Summernats Burnout Masters competition is more complicated than you think
You can’t have Australia’s largest car festival without a mountain of smoke and roaring engines echoing through Canberra’s inner suburbs.
- Burnouts at Summernats are judged on two categories: the driver’s skill and the quality of smoke
- Smoke-related criteria include how fast it fumes, how long it lasts and how much there is
- Competitors come from around Australia and the world for a chance at earning the Burnout Master title
And the festival’s organisers say you can’t have it (for long) without also making history.
Yesterday Summernats reclaimed the Guinness world record for the largest simultaneous burnout, with 126 cars smoking their back tyres.
Organisers said the win returned the honour to its rightful owners, after Saudi Arabia took it off them in 2017 with a collective burnout of 119 cars.
But the festival’s burnout titles are not all about quantity.
The Summernats Burnout Masters competition — complete with strict score cards — shows quality is also rewarded.
Summernats took back the world record for the largest simultaneous burnout on Friday. (Supplied: Summernats)
What makes a good burnout?
While many car fanatics might enjoy ripping a burnout for thrills, looks or noise, the act of keeping the car still while spinning its wheels can be traced back to the origins of drag racing.
A car catches fire while performing a burnout during the National Burnout Masters in 2012. (AAP: Lukas Coch)
It was used as a quick and effective tool to raise tyre temperature before racing.
But it has evolved into a discipline of its own — and no Australian festival is closer to it than Canberra’s annual Summernats.
Dubbed by the organisers as the world’s toughest and most brutal burnout competition, the Burnout Masters recognises the best performers of the festival, which attracts more than 100,000 visitors.
And it is not all fun and games; earning the title involves some serious critique.
Fast-fuming, long-lasting smoke — with proven driver skill — is where the money is at.
The later accounts for 50 points, with the remaining 50 points divided among the smoke-related criteria: it must be instant, constant and big.
You can also lose points, with the ‘don’ts’ even outnumbering the ‘dos’.
Summernats breaks the Guinness world record for largest simultaneous burnout (Supplied: Summernats)
The no-nos include reversing, stalling, failing to pop the tyres, touching the barrier and failing to drive off the pad.
And there are still more rules.
Drivers must also watch the clock
Each burnout period must last for at least 60 seconds, with points deducted for breaks.
Yep, it’s a tough gig.
Summernats also set a world record for the largest simultaneous burnout in 2013. (AAP: Lukas Coch)
National burnout championship eliminations have been running at Summernats since Friday afternoon, with the Burnout Masters qualifications set to start late on Saturday.
“[Burnout Master is] a title that must be earned, first by qualifying to compete in the Burnout Masters category at Summernats in the previous year,” according to the Summernats website.
“And then by surviving the cut as 30 qualified drivers are whittled down to just 10 on the final day of Summernats competition.
“Competitors from Australia and around the world are vying for the opportunity to secure their spot in [the] elite group of motorsport performers.”