KNOW YOUR NUGGET: Kyle’s Echo

KNOW YOUR NUGGET:

A track car, a daily driver and a puppy transporter. Kyle shows us you really can live your best life with a Nugget in the garage.

1) Name: Kyle

2) Nugget car of choice?
2003 Toyota Echo Sportivo

3) Other cars you own or have owned?
HSV Clubsport and V35 350GT
8x Toyota Soarers

4) How did you hear about Nugget nationals?
I first heard about the concept after it was mentioned in a build thread on a car forum.

5) What made you want to join Nugget nationals?
Having only ever owned heavy rear drive cars (I had a sickness for Soarers owning 8 of them), I secretly always enjoyed thrashing around hire car nuggets like Getz’s on holidays. The NN series was a great way to get onto the track in a car i dont worry about breaking.

6) Why did you pick the car you have to be your Nugget vehicle of choice?
It was a toss up between the Echo Sportivo and Ignis Sport. The latter i couldnt find within the budget so focused on the Echo. At first i had the small block 1.3L Echo. I really wanted to run in round 1 but couldn’t find a sportivo so bought a base model Echo gumtree special for $800 one week out from the event. I then upgraded to the 1.5L for Round 2. Its so handy to drive around the inner city, it performs most daily driving duties now.

7) What is your favourite thing/feature about your Nugget?
It sports some 90’s Mazdaspeed tri spoke rims.

8) Funniest thing about your Nugget?
When my 65kg dog hops in the Nugget his butt hits the rear hatch and his head reaches the front seats (think Beethoven). With all that weight up high, he shifts the entire car from side to side when he moves… He also ate part of the rear seat.

9) A random fact about you?
My life is run via a spread sheet. Probably why i became a partner at an accounting firm.


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Nugget Nationals 2018 – Round 2, Haunted Hills

The Nuggets descended on Bryant Park for Round 2 on an unusually nice Winter day in Melbourne.

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It’s our second time running an event at this Hill Climb also known as “Haunted Hills” and it’s always an exciting event with very little margin for error.

This year we decided to change the format up and opted for the longest configuration of the track with a double loop at the bottom of the hill.

1st Place: 87.38
Driver: Mitch Gilmour
Nugget: 2003 Mitsubishi Mirage

As predicted in our last post, we knew Mitch would be one to watch this season. Mitch posted a stellar time and only just snatched first place off…

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2nd Place: 87.39
Driver: Iain “Never Lift” McCowan
Nugget: 1990 Honda Civic

Iain only just missed out on first place by .01!

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An amusing compilation of how tricky this track can be can be found on Iain’s youtube channel.

3rd Place: 88.22
Driver: Zac Edwards
Nugget: 2001 Mitsubishi Mirage

Fresh from Rally X @ Winton, Zac still had his eye and in managed to take 3rd place. Will this be year of the Mirage?

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4th Place: 88.90
Driver: Liam Murphy
Nugget:2001 Mitsubishi Mirage

Half a second behind Zac was Liam in the co-driver Techsport Mirage.

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5th Place: 90.57
Driver:
Christian Willer
Nugget:
1995 Nissan Micra

Having a kid hasn’t slowed Willer down.

Typical Skyline driver behavior. 😛

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6th Place: 91.47
Driver: Simon Landrigan
Nugget: 2006 Suzuki Swift

Due to a gearbox failure, Simon was an early exit out of Round 1, but with repairs completed managed to post a great time at Haunted Hills.

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7th Place: 91.56
Driver: Josh Gellatly
Nugget: 2003 Mitsubishi Mirage

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8th Place: 92.76
Driver: Matthew Doyle
Nugget: 1995 Mazda 121

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9th Place: 93.69
Driver: Shannon Swiderski
Nugget: 1996 Hyundai Excel

A new year and a new Excel for Shanon.

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10th Place: 94.44
Driver: Mark Van Der Veen
Nugget: 1995 Nissan Micra

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11th Place: 95.62
Driver: Trevor Pooley
Nugget: 1997 Nissan Micra

Another Silver Micra and new entry to the series. Welcome Trevor!

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12th Place: 95.93
Driver: Michael Stanbrough
Nugget: 2004 Holden Barina

Michael heard about our series and promptly purchased a $300 Barina to compete. It’s been a while since we’ve had a Barina in the series. Welcome Michael!

