Nugget Nationals 2017 – Round 2, Haunted Hills

Round 2 of Nugget Nationals saw a gathering of small cars at Victoria’s premier Hill Climb track.

This was our first ever event at this circuit and also the first time to this track for many of the drivers.

We were all pretty excited and nervous to see how the Nuggets would go.

Drivers have been awarded points on their runs in both the “Clockwise” and the “Figure 8” format and then ranked based on the total points allocated.

1st Place: Clockwise 65.11 / Figure 8 – 71.53
Driver: Liam Murphy
Nugget: 2003 Mitsubishi Mirage

Congratulations to Laim on placing first. We’re sure Zac’s going to be kicking himself that he had to miss this event!

2nd Place: Clockwise 65.41 / Figure 8 – 72.47
Driver: Iain “Never Lift” McCowan
Nugget: 1990 Honda Civic

We know Iain is going to be pretty damn happy when he sees this and realises where he has placed.

3rd Place: Clockwise 65.27 / Figure 8 – 72.49
Driver: Adam “Millsy” Mills
Nugget: 2002 Daihatsu Sirion GTVI

4th Place: Clockwise 64.44 / Figure 8 – 73.21
Driver: Viv “Vivski” Dilkes-Frayne
Nugget: 2002 Daihatsu Sirion GTVI

Viv was quicker than Millsy in the Clockwise course however his placing against others in the figure 8 course meant that he’s come in at 4th.

5th Place: Clockwise 67.03 / Figure 8 – 73.07
Driver:
Ying Bot
Nugget:
2002 Toyota Echo Sportivo

She said she was going to sit this year out but the lure of the Nugget was too much for her to resist.

6th Place: Clockwise 67.09 / Figure 8 – 74.33
Driver: Daniel Jon
Nugget: 1993 Honda Civic

Fun fact, no one has ever seen Daniel’s Evo. 😛

7th Place: Clockwise 69.00 / Figure 8 – 75.90
Driver: Stuart Chambers
Nugget: 1998 Mitsubishi Mirage

Previously piloting a 2003 Mitsubishi Mirage in NugNats 2015, Stu’s decided to try his hand at something more Vintage with this lovely lilac 98′ model.

8th Place: Clockwise 72.6 / Figure 8 – 78.3
Driver: Mark Van der Veen
Nugget: 1995 Nissan Micra

Mark’s a first time to entrant to Nug Nats and this was also his first track day ever. What a baptism of fire! We hope to see this car at more events soon.

9th Place: Clockwise 71.1 / Figure 8 – 78.9
Driver: Tommy Chan
Nugget: 1995 Toyota Paseo

Tommy drove this car like he stole it, then he kept driving it some more!

10th Place: Clockwise 70.0 / Figure 8 – 80.8
Driver: Shannon Swiderski
Nugget: 1994 Hyundai Excel

Our first Korean car of the series (we’re surprised it’s taken so long for one to enter)! A big warm welcome to Shannon in and his excel.

11th Place: Clockwise 67.40
Driver: Lawrence Ho
Nugget: 2003 Honda Jazz

Another close battle between co-drivers Lawrence and Thomas.

12th Place: Clockwise 67.91
Driver: Thomas Loo
Nugget: 2003 Honda Jazz

Only the smallest margin between the two!

Full results tally:

More photos from Lawrence’s album can be found here.

Our next event will be posted in the next few weeks on our Facebook page.

 

Nugget Nationals 2017 – Round 1, Winton Raceway

And….we’re back for another year of under powered budget racing fun!

It was great to see a field of both new and old competitors descend on a hot Winton track on March 26th to break in the new season.

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That strange feeling when you bring an Evo to the track and are the odd one out…

Here’s a wrap up of how the field finished.

1st Place: 1:46.6
Driver: Thomas “TJB” Bullock
Nugget: 1989 Honda Civic

One of the first cars to ever compete in Nugget Nationals in 2014 has been dusted off and is back out on track with a vengeance.

Thomas Bullock and his Honed Nugget “Heathcliff” took top honors for Round 1 yesterday with a great lap time of 1:46.6 in the D15 powered Civic!

