Everyone loves a good burnout – especially the Australians. And with the deafening roar of supercharged V8s, the demonic silhouettes of flaming cars from within their clouds of smoke, and the shreds of hot rubber showering the audience – what’s not to love?
While we here in the US like to think that the musclecar scene is exclusive to us, the musclecar has also had a strong presence in Australia for decades. What makes the Australian musclecar scene unique, however, is that theirs has just a touch more ‘hoon’. Ergo, burnout competitions.
With numerous events – like Summernats, Tread Cemetery, and the UBC (Ultimate Burnout Competition) – the burnout scene is a huge subculture in the land down under. Sure, there are burnout competitions aplenty here in the States, but not many can hold a candle to the massively wild – and often destructive – events in Australia.
Competitors at these events have three goals: awe the audience, vaporize their tires, and then drive themselves off of the arena. When it comes to the first two objectives, the cars are more than up to the task – most come in at somewhere between 600 and 1000 horsepower. Leaving the burnout pad in one, drivable piece, however, tends to be the challenge.
As anyone could imagine, the cars are subject to enormous amounts of heat and stress. Thrown rods, blown gaskets, and various vehicle fires are a dime a dozen. But even if the motor and drivetrain do survive the performance, the externals are still at constant risk. Keeping control of a high-powered car in the middle of burnout is no easy feat, and often ends in a cringe-worthy collision.
Nonetheless, it’s all a part of the sport. Teams of homegrown garage-mechanics flock from all over the continent to enjoy the electrifying atmosphere of these competitions. While not the most orthodox use of highly-tuned musclecars, it’s hard to deny the inner child in all of us that just drools over an awesome burnout.