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 1, Winton Raceway

Welcome to a new year of Nugget Nationals!

There’s been a major shake up of the driving field this year with a lot of the familiar long term front runners taking a break from Nuggets to fix and drive their other broken track cars.

This leaves the field wide open for an exciting new line up and we’ve been very happy to see so many new drivers and vehicles join our series this year!

With a rainy start to Round 1, all drivers were happy to see the track dry up for the second half of the day at Winton Raceway.

1st Place: 1:48.19
Driver: Iain “Never Lift” McCowan
Nugget: 1990 Honda Civic

Having said this, first place honors went to return competitor Iain.

Iain’s persistence and resolve to “Never Lift” has seen major improvement from his first track day ever with us. His lap times have dropped every outing and is testimonty to the fact that driver mods and seat time will always be the best way to improve your lap times.

Well done Iain!

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2nd Place: 1:48.40
Driver: Mitch Gilmour
Nugget: 2003 Mitsubishi Mirage

New entry Mitch Gilmour can usually be found at Phillip Island in an Evo but he’s entered Nugget Nationals with a M-evo!

This “Mini Evo” or Mitsubishi “Shitage” will be co driven this year.

Mitch will definitely be one to look out for as the season in future rounds.

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3rd Place: 1:49.77
Driver: Josh Gellatly
Nugget: 2003 Mitsubishi Mirage

Josh is usually found driving a Subaru around the track but has gone over to the other side to see if the grass is greener on planet Mitsubishi.

It’s enough to net him 3rd place on his first drive of the co-shared Nugget!

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4th Place: 1:50.34
Driver: Liam Murphy
Nugget: 2001 Mitsubishi Mirage

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5th Place: 1:50.47
Driver: Matthew Doyle
Nugget: 1990 Honda Civic

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6th Place: 1:51.64
Driver: John Gordon
Nugget: 1995 Nissan Micra

Trekking all the day down from NSW, John sets a fantastic lap time on his first drive of the track in his K11 Micra.

Keen observers will note that this car is now on it’s 3rd owner and Nugget competitor. It’s great to see this workhorse showing up round after round even if it’s under different ownership!

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7th Place: 1:52.74
Driver: Jason Chuc
Nugget: 2000 Mitsubishi Mirage

A familiar face to EXE track days in a roulette wheel of different cars, Mr Chuc is trying his hand at Nugget life and enjoying the stock suspensions ability to eat up the ripple strips with very little consequence.

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8th Place: 1:52.78
Driver: Alex Button
Nugget: 1993 Suzuki Swift GTI

Practice pays off, Alex managed to take a full second off his previous PB!

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9th Place: 1:55.14
Driver: Lawrence Ho
Nugget: 2003 Honda Jazz

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10th Place: 1:55.75
Driver: Shannon Swiderski
Nugget: 1994 Hyundai Exel

A new slightly less smokey excel for Shannon this year.

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11th Place: 1:55.96
Driver: Andrew Mcgilvery
Nugget:1996 Nissan Micra

Usually in a rear wheel drive Nissan, McGillaz knowns the the front wheel drive ones are just as fun.

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12th Place: 1:56.49
Driver: Mark Van Der Veen
Nugget: 1995 Nissan Micra

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13th Place: 1:56.96
Driver: Vinnie Button
Nugget: 1997 Suzuki Swift GTI

In a super confusing move, Vinnie and his twin brother now BOTH drive Suzuki Swifts at Nugget Nationals.

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14th Place: 1:58.97
Driver: Jarrad Argoon
Nugget: 2003 Mitsubishi Mirage

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15th Place: 2:0059
Driver: Kyle Wathen
Nugget: 2003 Toyota Echo

Kyle’s first time at circuit driving is slightly different than the 300kw Commodore’s he’s used to! He still had an absolute blast in the “Small Block” 1.3 litre echo.

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16th Place: 2:01.76
Driver: Anthony Falckh
Nugget: 1991 Toyota Paseo

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17th Place: 2:03.56
Driver: Darren Case
Nugget: 2003 Honda Jazz

Another new entry and another co-joined Honda Jazz. Welcome to the series Darren!

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18th Place: 2:03.92
Driver: Matthew James
Nugget: 1991 Toyota Paseo

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19th Place: 2:06.29
Driver: Waruna Perera
Nugget: 2003 Honda Jazz VTI

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20th Place: 2:08.59
Driver: Sujith Srikantha
Nugget: 2003 Honda Jazz VTI

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21st Place: 2:09.42
Driver: Jaron Farquhar
Nugget: 2003 Honda Jazz VTI

Splitting the cost of a Nugget is an even more cost effective way to have a friendly competition among friends. Welcome to the series Jaron!

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22nd Place: 2:10:24
Driver: Matthew Janineh
Nugget: 1991 Toyota Paseo

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Full results:

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Nugget Nationals 2017 – Round 4, Winton Raceway

Our second event at Winton this year had us a bit nervous with the forecast for rain, but instead of rain, PB’s fell from the sky.

Persistence is paying off, with many of our return competitors dropping a second or more off their previous PB’s.

All photos are courtesty of Steur Imagery. A big shout out to Mel for documenting our day and full albums of all the cars in attendance can be found here and here.

