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The Golden Ticket: NZBC Grand Final at Masterton

6 April 2018



Earlier this year, the local burnout scene was rocked with the news that the New Zealand Burnout Championship (NZBC) had received the local rights to host a Burnout Masters round. For those not up to speed with burnout jargon, this effectively means the final round of the inaugural NZBC season also had a Burnout Masters Golden Ticket up for grabs, guaranteeing competition entry for the winner to Street Machine Summernats 32 in January 2019. 

The NZBC Grand Final was held at the new Masterton Motorplex burnout pad on Saturday, March 31, and with over 50 entrants from both islands attending, this one was going to be BIG! The weather gods had played nice by giving us nice blue sky — something that would soon be blocked out by dense plumes of tyre smoke filling the air, and at one stage it looked like a solar eclipse! 

Leading the points was Robert Toheriri in his blown XB Fairmont, closely followed by Southland’s Chris Daley, all the way from Te Anau in the ‘SYCO8’ HQ Monaro which is known for its love of destroying tyres … mainly yellow ones.

Chris was the winner of this event, but couldn’t catch Robert in the overall points, thus giving a very deserving Robert the Golden Ticket to Summernats next year.

The lead into the burnout pad had been lengthened earlier in the week which was a good thing, although it was still a little narrow, so how many would be game enough to tip in? Only a few gave it a go, with many not wanting to risk messing up their cars. 

Of those who gave it a crack, the craziest would have to have been Shane Davis in his Mk3 Cortina, sporting a screaming tunnel-rammed small block. Shane always drives this thing like a madman, and this might have been his most aggressive effort yet — the Cortina was leaping around all over the place, spitting plumes of red smoke everywhere. He went flat out into the tip in, and right up onto the dirt, not hitting the wall like he had a few seconds ago.

Probably the most impressive looking car was the 2010 Chev Camaro run by Joel Arcus from Upper Hutt. Powered by a blown and injected LS, this has been Joel’s first competition season in burnouts, and although the Camaro sounded great he wasn’t producing as much smoke as he’s been known to. On and off the gas pedal didn’t seem to work for him, but we’re sure that more time on the pad will definitely help. 

Possibly the highest-horsepower car in attendance put on a hell of a show, and it wasn’t a blown big block, but a turbo Nissan six. Zach Sayer has pedalled the RB30DET-powered Cefiro into the nine-second zone at the dragstrip, and although he hasn’t had a lot of experience on the burnout pad, he fried the tyres big time, creating probably the most impressive clouds of smoke seen on the day. It’s also worth bearing in mind that Zach is in a wheelchair, and uses hand controls, but had more than enough skill to make it into the top 10 and won the Six-Cylinder Pro Class. 

It wasn’t only burnouts that entertained the crowd, with two surprise marriage proposals announced after some tyre-frying. The first was Matthew Boulton, up all the way from Darfield in Canterbury with his rusty RB25DET-powered 1938 Bedford pickup. The happy lady was Kim Redmond — congratulations to both of them! 

And Chris Daley popped the question to long-time partner Nicole Campbell, which also marked the retirement of the ‘SYCO8’ Monaro from competition burnouts, to be replaced by a purpose-built Holden HQ skid ute.  

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A big thanks has to go out to Jenn and Ricky Ireland for putting on such a great series. Many long and stressful hours have gone into this by the very dedicated family, and with the sponsors on hand, including Demon Energy, we’re sure the next season is going to somehow be even bigger. It goes without saying, then, that it’s also sure to be even better. We can’t wait.