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13th Place: 98.28
Driver: Matthew James
Nugget: 1991 Toyota Paseo

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14th Place: 98.58
Driver: Kyle Wathen
Nugget: 2003 Toyota Echo Sportivo

Kyle entered Round 1 in a 1.3 litre base model Toyota Echo but soon realised that the 1.5 litre big block was Sportivo was the car of choice and promptly purchased one.

This is possibly the only car to ever look good on tri spoke wheels. 😉

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15h Place: 98.65
Driver: Stuart Chambers
Nugget: 2004 Mazda 2

Unfortunately a very enthusiastic burn out meant that Stuart had to retire early from the day. A big shout out to Ash and Ruan for helping Stuart get his Nugget back to Melbourne!

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16th Place: 99.91
Driver: Darren Case
Nugget: 2003 Honda Jazz

17th Place: 100.45
Driver: Jaron Farquhar
Nugget: 2003 Honda Jazz

The most commitment award goes to the Sky Blue Jazz!

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Full Results:

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Stay tuned to our Facebook Page for the next event!

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.

 

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!

KNOW YOUR NUGGET: Henry’s Echo

Meet the man who sold his Evo and bought 849 Echo’s instead!

1) Name – Henry Luong

2) Nugget car of choice – 2001 Toyota Echo Sportivo

3) Other cars – Evo 8MR & 7

4) How did you hear about Nugget nationals? – A brief discussion with Ying at 100mm Docklands during the beginning of 2014 facilitated and persuaded her decision into composing a small event we now know as Nugget nationals.

5) What made you want to join Nugget nationals? – It’s was (and still is) a cheap alternative to race with a nugget compared to racing with my Evo (less than half the cost I would normally spend per event, which means I can race twice as much and get more seat time!). I also wanted to improve my driving stills by driving a vehicle without ABS/AYC/ACD and any other 3 letter acronyms you can think of.

6) Why did you pick the car you have to be your Nugget vehicle of choice? – A sporty, small and ECHO-nomical (ha, see what I did there) car that could be my daily driver (air con was a must) that I could drive to work, do my errands in, park it anywhere I wanted without fearing it would get stolen and transform into a race car a few times a year.

7) What is your favourite thing/feature about your Nugget? – It has to be the Cusco front strut brace from the previous owner. Toyota Echos are known to pull some serious G’s in the corners along with its off the scale torque reading from the 1.5L VVTi engine; the strut brace helps the chassis from flexing and turning it into a raspberry twist.

8) Funniest thing about your Nugget – The mods cost as much as the car itself…

9) A random fact about you – I can cook two minute noodles in one minute and 59 seconds.

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KNOW YOUR NUGGET: Lance’s Civic

Long time track enthusiast Lance, has finally crossed over to the dark side and picked up a little Nugget of his own!

1) Name – Lance Lee

2) Nugget car of choice – 1994 (I think) Honda Civic Gli – SOHC 1.5 litres of carby goodness

3) Other cars – I normally track my 350z. But I do have past experience with other fwd cars such as an ae111 levin, ralliart colt, integra and ek civic.

4) How did you hear about Nugget nationals? – Most likely Ying or Mr Andy So

5) What made you want to join Nugget nationals? – All in the name of fun – plus I’ve always wanted to enter a race series!!!

6) Why did you pick the car you have to be your Nugget vehicle of choice? – I cant say I really picked this car to be my nugget of choice. The nugget actually belongs to my mate Matty, although he denies it is his for unknown reasons. It was rescued from his parents driveway early 2014 and I had gone to the trouble of getting the car roadied last year with the initial aim of it going to one of my cousins as a first car. Although this didn’t end up going to plan, in some ways it kind of did go to plan as now the car will serve a higher purpose!

7) What is your favourite thing/feature about your Nugget?
a) Viper alarm system with disconnected alarm (alarm had mind of its own)…
b) but it has REMOTE START which works when the cars warm (or it will crank forever)
c) engine doesn’t fire up unless you hit the gas pedal first. Which I think gives the car some extra character and reminds me of my old ra23 which used to do the same thing 🙂

8) Funniest thing about your Nugget – Hmmmm. rather than list the broken things…a short story: During the early hours of the night/morning the nugget now has work duties driving my dad to and from work. One time when he had finished work he was walking to the nugget and saw his workmates standing at the back of the car staring at the muffler looking confused. The car was trying to crank its engine for god knows how long. My dad must of knocked the remote start which turns out has a really good distance.

9) A random fact about you – Chocolate makes me sneeze

(Please note.. photo is a slight exaggeration of the condition of this nugget. It now has some sunburn/sun spots on many of its panels).

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