KNOW YOUR NUGGET: Blandon’s Echo

1) Name – Blandon Le

2) Nugget car of choice – 2000 Toyota Echo 1.3

3) Other cars you own or have owned – 1989 AE92 Corolla CSX Hatchback

4) How did you hear about Nugget Nationals? – Browsing around on what to do with my Echo and stumbled upon the Nugget Nationals Webpage in Early 2015 and decided to prep/race the nugget in 2016.

5) What made you want to join Nugget Nationals? – The subtitle on the website got me. “Low power, low cost, maximum fun!” Racing a nugget seemed like a great way to socially have fun while comparing myself against other competitors and nuggets.

6) Why did you pick the car you have to be your Nugget vehicle of choice? – I didn’t choose nug life, nug life chose me. Like my previous car I owned I was given the Echo for free! Besides the Echo(Vitz/Yaris) has racing pedigree in other countries so it was as if destiny brought us together to race.

7) What is your favourite thing/feature about your Nugget? – It’s an ECHO-nomical car (thanks Henry L), gets about 550-600km before I have to refill.

8) Funniest thing about your Nugget (usually something that’s broken or doesn’t work properly if you have one) – I tell everyone that my car has a sunroof but it’s a manual sunroof that doesn’t work.

9) A random fact about you (can be anything you want!) Yep you read the name right, Blandon. It’s Brandon but with a L! Very bland indeed. I also pretend I’m a rally driver and randomly shout pace notes at known roads hence race car name sticker on the car.

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2016 Nugget Nationals Round 1 – ENTRIES OPEN

Our first 2016 round of Nugget Nationals will be held on April the 3rd at Winton Raceway

To avoid disappointment, please ensure you sign up as soon as possible as theses days fill up extremely quickly!

Date: Sunday 3rd April 2016
Track: Winton Raceway
Cost: $175 + CAMS or AASA licence if you don’t already have one.

Nugget Competitors will first need to complete two steps:

  1. Fill in the registration form which can be found HERE.
  2. Fill in an entry form to Round 1 which can be found HERE.

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2015 Nugget Nationals Championship results

It was a very closely contested competition between the two Echo Nugs but without further ado, please join us in congratulating Henry for taking out first place honours in 2015!

Placing: 1st
Driver: Henry Luong
Nugget: Toyota Echo Sportivo
Photo: Grant Salter gripshiftslide.com

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With Henry coming in at 1540 championship points to Ying’s 1500, she was just a few points shy of taking out the top honours.

Always the bridesmaid but never the bride. Better luck next time Ying Bot!

Placing: 2nd
Driver: Ying Bot
Nugget: Toyota Echo Sportivo
Photo: Christine Brymner

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Rounding out the top 3 was Viv piloting the little red Sirion. Always making sure he was keeping the troublesome Toyota’s honest on the track, the 1.3 went toe to toe in lap times and held it’s own against the big block 1.5 litre Echo’s.

Special mention to Adam Mills who co-drove this car and finished in 4th place!

Placing: 3rd
Driver: Viv Dilkes-Frayne
Nugget: Daihatsu Sirion GTVI
Photo: Unknown (If you took this photo please let us know so we can give you credit!)

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Full results can be found HERE.

2015 Nugget Nationals Round 4: Wakefield

Due to the paper thin walls and the creakiest floor boards known to man kind, most of our cabin was up well before we needed to be at the track, which was only a few metres from our accommodation.

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As we all rolled into the pits…

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…it was time to get our cars ready for scrutineering.

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With the last round of Nugget Nationals held in NSW we had a few Sydney Nugget competitors come down and join us.

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In possibly the most hotly contested track day of the whole series, the top 4 front runners (Adam, Viv, Henry and Ying) were out setting nail bitingly close lap times.

Nugget Nationals – Session 4

Henry:  1:17.696
Viv: 1:17.810
Ying: 1:17.814
Adam: 1:17.977

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After each session we came back and shared tips with each other, than got annoyed when our fellow competitors went faster after trying new techniques.

