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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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!

[VIDEO] Nugget Nationals @ Winton Raceway

The wonderful folk at http://gripshiftslide.com/ attended our Winton track day last year and put together this awesome video for us!

Nugget Nationals from grip shift slide on Vimeo.

Round 3: Wakefield track day results

3rd November, 2014

After a night in (what felt like) the Antarctic, the first EXE / Nugget Nationals interstate track day was finally upon us!

With the Melbourne crew rolling 25 deep, we were joined by 15 of our friends from Sydney.

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As the Melbourne drivers went out to familiarise themselves with the track (some for the first time), a few were caught out in the trickier corners of the circuit.

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As a side serving, the Wakefield track day was also being used as our 3rd round of Nugget Nationals.

1:20.4 for Henry’s Echo.

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As much as some of us would’ve liked to have been driving our other cars at this day, there was no denying that Wakefield is possibly one of the best tracks for those behind the wheel of an underpowered sub 1500cc vehicle.

1:16.6 for Tom’s civic,

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1:25.2 for Jake’s 323.

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1:17.6 & 1:18.1 for the co driven Sirion of Viv and Millsy.

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In a very hotly contested battle between Ying and the Sirion boys, Ying came out victorious by the slightest of margins with a 1:17.2.

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Chris was also still out there smashing out some solid lap time in his nugget!

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1:16.0 in the little red Civic.

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Here are the final results as recorded via RaceChrono.

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As the day drew to an end, there were happy faces all around.

A big thank you to the rest of EXE crew for making this day possible. We’ve learned a few things (sorry about the timing) to bring back for our next track day here.

An additional shout out to the Nuggets Nat’s competitors that made the journey. Some of you guys left your actual track cars at home to bring them along so, thank you for your support!

Round 2: Winton track day results

12th October, 2014

As usual, we’re at the track bright and early for what was shaping out to be a scorcher of a day.

With the first track round of Nugget Nationals upon us, it was also a prime opportunity to size up the competition.

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Ying Bot’s nugget sporting some ghetto custom numberplates.

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The Nakama boys were out in full force with their aptly renamed team “Nugkama.”

These two K11’s were shared between several drivers on the day and bought a distinct Mexican flavour to the event.

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I’m not sure which one of the Nugkama Nuggets this was but 1:53 was their time to beat.

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Cain laying down a 1:56.

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2:08 for Andrew in the crowd favourite Mira.

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Despite the extreme heat, the Nuggets proved their reliability showed up in the dummy grid for every session.

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1:51 for Ying.

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Caught up in the excitement of hitting her PB for the day she overcooked it coming into turn one and ended up in the loving arms of the gravel trap.

Sideways and backwards.

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As the day wore on and the on track temperatures soared, the higher powered cars slowly decreased in numbers as they went into preservation mode.

The only constant was the unwavering onslaught of Nuggets that were seemingly unaffected by the 32 degree heat.

1:54 for the Neverlift Civic.

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Unfortunately Viv and Millsy were plagued with quite a few teething problems (like losing an entire brake pad on the track).

1:52 for the GTVI.

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Pulled out of retirement at the eleventh hour, Silas was back with Ahiru who had been sitting unloved on a lawn for the last few years.

After an early morning wheel bearing change, it was still good for a 1:52.

We suspect it would’ve gone a bit faster had he had time to clean the layer of mold that had grown over parts of the car. 😛

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Leading the nugget charge was Chris with a very respectable time of 1:46.

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As we were out driving or flagging for most of the day, we didn’t manage to get photos of all the entrants, but here are the results for the Nugget Nationals competitors as taken from Natsoft.

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All we wanted to do was share our love of little cars with people and hoped that others would see how much fun it would be to track cheap micro machines.

On Sunday when we looked out onto the track and saw Micra’s chasing Echo’s it felt as though someone had taken the picture straight out of my heads and projected it in real life.

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Thank you to all the entrants and EXE crew for making this possible!

Round 1: Dyno day results and point allocation

With the majority of the Nugget events being motorsport orientated, we decided to allocate points a little differently for our dyno round.

To assist the power challenged Nuggets, we’ve awarded points in reverse order.

This means that the Nuggets with the lowest kilowatts have been awarded the highest points for round 1!

Just a reminder that this is a driver’s challenge so where there are multiple drivers of one Nugget, each driver will be awarded the points individually to contribute towards their final end of season tally.

Click the image to enlarge.

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Points: 200
Power: 20.9kw
Entrant: Andrew
Nugget: Daihatsu Mira

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Points: 195
Power: 32.8kw
Entrant: Nugkama one
Nugget: Nissan Micra

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Points: 190
Power: 34.4kw
Entrant: Karl
Nugget: Toyota Corolla

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Points: 185
Power: 39.6kw
Entrant: Nugkama two
Nugget: Nissan Micra

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Points: 180
Power: 41.5
Entrant: Henry
Nugget: Toyota Echo

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Points: 175
Power: 42.0
Entrant: Mathew
Nugget: Honda Civic

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Points: 175
Power: 42.0
Entrant: Thomas
Nugget: Honda Civic

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Points: 170
Power: 45.7
Entrant: Team Roto Boti (Adam and Viv)
Nugget: Daihatsu Sirion GTVI

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Points: 165
Power: 47.2kw
Entrant: Team Neverlift (Seb, Iain and Ilhan)
Nugget: Honda Civic

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Points: 160
Power: 50kw (Dyno operator estimate)
Entrant: Gwyn
Nugget: Honda Civic Shuttle

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Points: 155
Power: 50.2
Entrant: Brendan
Nugget: Honda Civic

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Points: 150
Power: 52.4
Entrant: Chris
Nugget: Honda Civic

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Points: 145
Power: 52.6
Entrant: Ying
Nugget: Toyota Echo Sportivo

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Points: 140
Power: 56.7
Entrant: Daniel
Nugget: Suzuki Swift GTI

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