When a Nugget is being used as an RnD car for an Engineer, you know it’ll be one to watch in the up coming rounds.

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What happens when the 944 challenge winner and a Victorian Rally champ compete in Nugget Nationals in the same car?

They get extremely close lap times.

2nd Place: 1:47.6
Driver: Adam “Millsy” Mills
Nugget: 2002 Daihatsu Sirion GTVI

3rd Place: 1:47.7
Driver: Viv “Vivski” Dilkes-Frayne
Nugget: 2002 Daihatsu Sirion GTVI

Congratulations to Millsy and Viv for harnessing the power of electrical tape and taking out second and third place over the weekend in their co-driven Daihatsu Sirion!

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4th Place: 1:47.9
Driver: Daniel “This car is better than my Evo” Jon
Nugget: 1993 Honda Civic

Narrowly missing out on a top three finish was Daniel who managed to finish up in 4th place with his extreme gutter drop technique.

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5th Place: 1:49.0
Driver: Zac Edwards
Nugget: 2003 Mitsubishi Mirage

Zac from Techsport showing us the diamond advantage in his Mirage!

The little Mitsubishi cracked into the 40’s this weekend with a lap time of 1:49.0 to secure 5th place.

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6th Place: 1:49.5
Driver: Iain “Never Lift” McCowan
Nugget: 1990 Honda Civic

Harnessing the “Never Lift” ethos, the most obnoxious car in the field also joined the exclusive 40’s club.

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Congrats Iain!

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7th Place: 1:49.6
Driver: Blandon Le
Nugget: 2000 Toyota Echo

While the 1.5 litre big block Sportivo’s dominated the track last year, Blandon has been the first 1.3 litre small block Echo to post a sub 50 lap time, making his trip from NSW worth the frugal petrol money.

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8th Place: 1:50.0
Driver: Ricky Wong
Nugget: 1993 Honda Civic

The courtesy car for AMS proved that it isn’t just a convenient option for customers, it also can hold it’s own on a race track. A great lap time for his first outing in this car.

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9th Place: 1:50.1
Driver: Liam Murphy
Nugget: 2003 Mitsubishi Mirage

The second driver to the Techsport Mirage, Liam was just shy of a second off Zac’s time. With more rounds this year we’ll keep an eye on how this friendly rivalry progresses!

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10th Place: 1:50.5
Driver: “Human” Perry Tien
Nugget: 2003 Mazda 2

Unfortunately Perry wasn’t able to match his PB from last year with the hot track conditions getting in the way of the Melbourne Demio Clubs sole entrant.

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11th Place: 1:51.2
Driver: Hayden Ryan
Nugget: 1997 Toyota Starlet

Hayden brushed aside some niggling engine problems in the morning to secure himself a new PB with the Blue Turd.

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12th Place: 1:52.7
Driver: Thomas Loo
Nugget: 2003 Honda Jazz

The co-driven Jazz and return entry was looking mightily stealthy and ninja’d it’s way into a PB for Thomas.

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13th Place: 1:53.1
Driver: Steve Cap
Nugget: 1997 Toyota Starlet

Another NSW Nugget making the trip down was Steve in his Starlet. In his first ever excursion to Winton Raceway the Toyota, which was purchased for a measly $150, more than earned it’s lap time!

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14th Place: 1:53.2
Driver: Lawrence Ho
Nugget: 2003 Honda Jazz

Friendships and PB’s on the line!

It’s great to see so many friends sharing Nuggets together. The reliability of these cars means that they don’t mine being double stinted over the day resulting in a PB for Lawrence too!

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15th Place: 1:54.6
Driver: Alex Botton
Nugget: 1996 Suzuki Swift GTI

A forgotten hero of the 90’s, we were so pleased to see that a non show car GTI has managed to survive the Autosalon era! This is the first Suzuki entrant we’ve had in our series and even more incredible is that when this car was purchased it hadn’t been started since 2014.

