Springnats 11 - Shepparton

28th – 30th November 2003

Ahhhh, how quickly SpringNats 11, 2003, came around, it felt like I had only just been there. After getting into Scrutineering with just 5 minutes to spare, I headed into the DECA complex.

Unloaded the car and headed towards the bigger and better Marquee. Having everyone leave their stockies outside made a big difference this time, with everyone able to get some shade from the sun and stay dry from the rain. Parking the car, everyone was feverishly working on their own cars, from cleaning to swapping tyres and taking exhaust systems off, it was good to be back.

With the club trying to defend its “Top participating car club” award from the previous year, we felt our chances were great, having a lot of new cars entered this year. All of the entrants had arrived, with the exception of one Sir Brett, who was still at home busily trying to stop his line locker from leaking and stop his starter from over engaging. Paul was another that had a couple of hiccup’s in getting up; firstly driving his car past the front of the trailer, then getting a flat on the trailer, nearly causing a serious accident.

Now onto the events. Friday night started with the Motorkhana event. As I was defending my title, I was keen as mustard to get out there. Taking an hour to get to the front of the queue, I saw a lot of runs from a lot of tough cars, producing a lot of smoke! Everyone I talked to, whether from the club or not, were having a ball on the skidpan. The fact that you can take passengers around with you makes this event one of a kind. The Motorkhana finished up at 11:30pm, and although I was unsuccessful in defending my title, I still managed to grab 3rd place.

Heading back to the hotel, we had heard that Brett was on his way, finally making an appearance at 1:00am. After going out and catching the magical ‘beer scooter’ home, it was then time to get up and head in for day 2.

Spear a Spud was the first event of the morning and everyone was keen to get out. Brett was particularly keen, as he had missed out on the previous evening. It turned out he was a little too keen and hadn’t let his body recover fully from the adventures only hours earlier, to be able to pass the 0.00 blood alcohol requirements. Quentin quickly took the reins to the Blue Beast, especially after he broke an axle in his car earlier and was only able to push it on and off the trailer. Everyone had a go, with the exception of the burnout competitors, who were busy preparing their cars. Not being told any times, it was hard to know just how well you did in events, but we later found out that Kath had taken 2nd in the female Spear a Spud, in that magnificent looking red Gemini (LO-LION). Well Done Kath!

The BBQ trailer, which was looking sensational in it’s new bright blue colour, was then cranked up. Lots of people were coming up asking about the club, thanks hugely to the new massive club banner hanging off the marquee.

The burnout eliminations started, with Gordz getting through to the finals on Sunday with massive amounts of smoke. It was then time for the GO-to-WHOA on the skidpan. Everyone had a least one go in this event, which proves to be more difficult than first thought. The quality of cars had risen since the year before and unless you were running slicks or semi-comp tire, there was little chance of getting into the top 50 for Sundays finals. Going till late in the night, followed by fireworks, that actually caused a fire this year, we all went home to sleep/drink/go out.

Arriving Sunday morning, we found out that several people had made it into the GO-to-WHOA finals, the best of them was Daniel. Coming 4th in his newly upgraded RX7 with massive Turbo and Intercooler, he was still running the damn thing in and was limited to low boost. It was particularly satisfying to see him destroy a brand spanking new bright yellow Holden Monaro that had some serious work done to it, including under bonnet supercharger.

Walking over to the burnout finals, we could see dark grey clouds coming over. Waiting for Gordz to do his stuff, the clouds came closer and thunder and lightning was seen and heard in the distance. It was just starting to spit when Gordz came out into the burnout pad. Heaps of throttle, first, second, then top gear, producing instant smoke. Round and round, where the hell has he gone??? He just finishes when the rain came pouring down. Running back to the cars and marquee, bonnets and boots are shut and windows wound up. Everyone gathered under the marquee, did I mention it was bigger this year? Well, thank God for that, we would have been drenched otherwise.

Thinking it was a great time to go onto the skidpan, we were disappointed to find out that the organisers had closed it. After an hour or so, the announcement was heard that the event would be closed early due to the weather. Even the trophy presentations had been cancelled.

Even though the rain had stopped, it still made it very difficult to pack up all our stuff and get moving. Driving into town, there was another SpringNats over. It wasn’t until the next day that we found out we had successfully defended our “Top participating car club” award. So, a BIG WELL DONE to everyone for getting out and having a go, especially all the new people that came up, it really was a lot of fun, wasn’t it?

- Cliff Pfander (SHHMIK)

Also a couple more things to mention:

It was great to see several club members have their cars appearing in various mags who attended the event.

Finally, check out the following links for more Springnats 11 action. It’s great to see so many pics of members cars at the Sheppnews website. Check them out: