Street Machine Summernats 33 Burnout Masters Final

Perennial Burnout Masters bronze medallist Rick Fuller breaks through in new ute

Photographers: Tim McCormack, Michelle Porobic

AFTER a season of smashing tyres and taking scalps at the biggest burnout competitions in Australia, the 10 top burnout cars and drivers from around the country assembled on the Sunday afternoon of Street Machine Summernats 33 for the annual heavyweight showdown. With $15K and the title of Burnout Masters Champion on the line, the packed grandstands were in for one hell of a show.

Alex Hirst in BADHT was first to step up to the plate. Alex had recently had the 400ci small-block in his HT ute totally rebuilt after the oil pump seized mid-skid, and the thundering supercharged Chevy smashed out big revs and smoke in an instant. The output was impressive, though he forfeited a little momentum when he got lost in his own smoke due to a strong headwind. When the cloud lifted, the ute lay in a pool of oil with rods out of the engine. It was a devastating blow to both the brand new motor and Alex’s Masters campaign.

After clipping the wall twice, Darryl Ferguson decided he’d had enough, and with two-metre flames jetting from the twin stacks, the SMOKNRAT Morris Commercial truck made a less-than-gracious but still impressive exit from the rubber-laden and oil-soaked burnout pad

Big rpm was the theme of the day, and Darryl Ferguson typified this with his foot flat to the boards of his 1949 Morris Commercial truck. The high-pitched scream of the 6/71 blower filled the burnout arena above the truck’s thundering exhaust note as SMOKNRAT gathered momentum for a high-speed tip-in that finished down the end of the pad. Darryl was on a mission until he buried the rear of the Morris into the concrete in the narrow part of the track at speed. It was nasty, but the engine didn’t miss a beat. He headed back towards the startline for another wild tip-in, tagged the wall again, and called it a day.

Reigning Burnout Masters champion Jake Myers took a more controlled approach. The Blown Motorsports-prepared blown and injected small-block Ford in the iconic S1CKO 1966 Mustang was screaming for its life, and ticked many boxes for the judges, banging a set with excellent presentation and bucketloads of smoke.

Former Summernats Burnout Champ Anthony Page let his blown HZ ute loose with big, clean rpm, hosing smoke from the rear as he set himself up for a huge tip-in at the exit point of the pad. All went to plan until he was engulfed in smoke in the narrow part of the track and over the finish line. Fancy wheel work couldn’t save him and he tagged the wall and completed half his burnout over the finish line, unable to see. Tough break.

Rick Fuller took a well-earned Masters win in his new VF Commodore ute, FULL ON, with 1100hp on tap. With six previous Masters appearances to his name, Rick finally broke the bronze curse after four third-place finishes!

Rick Fuller was a man on a mission. He had just competed in the regular burnout competition in his LSONE VK, which he ended up winning, and was clearly excited to debut his supercharged VF ute, FULL ON, in the Masters finals. The ute slammed the limiter in top gear the instant Rick dropped the hammer. It towed a mushroom cloud down the entry chute before Rick threw it at the centre of the pad for a wild tip-in. Rick exhibited superb control; the car seemed to turn on a dime as he worked the full length of the pad while maintaining massive smoke. It was clearly the best burnout; frantic and faultless.

Steve Edsall’s blown and injected 368ci Ford built by Brett Niddrie Racing is one of the toughest small-blocks in the country, punching out over 1200hp and always sounding like it was at 10,000rpm. Despite the massive revs and constant abuse, the engine has now survived three full burnout seasons! This guy can skid!

The exhaust and blower harmonies of Steve Edsall’s supercharged Ford-powered XC ute were deafening as the multiple title winner tossed the car down the pad. He’s earned a reputation as a fearsome competitor and it was clear why. His use of the pad was thorough, the small-block hit the high notes, and the ute turned day into night with its volume of tyre smoke. It was going to be a tough job for the judges to call this one.

Robert Cottrell’s supercharged LS-powered XD Falcon, 4DH8RS, started with a couple of ripper helis off the startline before being engulfed in its own smoke and winding up back at the start. Rob set a fast pace around the pad, dispatching a set of rear shoes and getting the thumbs-up from the crowd.

After his wife Britt had produced a stunning skid in the Burnout Championship finals, the pressure was on Brad Kilby to step it up a notch in the HAMMERTIME Daihatsu they share. The only naturally aspirated car in the Masters finals, the LS-powered Feroza was bulletproof all weekend as Brad skidded it into third place

With pink headlights ablaze, the flat black Daihatsu Feroza of Brad Kilby churned out big revs with its double-pumper Holley carbs sucking for their lives and its exhaust trying to deafen all in the vicinity. Brad threw it around like a rag doll. It was textbook-perfect, and the crowd was going off as he reached the one-minute mark with ease before banging both bags. That little LS could not have given any more.

After a big tip-in on the finish line, Tim Brown tried to turn CEMBLO back toward the centre of the pad, but the rear end punched the wall on the driver’s side and pinballed him nose-first across the pad into the concrete barriers

It was an afternoon that Tim Brown in the CEMBLO Commodore would rather forget. He’d pulled a choice spot in the ball draw – everyone wants to go towards the end, and he was second last – and his supercharged SBC-powered VK started at level 10, with big revs and big smoke. Everything was going right, until it wasn’t. With limited vision due to the smoke, Tim tagged one wall and was then sent headfirst into another, half totalling the car. He was gutted, and rightly so.

Marc Waddington’s XP Falcon has no volume control. Eardrums copped a serious beating as all 1600 horses from the blown Chev were sent cantering to the smoking rear treads. But after a mega start, it all went south when the big-block failed to proceed

Last cab off the rank was the WARBIRD XP Falcon of Marc Waddington, which looked primed to make an impression in its Masters finals debut, especially with that high-helix 14/71 supercharger and hat stacked to the roofline. When Marc got on the throttle, the Canberra skies were instantly blanketed in blue smoke as WARBIRD left everyone else in the shade as far as plume production goes. The exhaust note was killer as the XP started its war dance in front of thousands of screaming fans. It was hard to comprehend that so much noise and smoke could be created by one engine. Then, it was all over as quickly as it had begun. An oil pressure warning caused Marc to pull the pin, not wanting to risk damaging the Falcons mill.

After careful deliberation, the judges delivered their verdict and Rick Fuller claimed his first Masters win, with Steve Edsall a close second and Brad Kilby third. Rick made history by becoming the first person to win the Summernats Burnout Competition and the Burnout Masters in the same year. The win came after six previous Masters appearances and four consecutive third-place finishes in the past four years.

“It feels great to break the third-place curse,” laughed Rick. “It’s been a tough road and I went into it trying to focus on having fun rather than results. It’s a tough sport that’s difficult to judge. There is still a lot of politics involved, but I feel the judging is the best it has ever been.

“I’m very fortunate to have achieved what I have on a small budget. If I wasn’t running an LS engine I couldn’t have made it this far, and definitely couldn’t have afforded to build two cars.

“I pretty much pay for everything myself, but I get great support from Hasty Auto Transmissions and the guys from GM Motorsport,” Rick continued. “They keep the car reliable and I’ve been lucky enough to win a lot along the way, which helps fund this hobby.”

Photographers: Tim McCormack, Michelle Porobic