Nugget Nationals 2018 – Round 4, Winton Raceway

We could not have asked for a more perfect Spring day for Round 4 of Nugget Nationals.

With the gates opening at 7:30am it was great to see a lot of competitors there bright and early to prepare for a day full of PB’s.

No PB was more impressive than the man that took first place on the day.

1st Place: 1:46.7
Driver: Iain “Never Lift” McCowan
Nugget: 1990 Honda Civic

Iain obliterated his previous laptime of 1:48.1 with a stonking new PB. Iain’s entry at every Nugget Nationals event proves that seat time pays off and it’s great to have seen him progress throughout the years. A truly well deserved PB!

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Photo: Sarah C

2nd Place: 1:47.3
Driver: Ying Bot
Nugget: 2002 Toyota Echo

It’s been a while since we’ve seen Ying’s Echo out and track and she’s a little far off the pace of her previous PB of 1:46.0 however, her lap time on the day was enough to grab a second place finish.

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Photo: Sarah C

3rd Place: 1:49.5
Driver: Mitch Gilmour
Nugget: 2003 Mitsubishi Mirage

As one of the front runners of the championship, Mitch was also able to secure a third place finish and a new PB in the Mitsubishi Shitage.

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Photo: Gil C

4th Place: 1:49.8
Driver: Josh Gellatly
Nugget: 2001 Mitsubishi Mirage

The double driven Mitsu proved to be a PB Machine on the day with Josh cracking into the 40’s club for the first time!

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Photo: Sarha C

5th Place: 1:49.8
Driver: Hayden Ryan
Nugget: 1997 Toyota Starlet

Another competitor who has been recently absent from the track is Hayden. He’s returned in fine form with a smashing new PB. Another Nugget into the 40’s!

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Photo: Sarah C

6th Place: 1:50.0
Driver: Michael Stanbrough
Nugget: 2002 Holden Barina

We first met Michael at Haunted Hills earlier this year, where he’d picked up a $500 Barina. As with most competitors, once you have a taste of Nuggets, there’s really no going back. For Mike, it meant purchasing an old competitor car which conveniently happened to be a Barina too.

This is Mike’s first time at a Winton and if his time is anything to go by, he’ll be a strong contender in the future!

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Photo: Gil C

7th Place: 1:52.8
Driver: Glenn Samson
Nugget: 1998 Toyota Starlet

If there was an award for the coolest looking car on the day, it would surely go to Glenn. His little retro inspired EP91 was a magnificent sight to behold (and this sentiment is not at all biased by the person currently writing this blog post).

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8th Place: 1:52.9
Driver: Sebastian Quirit
Nugget: 2003 Honda Jazz

Previous co-owner of the Neverlift Nugget, couldn’t stay out of the game for too long. After only being back in Australia for a day, Seb was out in Neverlift #2.

He’s set himself a fantastic lap time for him to benchmark himself against when the future modifications and track days come around.

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Photo: Gil C

9th Place: 1:53.6
Driver: Mark Van Der Veen
Nugget: 1995 Nissan Micra

With an unfortunately early retirement due to mechanical issues, Mark still managed to smash his previous PB by 2 seconds. We’d say that’s worth cooking a motor for!

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10th Place: 1:53.9
Driver: Matthew James
Nugget: 1991 Toyota Paseo

And the PB train kept rolling through with a new PB in the sport mini Supra for Matt!

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Photo: Gil C

11th Place: 1:54.2
Driver: Trevor Pooley
Nugget: 1997 Nissan Micra

With ten years in between track days at Winton, Trevor blew off the cobwebs with a very respectable 1:54 in the K11.

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12th Place: 1:54.7
Driver: Anthony Falckh
Nugget: 1991 Toyota Paseo

The double driven Paseo got a work out and bestowed PB’s upon all that got behind the wheel. A new fastest lap time for Anthony to add to the family album.

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13th Place: 1:54.0
Driver: Kyle Wathen
Nugget: 2003 Toyota Echo

Dancing the big block Echo through the S bend in spectacular fashion, Kyle is throughly enjoying his upgrade from his previous small block 1.3 litre Echo and took a good 6 seconds off his previous lap time.

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Photo: Gil C

14th Place: 2:07.8
Driver: Mick Samson
Nugget: 1998 Toyota Starlet

Our final co-driven car of the day was Glenn’s dad Mick. We cannot stress how utterly cool it is to bring your parents to a track day and get them behind the wheel. Well done Mick!

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Photo: Gil C

Full results:

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We have final points round before we close up the season for 2018. Stay tuned to Facebook for more details!

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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.


Nugget Nationals 2017 – Round 3, Dyno Day

Round 3 of Nugget Nationals again saw our fleet of under powered vehicles congregate at Weltmeister Eastside.

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 3!

1st place: 47.0kw
Driver: Mark Van Der Veen
Nugget: 1995 Nissan Micra

2nd place: 48.6kw
Driver: Liam Murphy/Zac Edwards
Nugget: 2001 Mitsubishi Mirage

3rd place: 49.8kw
Driver: Shannon Swiderski
Nugget: 1994 Hyundai Excel

4th place: 50.7kw
Driver: Tommy Chan
Nugget: 1995 Toyota Paseo

5th place: 51.3kw
Driver: Viv Dilkes-Frayne/Adam Mills
Nugget: 2000 Daihatsu Sirion

6th place: 61.6kw
Driver: Thomas Loo/Lawrence Ho
Nugget: 2003 Honda Jazz

A full photo album of all the cars in attendance can be found over at the Nugget Nationals 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: Cain’s Mirca

One of the more popular models in NugNats is the humble K11 Micra.

Here’s a spotlight on Whio the Blue Micra, who has managed to persuade his owner into coming back out on to the track!

1) Name: Cain Tepania

2) Nugget car of choice: Nissan K11 Micra named “Whio”

3) Previous Cars: Mazda MPS3, Mazda 323 Wagon

4) How did you hear about Nugget nationals? EXE

5) What made you want to join Nugget nationals? Only way I was getting back to the track quickly

6) Why did you pick the car you have to be your Nugget vehicle of choice? It’s my daily, so ideally I can’t destroy it as then I’ll have to catch PT into the city.

7) What is your favourite thing/feature about your Nugget? Recently found the low fuel light works, its the small things.

8) A random fact about you? I don’t eat plankton

9) Funniest thing about your Nugget? Probably me sitting in it

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