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16th Place: 1:54.8
Driver: David Donnoli
Nugget: 2001 Toyota Echo

David is also back this year with revised sticker livery to disguise the dents. This car is the embodiment of a Nugget with it’s sub $500 purchase price and extreme resilience to anything he or his brother had ever put it through.

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17th Place: 1:57.7
Driver: Tommy Chan
Nugget: 1996 Toyota Paseo

No, don’t adjust your monitors. We know you’re probably fooled by it’s expensive looking sports coupe styling, but the Toyota Paseo is actually an eligible Nugget. With super car pedigree and the well renowned 5efte motor this car is already a winner in our eyes.

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18th Place: 2:03.2
Driver: Mike Button
Nugget: 1995 Nissan Micra

For keen Nugget follower’s you’ll note that this particular Nugget Nissan has previously competed in the Nationals as the old Nakama Nugget.

The car has found it’s way back to the track behind the hands of the Button family as a cheap and fun way to get into circuit driving.

Judging by the smiles on their faces at the end of the day, we’ll be sure to see them at our next events!

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19th Place: 2:07.2
Driver: Vincent Button
Nugget: 1995 Nissan Micra

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Round 2 will be held on May the 6th at Haunted Hills, our first hill climb event!

Check out the Facebook page for more details: https://www.facebook.com/nuggetnationals/

Special mention goes out to James’ and his RallyNug!

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Nugget Nationals 2016 – Round 3, Winton Raceway

With some lovely Spring weather upon us, the top running Nugget competitors we’re hoping to improve their previous lap times in the 48’s and knock out some 47’s.

As I was without a camera this track day, I’ve had to rely on others for the contents of this blog so big thanks to A very clever titleSteur Imagery  and Raamenzoku for the pictures used in today’s post.

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Much to our surprise, the times tumbled and the track gods were smiling on us with Winton Raceway in prime condition.  This allowed our under powered cars to punch well above their weight and shock some of the non Nuggets running on the day.

In the most hotly contested battle of the series, Adam went out and showed the Echo drivers he meant business by setting a 1:46.7 early in the day.

With Henry and Ying trading spots as fastest Echo all day, it was only in the last proper session that she ripped a number of 46’s and finally ended the day with a time that annoyed the hell out of Henry and Adam.

1st Place: 1:46.0
Driver: Ying “Sandbagger” Bot
Nugget: 2002 Toyota Echo Sportivo

Never in our wildest dreams did we think we’d be doing 46’s in our Nuggets but with three of us finishing in this bracket, it really just goes to show what you can do with not a whole lot of car.

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Her Racechrono showed an optimal of 1:45.3, and the race is now on to see who will be the first Nugget into the 45’s next time!

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Her PB video here:

2nd Place: 1:46.3
Driver: Adam “Millsy” Mills
Nugget: 2001 Daihatsu Sirion Red

For those of you who have never sat or driven a Sirion, this is a truly awful car. It’s a testament to Millsy’s driving ability that he managed to keep the big block Echo’s honest and do this lap time with paltry 45kw.

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3rd Place: 1:46.6
Driver: Henry “I’m pretending I don’t own an Evo” Luong
Nugget: 2002 Toyota Echo Sandy

Ying’s arch nemesis Henry hasn’t competed this season as he’s been pretending to work on his other track car, but the track bug was too strong to ignore.

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He was back for Round 3 in Sandy the Sportivo. The best thing is there was no prep to do. Straight from daily driving duties and into the 46’s at Winton like it ain’t no thang.

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4th Place: 1:49.2
Driver: “Human” Perry Tien
Nugget: 2004 Mazda 2 Blue

Perry impressed us all in his Demio as he was able to crack into the 40’s at his first (long) track day at Winton. This is going to be a car “2” watch in the future.

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5th Place: 1:50.4910
Driver: Liam Murphy
Nugget: 2003 Mitsubishi Mirage Silver

Liam’s getting close to the forties club with his lap time. You’ll noticed I posted this time into the hundredths because not far behind him was…

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6th Place: 1:50.4950
Driver: Hayden Ryan
Nugget: 1998 Toyota Starlet Blue

After replacing several worn components of his 300km+ EP91, the fruits of his labour has paid off with Hayden smashing his old PB by several seconds. He also made his local footy finals so he was pretty chuffed all weekend!

