Sapphire Smokeout burnouts in Candelo, NSW

Some big names in the burnout world descended on the small town of Candelo in late November for the first Sapphire Smokeout

Photographers: Tim McCormack

A FIELD of local and imported talent lit up Candelo on the last Saturday of November for the first ever Sapphire Smokeout. Located 450km south of Sydney, the small town’s Sapphire Speedway played host to almost 40 cars over the day. Aside from a few sprinklings of rain, the weather held out to offer a full day of tyre-frying action.

Well-known names including Shawn Karn and Matt Allen hit the pad, bolstered by a strong showing of local cars. In particular, one local’s wild rat rod-style Ford Anglia impressed onlookers.

Matt Allen brought along his infamous 14/71-blown, LS2-powered Mini, taking home gongs for Best Tip-in and Crowd Favourite. Built by Rob of Edmargs Engine Reconditioning, it’s a full-tube car that runs a stout Powerglide and Ford nine-inch.

Matt also managed third best tip-in piloting his other car, a bubbletop Mazda 121 with a 6/71-blown, injected 527-cube donk. He was full of praise for the inaugural Smokeout. “It was a very good show, well planned and well run,” he said. “I’d 100 per cent go back again!”

According to Smokeout volunteer Luke Bajjada, organisers were extremely happy with the entrant conduct at and around the event. “We had zero complaints,” he said. “Everyone’s behaviour was awesome.”

With motorsport facilities few and far between in rural Australia, events like Smokeout provide a much-needed safe release for local car enthusiasts. “We want to give the kids a place to drive that’s a controlled environment,” Luke said. “They’ve been hooning around in paddock-bashers all their lives; they just need somewhere that’s off the streets.”

Luke said that the positive turnout has all but confirmed a 2020 Smokeout, hopefully with an extended burnout pad. “It’s definitely on for next year, bigger and better – all the big-name cars are already keen!”

Though he wasn’t competing, burnout legend Mick Brasher was also in attendance. He is now planning a tilt at next year’s Smokeout in his own car, which will certainly add some more star power to the roster.

Luke would like to thank Sapphire Speedway, Dave ‘Swampy’ Marsh, Andrew Smith, and every volunteer and entrant that made the Smokeout a possibility.



1st: Matt Allen – TUBSHP

2nd: Zac Fitzclarence – BASHNIT

3rd: Matt Allen – MOIST


Zac Fitzclarence – BASHNIT


Matt Allen – TUBSHP


Nathan Papa – RIPPED


Mark Johnson – WHYNOT


Todd Stewart – UNFAZD


Jyi Anderson – ONTICK