The first Nugget of the day to go sub 1:46.0 and take the previous Nugget Nationals lap time set by Ying in her Echo last year was…

1st Place: 1:43.0
Driver: Thomas “TJB” Bullock
Nugget: 1989 Honda Civic

In a very clear first place was the Honed Civic beating it’s own previous PB of 1:46.6 set in Round 1, with a ridiculous lap time of 1:43.0.

He assures us there’s a 1:42 in this car.

2nd Place: 1:45.7
Driver: Viv Dilkes-Frayne
Nugget: 2001 Daihatsu Sirion GTVI

The next Nugget to crack the 1:46 barrier was Viv. With his usual co-driver Adam overseas, he was able to drive a slightly less thrashed Nugget around into the 45’s and, due to consistency and lap times in the previous events, is the current Nugget Nationals leader.

Anyone who has sat, driven or been near this car can tell you what an amazing feat this lap time is!

3rd Place: 1:46.7
Driver: Daniel Jon
Nugget: 1993 Honda Civic

A new PB for Daniel shaving .2 off his previous lap time. He’s getting much closer to the 45’s club too!

4th Place: 1:47.2
Driver: Zac Edwards
Nugget: 2003 Mitsubishi Mirage

Fresh from competing in the Winton Rally Cross event a week earlier, Zac proves he’s no slouch on or off the tarmac with a new PB of 1:47.

5th Place: 1:47.4
Driver: Iain McCowan
Nugget: 1990 Honda Civic

The Neverlift Nugget has been with us since the start and we’re stoked to see this car continue to PB in the hands of Iain.

6th Place: 1:48.2
Driver: Liam Murphy
Nugget: 2003 Mitsubishi Mirage

As the second driver of the Silver Bullet, Liam also secured himself a new PB on the day.

7th Place: 1:51.0
Driver: Tommy Chan
Nugget: 1995 Toyota Paseo

We weren’t kidding when we said it was raining PB’s. With a new set of tyres, Tommy managed to secure himself a 1:51.

8th Place: 1:53.4
Driver: Eddie Costa
Nugget: 2006 Mitsubishi Colt

On loan from the collection of Breitkruez, Eddie tries his hand at a Mitsubishi that isn’t an Evo.

9th Place: 1:53.8
Driver: Alex Botton
Nugget: 1993 Suzuki Swift GTI

Yet another PB for Nugget Nationals only Suzuki competitor!

10th Place: 1:54.1
Driver: Mark Van Der Veen
Nugget: 1995 Nissa Micra

We first met Mark at our Round 2 event at Haunted Hills, and he’s completed his maiden voyage of Winton with us at Round 4. A great lap time of 1:54 for his first time at this track!

11th Place: 1:54.2
Driver: Stuart Chambers
Nugget: 1998 Mitsubishi Mirage

A familiar face, and a slightly familiar car. Stuart is back competing in Nugget Nationals with his 2nd Mirage.

Second time proved to be a charm as his lilac Mirage beat his old white one by a full second!

12th Place: 1:55.2
Driver: Thomas Loo
Nugget: 2003 Honda Jazz VTI

Now he owns 2 of them, I think we can officially call Thomas a “Honda Enthusiast!” #2SNJNR.

13th Place: 1:55.3
Driver: Shannon Swiderski
Nugget: 1994 Hyundai Excel

The smokiest Nugget from our Dyno Day lives to fight another day and drove back on to the trailer at the end of the event with a new PB!

14th Place: 1:57.9
Driver: Mathew Breitkruez
Nugget: 2006 Mitsubishi Colt

Mat’s been to our track days before, albeit in a substantially different car. To quote the man when asked about the Colt: “It’s almost more fun than the Supra.”

You might not believe it, but we here at NugNats know there’s a lot of truth to that statement!

15th Place: 1:58.7
Driver: Lawrence Ho
Nugget: 2003 Honda Jazz VTI

Same same but different. A new Jazzy Nugget for Lawrence at this event and we hear he’ll be competing at the upcoming H Nationals event too!

16th Place: 1:58.5
Driver: Matthew Janineh
Nugget: 1991 Toyota Paseo

17th Place: 1:58.7
Driver: Matthew James
Nugget: 1991 Toyota Paseo

3 brand new attendees to track day, brothers Matthew F. and Anthony F. battled it out for their parents love in the triple driven Paseo but were ultimately trumped by their friend Matthew. J.

It’s great to see friends and family sharing the cost of a Nugget that was subjected to 3 times the abuse and still drove home with no issues! This is the essence of Nugget life.

18th Place: 1:58.9
Driver: Vinnie Botton
Nugget: 1997 Nissa Micra

Return competitor Vinnie was back and managed to smash his previous PB by several seconds cracking the 2 min barrier!

19th Place: 1:59.6
Driver: Sujith Srikantha
Nugget: 2003 Honda Jazz VTI

It’s great to see new faces and first time track goer’s join our series. Welcome Sujith!

20th Place: 1:59.7
Driver: Anthony Falckh
Nugget: 1991 Toyota Paseo

Another first time track goer and second off his older brother, we hope this develops into a fierce brotherly rivalry in the next events!

We’ll be announcing our next event on our Facebook page in the upcoming weeks so stay tuned!

 

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. 

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!