Smokin’ tyres head south

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The Rock FM Riverside Speedway vice-president Rob Mitchell (left) and club promoter Dean Miller at the club's burnout pad ahead of the New Zealand Burnout Championships South Island round being held on September 16. Photo: Janette Gellatly

SANDY Point is the only place in the South Island to host a round of the upcoming New Zealand Burnout Championships (NZBC) next month.

The Rock FM Riverside Speedway vice-president Rob Mitchell said the club’s burnout pad had been extended to international burnout competition requirements so it could host the event.

“In the last few weeks, we have laid $16,000 of concrete to expand the pad.”

Club promoter Dean Miller said there could be up to five rounds in the championships, with the rest being held in the North Island.

As well as a stand-alone round, the Invercargill competition would also be included in the national points round, with the finals to be held in the North Island, they said.

Mitchell said burnout competitions were one of “the fastest growing sports” in Australasia.

“It’s taking off in Aussie… there is big dollars in Aussie now.”

Miller said the sport had also grown a lot in Southland in the past couple of years, which he credited to Mitchell.

NZBC organisers Ricky and Jenn Ireland, from Matamata, had organised the nationwide competition and Mitchell had been in close contact with them to organise the southern round.

Mitchell, who had been into the burnout culture for the past 25 years, said competing on the club’s pad was “a controlled environment and event”.

The club had held annual burnout competitions “on and off” since 1990, with more than 80 vehicle-loads of people viewing the on-track action, and 32 entries taking part last year.

Returning this year to defend his title, Chris Daley, from Te Anau, will take on competitors from throughout New Zealand and Australia.

“We already have 30-40 entries from throughout New Zealand and well-known Australian competitor Andrew Lynch has also registered.”

Mitchell said although the original pad at Sandy Point had been built in the 1990s as a 18m x 18m square, it had been extended eight years ago to 32m x 18m, then an extra 8m was added recently to give the pad a circular shape.

“Demand [for the pad] has gained traction in the last couple of years. This is the third shape.

“Because of the extension, this pad is the only one in the South Island able to cater for the NZBC.”

Spectators would see a lot of action at the championships, Mitchell said.

The pad is the “whole reason the calibre of cars are coming to put on a decent show”, which will mean a lot of smoke, tyre marks christening the pad, tyre blowouts and possibly a bit of fire.

If each competitor had at least two skids, there could possibly be 60-100 skids on the day, he said.

“Some people are happy with one go, some up to 10.”

Competitors will be judged on a total of a possible 100 points. Instant smoke, up to 10 points; consistent smoke (20); volume of smoke (20); driving (40) and five points for each tyre popped with a limit of up to two tyres.

Competitors with the top three skids on the day will gain automatic entry to the finals later in the year in the North Island.

New Zealand Burnout Championship round, The Rock FM Riverside Speedway, Sandy Point, Saturday, September 16, track opens 10am, pre-entertainment begins 1pm, burnout competition 2pm. Entry, adults $20, children up to 15 years $2.

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