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 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

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 1: Winton

On the 21st of March Nugget Nationals competitors new and old converged upon Winton Raceway to start the 2015 season.

Drivers briefing was completed and we were faced with a prime race track.

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Ying’s Toyota Echo waits patiently to hit the track.

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With many of the usual Nugget competitors away overseas or interstate, we invited all EXE crew and our friends a long to the party with us.

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Before helmet hair kicked in, we’re all looking fresh as in our suave new Nugget Nationals t-shirts printed at the last minute by our friends at JS Creations.

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The Nuggets of group A were ready to battle.

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Will had made the long trip from NSW the night before to pop his track cherry in his Civic.

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Angelo was also here in his newly purchased Starlet after a 5 year hiatus from Winton despite having a wedding to attend that day.

Not quite the same drive as the last time he was here in 2009 with his Evo VIII MR!

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Speaking of Evo’s, the guys from Techsport were also here to lend their support to the series in the first Mirage entry to Nugget Nationals.

After having a chat to Zac, he mentioned that this drive was a bit different to the other Mirage he has which has an Evo engine and drive train.

About 20 seconds in lap time worth of difference but who’s counting?

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I can’t help but think Mr Eiji Toyoda would be proud seeing two Toyota’s from opposite ends of the spectrum rolling off the track together.

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Hayden was feeling right at home amongst the other nuggets in his “BLUTRD.” So comfortable that he dropped a few seconds off his previous PB!

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Is that the Japanese 5-0? Oh wait, it’s just Matt and Jess here with their bubble cop car.

Being the good son that he is, Matt also took his mum out for a very enjoyable passenger lap too!

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There were plenty of photographers out on the day, but perhaps only one shooting with film.

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A friendly rival had developed between Ying and Henry who were both competing in Toyota Echo’s.

After being chopped by Ying’s Sportivo in his 1.3 last year, he went out and bought a Sportivo to up the stakes.

In the middle of the day both drivers were sitting at the exact same 1:50.4 until Henry finally surged ahead with a 1:49.57 compared to her 1:50.02.

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Seb was here representing team Neverlift.

As his team mates weren’t able to make it for this round he had plenty of track time to himself, and knocked 3 seconds off his previous PB!

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Sir Lancealot is no stranger to the track, but was here for his first Nugget round in the little red EG.

Suffering from some extreme brake fade, it’ll be great to see him in the pointy end of the Nuggets field when he returns to battle Napo (who was unable to attend this round) in his white EG.

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Taking a break from rotary life and embracing Nugget life.

Welcome to a world of reliability Dwight!

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Prior to the track day Winton had advised us that there would be a bus load of local community leaders coming through on a tour.

Imagine our amusement when the bus hit the track!

In case anyone was wondering, it does a 7 minute lap time.

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Honorary Nuggets were littered through out the field.

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Another New South Welshman in the pits. Unfortunately Breno snapped his shifter cable later in the day but managed to get it moving again thanks to nice guy Aiks!

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At the end of the day, the track gods smiled upon us with almost the entire field finishing with new personal bests and smiles all around.

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A massive thank you as always:

  • To the Nugget Co-Organisers Tom, Ying and Jally.
  • The boys and girls of EXE crew (some of who made the trip to help despite not actually driving on the track) for your support.
  • All the attendees for the friendships new and old, the laughs and for your passion for motorsport.

It’s the reason why we can keep doing what we do!

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Peace and PB’s to you all.

KNOW YOUR NUGGET: Zac’s Mirage

KNOW YOUR NUGGET:

Zac​ from Techsport stops by to talk about the rare and previously undocumented Tommi Mak Edition Nugget! #TMENUG

1) Name – Zac Edwards

2) Nugget car of choice – The Silver Bullet (2003 Mitsubishi Marage)

3) Other cars – Peugeot’s: 403 rally car, 404 ute, 504, 405MI16,
Mitsubishi’s: Triton, Lancer coupe(1.5 turbo) and some other projects…….

4) How did you hear about Nugget nationals? – A liked Facebook post

5) What made you want to join Nugget nationals? Because cheap Motorsport is the best fun!

6) Why did you pick the car you have to be your Nugget vehicle of choice? There was to many in the back yard at work.

7) What is your favourite thing/feature about your Nugget? The fact that it only cost $250!!!

8) Funniest thing about your Nugget? The driver’s seat that came from a burnt out EVO VI.

9) A random fact about you? – I once patted a pink dolphin.

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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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