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The best thing about Nugget Nationals? We’re all fierce rivals on track but good friends once the helmets come off.

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In a wild last session, Ying somehow managed to take half a second off her previous time which would also ultimately deliver her the first place victory for that round!

Nugget Nationals – Wakefield Results

1st Ying – Toyota Echo Sportivo – 1:17.2
2nd Henry – Toyota Echo Sportivo – 1:17.5
3rd Viv – Daihatsu Sirion GTVI – 1:17.8
4th Adam – Daihatsu Sirion GTVI – 1:17.9
5th Blandon – Toyota Echo – 1:22.3
6th Peter – Nissan Micra – 1:22.4
7th Will – Honda Civic –  1:23.0
8th Jake – Mazda 323 – 1:25.5
9th Wendy – Nissan Micra – 1:27.2

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The next morning the Nuggets and non Nuggets set off for the 700km drive back home to Melbourne.

Big thanks to EXE crew, Nugget Nationals and all the other people who made the trip out. Let’s do this again in 2016!

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2015 Nugget Nationals Round 3: Winton

On Sunday the 13th of September, we tagged along to the EXE track day to hold round 3 of Nugget Nationals.

You know it’s going to be a good day, when you pull back the curtains and see an AZ1 parked outside in the cabin next to yours.

The Nugget Echo’s have been the strong front runners ensuring their attendance at every event.

Stuart was here for his first track day in the Nugget Mirage which he had picked up for $350!

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Although the addition of the fancy  colour coded cage in it didn’t make it look very Nuggety anymore!

Iain was the only member of Team Neverlift to make it down for the weekend. I was sent an SMS from his team mate Seb in the morning to make sure I kept an eye on Iain.

“Make sure he doesn’t kill my car!”

Look at that sinister smirk. Iain later returned the car to Seb with it only firing on 3 cylinders…

With the Nugget competitors lined up on the grid and perfect temperatures, it was going to be a very interesting day for PB’s.

In fact ALL of the Nugget competitors PB’d.

When we first started this series over a year ago, many people had supported us and thought it was a cute idea, but I’m sure not many people would have thought that Nuggets would actually be competitive against the higher powered cars on track.

But boy, did the Nuggets bring it this weekend with FIVE of the competitors cracking into the 1:4x’s and separated by less than a second.

Yes, we’re talking cars with less than 55kw at the wheels placing well in a field of 60 cars. To say we were proud organisers would be an absolute understatement.

Thanks to Kalt, Lime Imagery and Happiness by the Kilowatts for some of the photos I’ve used below.

First Place: David Napo
Nugget: Honda Civic
Lap time: 1:48.45

Second Place: Viv “Van Dyke”
Nugget: Daihatsu Sirion Gtvi
Lap time: 1:48.76

Third Place: Adam Mills
Nugget: Daihatsu Sirion Gtvi
Lap time: 1:48.85

Fourth Place: Henry Luong
Nugget: Toyota Echo Sportivo
Lap time: 1:49.28

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Fifth Place: Ying Bot
Nugget: Toyota Echo Sportivo
Lap time: 1:49.40

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Sixth Place: Brendan Dutton
Nugget: Honda Civic
Lap time: 1:50.64

Seventh Place: Iain Mccowan
Nugget: Honda Civic
Lap time: 1:50.87

Eighth Place: Hayden Ryan
Nugget: Toyota Starlet
Lap time: 1:53.37

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Ninth Place: Stuart Chambers
Nugget: Mitsubishi Mirage
Lap time: 1:55.12

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Tenth Place: Matt Doyle
Nugget: Mazda 121
Lap time: 1:56.69

As some of the usual Nuggets were unable to attend, it’ll be interesting to see how the overall series leader board looks after this round before we head to Wakefield in NSW for round 4!

Here we have, Dan’s AZ1 which is definitely no Nugget.

In fact it was my (and many other people’s) favourite car out on the track that day.

He was running the Autozam on 165/50R15 Achilles ATR K Sport tyres and I believe he may take honours at Winton for being the fastest Kei Car(?) with a time of 1:53.14!