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7th Place: 1:52.3
Driver: Harry Toumbos
Nugget: 2004 Holden Barina

The PB train kept rolling through with the only Holden at the track claiming a new PB for it’s owner, Harry.

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8th Place: 1:53.1
Driver: Douglas Eves
Nugget: 2001 Toyota Echo Blue

The triple entered small block Echo had a mammoth task ahead of it to survive being driven in 3 different sessions and delivered a new PB for Doug.

9th Place: 1:54.2
Driver: Matthew Doyle
Nugget: 1995 Mazda 121 Black/White

The most kawaii nugget on the day also delivered a new PB for Matt.

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10th Place: 1:54.8
Driver: David Donnoli
Nugget: 2001 Toyota Echo Blue

11th Place: 1:55.1
Driver: James Donnoli
Nugget: 2001 Toyota Echo Blue

More PB’s for a Nugget that was entered 3 times and picked up for a initial purchase price of $150. Well done to the Donnoli brothers on their PB’s.

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12th Place: 1:55.7
Driver: Tommy Chan
Nugget: 1995 Toyota Paseo

A car I have long hoped to see at Nugget Nationals, Tommy has recently purchased very clean series 2 Paseo.

Unfortunately no photos of this green machine but it was completely stock and set a great base time for the 5efe powered car.

13th Place: 1:57.5
Driver: Paride Palmeri
Nugget: 2003 Toyota Echo Beige

Paride was back with even louder livery in his mum’s old car!

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14th Place: 1:58.7
Driver: Nathan Au
Nugget: 2004 Toyota Echo Blue

Easily the most immaculately presented Nugget on the day, Nathan was rocking some sweet Wedsports and completed his first track event ever!

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15th Place: 2:00.3
Driver: Thomas Loo
Nugget: 2004 Honda Jazz

16th Place: 2:00.9
Driver: Lawrence Ho
Nugget: 2004 Honda Jazz

Thomas and Lawrence also were out and popped their track cherry in our series first Honda Jazz.

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We couldn’t be more proud of this field, not only for the lap times that are being put down but simply for being out there and having fun in cars which aren’t typically associated with being tracked.

As always big thank you to EXE crew for everything this weekend.

Hope to see you all for Round 4 @ Wakefield Park!

Nugget Nationals 2016 – Round 2, Dyno Day

Round 2 of Nugget Nationals saw a flock of tiny cars congregate around Weltmeister Eastside.

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As usual, we sent the invite out to our other friends to come join us for a BBQ on an unexpectedly pleasant winter day (I’ll cover this off in the Part II post).

To assist the power challenged Nuggets in the track rounds, we’ve awarded points a little differently and in reverse order.

This means that the Nuggets with the lowest kilowatts have been awarded the highest points for Round 2!

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Photo: Brett

Thanks to Brett for helping us with photo coverage on the day! His full coverage here on his flicker account averyclevertitle

Notes:
* For cars with two drivers, points will be awarded to each person.
* Results may change as I will be dynoing my Echo this weekend at Weltmesiter.

(Provisional) Results are as follows!

1st place: 34.6KW
Driver: Choonga
Nugget: 1981 Toyota Corolla KE70

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Choonga watermelon plushie used as a G meter.

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Hoshino’s on loan from the collection of JP.

Free cars are the best cars.

Free cars are the best cars.

2nd place: 44.1 KW
Driver: Hayden
Nugget: 1998 Toyota Starlet Life EP91

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Photo: Brett

3rd place: 45.4 KW
Driver: Millsy and Viv
Nugget: 2000 Daihatsu Sirion GTVI

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4th place: 48.1 KW
Driver: Thomas JB
Nugget: 1989 Honda Civic EF

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5th place: 48.3 KW
Driver: Liam and Zac
Nugget: 2000 Mitsubishi Mirage CE

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Photo: Brett

6th place: 50.1 KW
Driver: Jarrod and Gab
Nugget: Toyota Echo

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Also sporting wild new aero!

