Street Machine Summernats 36 survival guide

All the info you need to make the most of the 36th edition of the ultimate horsepower hoedown



Summernats starting on a Wednesday? Well, sort of. In one of many firsts for this year’s Street Machine Summernats 36, entrants will now be able to get scruitineered and begin camping from Wednesday rather than Thursday.

All scrutineering will happen exclusively off-site from Exhibition Park in Canberra (EPIC) this year, instead taking place at GIO Stadium, just off Gunghalin Drive in Bruce, ACT. The idea is to kick off the weekend of madness in a nice, chilled-out way, exclusively for entrants and their buddies. There’ll be plenty of space for entrants to catch up, grab some food and drink at GIO and relax before the insanity to come.

If you’ve purchased Wednesday camping tickets, you’ll get to enjoy veteran rockers Dragon and the synthy new-wave goodness of up-and-comers VoxNeon on the EPIC Main Stage while you’re setting up camp in the evening – what a way to kick-start the best car festival on the planet!

There will also be meat raffles in the Summernats bar from 6pm to help stock up the barbecue for the weekend.


9AM-8PM: Scrutineering – GIO Stadium
9AM-9PM: Entrant camping – EPIC
7:15PM: VoxNeon and Dragon concert – EPIC Main Stage


Thursday sees the action kick off in a big way for ’Nats ’36, with a schedule stuffed full of goodies. The EPIC gates open to the public at 11am, with cruising all day and Skid Row opening its cemetery for tyres at 2pm. The annual City Cruise burbles through Canberra’s CBD from 12pm, giving the general population in Canberra a taste of what they’re missing.

One of the most popular aspects of Summernats kicks off on Thursday, too: burnouts! There’s in excess of $40,000 in prize money up for grabs across all the burnout events at the ’Nats this year, so you can bet that each entrant will be bringing their A-game in the hope of sharing in the spoils. The action gets underway at 4pm Thursday arvo, as entrants in the Last Chance Wildcard Shootout for the Burnout Masters hit the pad, with 25 tyre-shredders hanging it out for one last chance at a spot in the Masters main stakes.

While that’s happening, the Fringe Festival in Canberra’s Braddon CBD kicks off at 5pm, and this year expands to include Thursday night in addition to the usual Friday and Saturday nights.

For the second year running, the Top 60 finalists show and Meguiar’s Great Uncover is on Thursday night, with covers to be pulled off a monumental 30 cars from 7:30pm.


8AM-8:30PM: Entrant camping – EPIC
10AM-8:30PM: Spectator camping – EPIC
11AM: Public gates open
12PM: City Cruise
2PM: Skid Row open
4PM: Last Chance Wildcard Shootout burnouts
5PM: Braddon Fringe Festival
6:30PM: Top 60 Finalists Show
7:30PM: Meguiar’s Great Uncover


Friday promises to be an absolute cracker, thanks to a massive entertainment line-up in the evening that includes Night Train, Daryl Braithwaite, The Screaming Jets and Grinspoon.

Before we get to that though, there’s plenty going on during daylight hours at EPIC. The Tuff Street showcase gets underway at 10am, as does the Burnout Championship qualifying, while Masters qualifying tees off at 4pm. The dyno hall sings to life for the start of the Haltech Horsepower Heroes dyno battles, and there’ll also be traders, exhibits, and the ever-popular lawn mower racing. The Top 60 hall will also be open for punters to gawk at Australia’s best-presented metal, plus loads more!


9AM-7PM: Entrant and spectator camping – EPIC
10AM: Tuff Street Showcase
10AM: Burnout Championship qualifying
11AM: Skid Row open
4PM: Burnout Masters Qualifying
5PM: Braddon Fringe Festival
6PM: Night Train, The Screaming Jets, Daryl Braithwaite and Grinspoon concert – EPIC Main Stage


Saturday is always the most jam-packed day of the ’Nats, and this year promises to be the biggest yet. For the first time, the Burnout Masters finals will be held on Saturday afternoon rather than Sunday, with the winners announced during the Supercruise at 6:30pm. The Burnout Championship finals still remain on Sunday, with eliminations on Saturday. There is one last piece of Masters action on Sunday, however, and you can read about that below in Day Four’s schedule.

Qualifying for the Haltech Horsepower Heroes dyno comp continues, with demo runs from MPW Performance’s fleet of angry machines along the way.

The celebrity mower race hits the main oval during the day, along with the Street-class show ’n’ shine and the grass driving events. Skid Row and the cruise route will be heaving all day and into the twilight.

We’ll also be treated to the usual fashions on the field, mullet comp and Body Art Nationals on the Main Stage, before Hot Dub Time Machine will get the tunes cranking and the good times flowing from 8pm, after the traditional Summernats twilight Supercruise. A fireworks spectacular rounds out a ripping Saturday evening, but there’s still one more day of Summernats to go!


9AM: Public gates open
9AM-6PM: Entrant and spectator camping – EPIC
11AM: Skid Row
11AM: Burnout Championship eliminations
12:30PM: Mullet Fest, Body Art Nationals, Fashions on the Field
5PM: Burnout Masters Top 10 final
5PM: Braddon Fringe Festival
6:30PM: Supercruise
8PM: Hot Dub Time Machine concert, fireworks – EPIC Main Stage


Sunday is the day everything comes to a head at Summernats. The coveted Grand Champion award is decided, with Australia’s elite showstoppers out to prove they’re capable of more than just looking pretty. They’ll hit the burnout pad for go-to-whoa and motorkhana driving events, with the hallowed Grand Champion sword bestowed upon the eventual victor at 12:30pm.

Finals also get underway in both the mower racing and the Haltech Horsepower Heroes dyno comp, so you can bet ‘page-up’ will be in full effect in the dyno hall.

The Burnout Championship finals kick off at 1pm, followed by the new Burnout Masters Ultimate Redemption Round. Those who missed out on a qualifying spot for the previous day’s Top 10 Masters final get to skid again for a chance at an early qualifying ticket to 2025’s Summernats 37.

With all the awards handed out, thousands of tyres killed, dagwood dogs eaten and slushies consumed, another Street Machine Summernats comes to a close at 5pm, when we’ll all sit back and attempt to process another stellar edition of Australia’s greatest car festival.


9AM-5PM: Entrant and spectator camping – EPIC
9AM: Go-to-whoa
9AM: PPG Supreme
9AM: Haltech Horsepower Heroes finals
11AM: Grand Champion driving events
12:30PM: Grand Champion presentation
1PM: Burnout Championship finals
3PM: Burnout Masters Ultimate Redemption Round
4:15PM: Burnout Championship awards
5PM: Summernats 36 ends