As always a big thanks to our good friends at EXE crew for letting the Nuggets tag along.

Well done to all the competitors who continue to surprise everyone and set some great lap times. You all earned your PB’s.

Well done little ones!

2015 Nugget Nationals Round 2: Motorkhana

Early on Sunday morning we gathered the Nugget competitors for the second round of Nugget Nationals. This event would mark the first time the Nuggets had come together for a motorkhana event!

Ying's top cooking tip: If you tie bread bags to your cage it won't get squished in transit!

Ying’s top cooking tip: If you tie bread bags to your cage it won’t get squished in transit!

It was our first attempt at drawing up motorkhana maps and in true Nugget style, we made sure there was a sense of humour to the courses.

Super efficient Ying had printed out enough copies for all the competitors.
Super idiotic Ying, then left all those maps at home.

Sorry guys. 😦

Lucky I still had the map we had scribbled the measurements on from the day before.

Lucky I still had the map we had scribbled the measurements on from the day before.

A big thanks to Johnny, Brett and Grant for some of the awesome photos I have used in this blog post. 

Without much notice, we asked Kam to help us with the drivers briefing that morning. We’ve done this heaps of times before and we’re a professional and well oiled machine by now.

You couldn’t even tell we hadn’t prepared.

"So the track is about...that big."

“So the track is about…that big.”

"And you just kind of twirl around it."

“And you just kind of twirl around it.”

It was now Kam’s turn to run through the penalty system, which despite having been sent out a few weeks in advance, was the first time he had read them.

"If you hit a cone, it's a 5 second penalty. If you go the wrong direction it's....A SIXTY SECOND PENALTY?!? Well you guys are all fucked."

“If you hit a cone, it’s a 5 second penalty.
If you go the wrong direction it’s….A SIXTY SECOND PENALTY?!? Well, you guys are all fucked.”

TJB is always less than impressed with our shenanigans.

While others expect to open warehouse doors to Ferrari’s and Lamborghini’s, this is what I’d much rather see.

All 3 members of team never lift.

Nugget competitors are the best.

Nugget competitors are the best.

Napo: The only competitor to wrong direction before the event even began.

Stuart and Brendan discuss how they didn’t’ have to do anything to get their cars “khana ready.”

Starlet Sandwich!

No your eyes are not deceiving you.

That’s Jace putting his 4×100 Star Sharks (previously seen on his MX5) on to his 121.

Hnnng. One day I will own a set.

Hnnng. One day I will own a set.

We also invited some of our non Nugget friends along to enjoy the day with us.

With the event under way, the competitors did whatever it took to remember the maps.

Lance preferred a more traditional method.

We must move forward, not backward. Upward, not forward and always twirling, twirling, twirling towards freedom.

Dan utilised his phone holder.

Dan utilised his phone holder.

While Johnny preferred to air drive the course.

While Johnny preferred to air drive the course.

After witnessing an expert run from Zac. The other competitors knew who the one to beat was.

Why so serious?

Why so serious?

In order of finish:

1st place:  2003 Mitsubishi Mirage

Zac regularly competes in Motorkhana events and his experience showed on the day.

2nd place: 2001 Daihatsu Sirion GTVi

Our resident rally champion Viv also showed that he’s no slouch around some witches cones either!

3rd place: 2009 Audi TT RS

A man who is never short of confidence, Kam declared before every run that he was going to win.

4th place: 2001 Toyota Echo Sportivo

Sandy.

Sandy’s owner Henry knows how to work his best angle with a cheeky booty pop.

That Hansel, he's so hot right now.

That Hansel, he’s so hot right now.

5th Place: 1992 Honda Civic ED 6

Iain who spent the entire day with a massive smile on his face.

 6th Place: 1995 Honda Civic EG

Napo is better at steering than he is at cooking sausages.

7th place: 2002 Toyota Echo Sportivo

60 second penalty for me because Ying because she went in the wrong direction on her own map.

You could say that the William course was really hard. (Teehee)

Nugget Gnome strikes again.