7th place: 50.9 KW
Driver: Harry
Nugget: 2002 Holden Barina

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8th place: 55.2 KW
Driver: Daniel
Nugget: 1993 Honda Civic EG

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9th place: 57.5 KW
Driver: Nathan
Nugget: 2005 Toyota Echo Sportivo

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Photo: Brett

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Nugget photo of the day by Brett!

10th place: 59.0 KW
Driver: Human Perry
Nugget: 2002 Mazda 2 DY

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Photo taken seconds after a bee flew off Perry's hair.

Not to be confused with car Perry.

11th place: 59.4 KW
Driver: Thomas L
Nugget: 2003 Honda Jazz VTI

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12th place: 60.0 KW
Driver: Ricky
Nugget: 1993 Honda Civic EG

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13th place: 60.8 KW
Driver: Jase
Nugget: 2002 Toyota Echo Sportivo

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See you at the next event!

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Nugget Nationals 2016 – Round 1, Winton Raceway

On April the 3rd we gathered old and new nuggets alike at Winton Raceway for our second season of Nugget Nationals.

As the cars rolled in, you’d be forgiven for thinking it was a one make series with all the Echo’s that were present around the pits in the morning!

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Photo credit: Brett Swain

With drivers briefing out of the way…

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Photo credit: Ajay Rodriquez

…It was time to hit the freshly resurfaced track!

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Photo credit: Ajay Rodriquez

1st Place: 1:48.2
Driver: Ying Bot
Nugget: 2002 Toyota Echo Sportivo

Leaving it until the 11th hour, Ying managed to snatch first place honours on her very last lap of the day.

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Photo credit: Andy Szeto

2nd Place: 1:48.5
Driver: Viv Dilkes-Frayne
Nugget: 2001 Daihatsu Sirion GTVI

Viv didn’t waste any time by setting down a stonking lap time very early in the morning. A good strategy on his behalf as the car ran out of brake pads later in the day.

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Photo credit: Happiness by the Killowatts

3rd Place: 1:49.1
Driver: Daniel Jon
Nugget: 1993 Honda Civic

Dan’s D15 powered Civic was another nugget that joined the forties club. He also wins my award for best wheels on a Nugget!

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Photo credit: Daniel Jon

4th Place: 1:50.9
Driver: Liam Murphy
Nugget: 2003 Mitsubishi Mirage

Itsa Mitsy! The only Mitsubishi in the field this season, Liam is getting closer to breaking into the 40Nug club.

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5th Place: 1:51.6
Driver: Thomas Bullock
Nugget: 2001 Daihatsu Sirion GTVI

Unfortunately Tom’s CRX was a last minute drop out so he took the Sirion out and subsequently destroyed the remaining brake pads it had left. He also commented that the car was not very enjoyable to drive.

6th Place: 1:52.1
Driver: Blandon Le
Nugget: 2002 Toyota Echo

After competing in our final NSW round last year, Blandon had made the trip down from Sydney to compete again. When he wasn’t being rescued from the gravel trap, he set a fantastic lap time for his first attempt at this track in a small block Echo!

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7th Place:  1:52.6
Driver:  Ricky Wong
Nugget:  1993 Honda Civic

Another Winton cherry popped and another nugget in the 1:52’s. Well done Ricky!

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Photo credit: Brett Swain

8th Place:  1:53.8
Driver:  Hayden Ryan
Nugget:  1998 Toyota Starlet

One of our earliest supporters, it’s great to see Hayden with us again this year!

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Photo credit: Brett Swain

9th Place: 1:54.1
Driver: Harry Toumbos
Nugget: 2004 Holden Barina

Nugget National’s first ever Holden entry looking super cool with a splitter and purple Sprint Harts.

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10th Place: 1:54.5
Driver: Matthew Doyle
Nugget: 1995 Mazda 121

Possibly the most photographed Nugget, Matt is testimony that practice makes perfect managing a new PB for himself today.

