitting under the sun up here.”

Burnout legend Gary Myers has been a feature of Northern Nats since event one, and is here again in his blown 2005 Ford Mustang GT ‘2INSANE’. Gary’s won powerskids here on three of the four previous years it’s been held – twice in his ’72 Falcon XA Coupe ‘AGROXA’ and once in the Mustang – and has come to win again. He scored the roll racing title in the XA last time out, too.

Rick Fuller’s ‘FULL ON’ VF Commodore ute was Pro Burnout champ at 2019 Northern Nats (2020 was cancelled for COVID) and will be keen to back it up in 2021. Lee reckons Gary’s son Jake Myers in his blown and injected ‘SICKO’ Ford Mustang will be one to watch, too. “He’ll be tough to beat if everything works out for him,” he said.

A huge drawcard is Tristan Ockers and his ‘MINCER’ Capri. “It’s never been in Queensland before; he barely travels out of NSW,” Lee said. “I’ve been trying to get him up here for six years, as that sort of vehicle just doesn’t happen up here. It’s a pro street icon – a six-second car he drives on the road and a Top 60 car at Summernats.”

MINCER will be on display and taking people for joyrides, so it’s being left to the 60 burnout entrants – about 25 in the Pro class – to smoke up the skies.

Most have travelled mighty distances to compete, but Jessie Barbeler in his 1150hp ‘SKEATA’ Suzuki Mighty Boy is the local Queensland favourite, and fresh from second place at Cairns’ Tropical Meltdown 7. The Mighty Boy with blown 408-built LS – made famous by denting every panel on the burnout pad at the last Northern Nats – has been given a fresh green paint job to really catch the attention.

It’s going to be a hot weekend with even hotter action, so look out for our reports as Northern Nats 5 unfolds.

Photographers: Ashleigh Wilson
Videographers: Alistair Page