8th place: 2003 Mitsubishi Mirage

Liam in the Techsport Mitsi.

9th place: 1995 Honda Civic GLi

A good result for Brendan’s first attempt at Motorkhana.

10th place: 1992 Honda Civic ED 6

Ilhan was captured in this awesome photo by gripshiftslide.com photographer Grant.

11th place: 2015 Audi quattro

Much to our amusement, Josh opted to use his launch control out of the start box.

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12th place: 1998 Toyota Starlet Life

Doing Starlet life proud. Hayden in his EP91.

13th place: 1991 Nissan Micra

Peter had flown down from Brisbane to get his fix of Nugkhana. He had also managed to convince the ever gullible Napo that the K11 was fitted with a 4 pedal foot brake system.

14th place: 1992 Honda Civic ED 6

Om nom nom nom. Seb eating cones with the ED.

15th place: 1996 Nissan Skyline R33 GTS-T

Dan Leet – The driver.

Dan Leet – The Barista.

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16th place: 1995 Mazda 121 Bubble

Nugget 5-0 with Officer Doyle.

17th place: 1999 Honda S2000

Peter struggled with his wipers turning on during every run!

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18th place: 2007 Volkswagen Golf GTI

Jally drove AND helped me with admin AND entered in the timing results for us all day!

The excel wizard and the one who makes sure I don't completely botch all the paperwork up.

Excel wizard and the one who makes sure I don’t completely botch all the paperwork up.

19th place: 1996 Nissan Skyline GTST

It’s hard to tell Hann’s 33 apart from Dan’s.

20th place: 1990 Mazda MX5 Roadster

J. Blaze was too busy being a boss both on and off track to care about where he placed.

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21st place: 1988 Toyota Mark II

Charlie didn’t like my maps haha.

But he still took first place honours for best interior.

SAMSUNG CSC

22nd place: 1991 Nissan Micra

Along with his co-driver Peter, Jason pulled off some of the funniest runs of the day with one person steering while the other pulled the hand brake.

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23rd place: 2003 Mitsubishi Mirage

Unfortunately Stuarts track Nug couldn’t make it, but luckily he also had a back up daily Nug!

24th place: 2001 Mazda 121 Shades

Jace earned his B licence today and also had the best window banner I’ve ever seen.

25th place: 1998 Toyota Starlet Life

We we’re the only ones concerned that Acey was going to flip his bog stock Starlet. He clearly wasn’t worried as the car was so quiet we could hear him laughing from the other side of the skid pan.

26th place: 1993 Honda Civic EG GL

“My car stalls everytime it gets too much sideways” – Lance.

27th place: 2003 Nissan 350Z Touring

Jia had the most awful sounding tyres of the day, but made up for it with this.

28th place: 1996 Nissan 180sx Type X

Previous Nugget entrant Andrew was back but this time in his new 180sx. Everyone was impressed with Andrew’s driving, even if he made a very loose attempt at completing the maps.

“Do I get extra points for stopping in the box side ways?”
“No, but you do get an extra 20 second penalty for hitting 4 cones on your way in!”

A big thank you to all those who came down to compete in our first attempt at a NugKhana. We hope you enjoyed the courses but let us know your feedback if you think we can improve on anything!

Today’s field of drivers were some of the best we’ve seen with everyone organising themselves and many of the field chipping in to help. Whether it was making coffees, marshalling, helping to cook, picking up cones, cleaning up or taking photos, you all played your part.

Thank you for making it a great day out!

Special thanks to Darrin for his support of our series and motor sport in Victoria and also to the amazing Nugget committee (Thomas, Kam, Daniel, Jally, Henry, Ying) who put in extra hours prior to the event to make sure the day ran smoothly.

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NUGGET NEWS: 2015 Round 2 announced!

We’re pleased to announce that the next Nugget Nationals round will be a Motorkhana based right in the heart of Melbourne thanks to our friends at RTR on the 9th of August 2015.

We’ve been busy securing the next 4 events on our calendar so rest assured there will be plenty more underpowered fun coming your way in the second half of the year!

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