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Photo credit: Andy Szeto

11th Place: 1:55.6
Driver: Paride Palmeri
Nugget: 2003 Toyota Echo

Paride liberated this Echo from his mum and it’s never looked better (despite unfortunately hitting a kangaroo on the way to the track that morning). Fully utilising his skills from bubbleblue, Paride gets bonus style points for matching his self designed livery to his self made cage!

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Photo credit: Brett Swain

12th Place: 1:55.7
Driver: Jarrod Florence
Nugget: 2005 Toyota Echo

Another new entrant was Jarrod in the Area 57 Echo.

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Photo credit: Andy Szeto

13th Place: 1:56.5
Driver: Jase Quach
Nugget: 2005 Toyota Echo Sportivo

No stranger to a race track, Jase was out in his newly purchased Sportivo setting a base lap time in stock mode.

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Photo credit: Happiness by the Kilowatts

14th Place: 1:58.6
Driver: David Donnoli
Nugget: 2001 Toyota Echo

15th Place: 1:58.8
Driver: James Donnoli
Nugget: 2001 Toyota Echo

In some fierce sibling rivalry, the Donnoli brothers ended up with lap times split by .2 of a second. Older brother David ended up with ultimate bragging rights as the faster of the two…but only just.

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Photo credit: Brett Swain

16th Place: 1:59.8
Driver: Gabriel Perri
Nugget: 2005 Toyota Echo

A joint entry for the Area 57 Echo. Super realiable Toyota’s FTW.

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17th Place: 2:01.1
Driver: Douglas Eves
Nugget: 2005 Toyota Echo

If a joint entry isn’t enough, how about a triple entered Echo? Brother from another mother Doug rounds out the Donnoli crew entry.

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18th Place: 2:06.4
Driver: Jess Hoare
Nugget: 1995 Mazda 121

A joint entry for the little police bubble. Jess also took a massive chunk out of her previous PB.

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Photo credit: Andy Szeto

19th and 20th Place: DNS
Driver: Seb Quirit and Iain Murray
Nugget: 1991 Honda Civic

Unfortunately new aero and colour coded streamers weren’t enough with Team Neverlift retiring early due to mechanical issues.

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Thank yous:

As always my eternal thanks to EXE crew and our friends who come out to support the day, drive, wave flags and take photos for us. Honestly one of the easiest track days we’ve ever run with everyone pitching in to help and being super well behaved.

See you for round 2!

More photos:

Check out the photo albums below for all the other cars in attendance.
Andy Szeto, Happiness by the Kilowatts, Ajay Rodriquez, Brett Swain, Peter McGilvery

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Photo credit: Andy Szeto

KNOW YOUR NUGGET: Harry’s Holden

KNOW YOUR NUGGET:

Introducing Harry and Nugget Nationals first Holden Nug!

1. Name – Harry Toumbos

2. Nugget car of choice – 2002 Holden Barina Brocky edition

3. Other cars you own or have owned – Another Barina, Mazda 2, E28 525e, Opel Astra GTC, EG Civic 1.3l

4. How did you hear about Nugget Nationals? – I heard about Nugs through a friend who knew vague details, but didn’t know the name of the series etc. I think I actually found out about the series early in 2015 on Instagram.

5. What made you want to join Nugget Nationals? – As soon as I heard the general concept of low cost, tight regs, and racing in cars I already like, I knew there would be potential for really tight racing, and with a range of competitive chassis on the market to choose from it’s interesting to see what everyone can get out of their cars.

6. Why did you pick the car you have to be your Nugget vehicle of choice? – My first car was a Barina, so I guess the fact that I’m pretty familiar with the car was the main reason, but I was also pretty chuffed to see that mine is the first Barina Nug.

7. What is your favourite thing/feature about your Nugget? – My favourite feature was probably the ability to hide drugs under the stock shift boot. Seeing as that’s gone though, the flared guards get me hot.

8. Funniest thing about your Nugget? – The funniest thing about it are probably it’s purple Sprint Harts, and the fact that it’s just ticked over 60k.

9. A random fact about you – I have a cat named John Cleese

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