Nugget Nationals 2016 – Round 3, Winton Raceway

With some lovely Spring weather upon us, the top running Nugget competitors we’re hoping to improve their previous lap times in the 48’s and knock out some 47’s.

As I was without a camera this track day, I’ve had to rely on others for the contents of this blog so big thanks to A very clever titleSteur Imagery  and Raamenzoku for the pictures used in today’s post.

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Much to our surprise, the times tumbled and the track gods were smiling on us with Winton Raceway in prime condition.  This allowed our under powered cars to punch well above their weight and shock some of the non Nuggets running on the day.

In the most hotly contested battle of the series, Adam went out and showed the Echo drivers he meant business by setting a 1:46.7 early in the day.

With Henry and Ying trading spots as fastest Echo all day, it was only in the last proper session that she ripped a number of 46’s and finally ended the day with a time that annoyed the hell out of Henry and Adam.

1st Place: 1:46.0
Driver: Ying “Sandbagger” Bot
Nugget: 2002 Toyota Echo Sportivo

Never in our wildest dreams did we think we’d be doing 46’s in our Nuggets but with three of us finishing in this bracket, it really just goes to show what you can do with not a whole lot of car.

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Her Racechrono showed an optimal of 1:45.3, and the race is now on to see who will be the first Nugget into the 45’s next time!

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Her PB video here:

2nd Place: 1:46.3
Driver: Adam “Millsy” Mills
Nugget: 2001 Daihatsu Sirion Red

For those of you who have never sat or driven a Sirion, this is a truly awful car. It’s a testament to Millsy’s driving ability that he managed to keep the big block Echo’s honest and do this lap time with paltry 45kw.

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3rd Place: 1:46.6
Driver: Henry “I’m pretending I don’t own an Evo” Luong
Nugget: 2002 Toyota Echo Sandy

Ying’s arch nemesis Henry hasn’t competed this season as he’s been pretending to work on his other track car, but the track bug was too strong to ignore.

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He was back for Round 3 in Sandy the Sportivo. The best thing is there was no prep to do. Straight from daily driving duties and into the 46’s at Winton like it ain’t no thang.

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4th Place: 1:49.2
Driver: “Human” Perry Tien
Nugget: 2004 Mazda 2 Blue

Perry impressed us all in his Demio as he was able to crack into the 40’s at his first (long) track day at Winton. This is going to be a car “2” watch in the future.

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5th Place: 1:50.4910
Driver: Liam Murphy
Nugget: 2003 Mitsubishi Mirage Silver

Liam’s getting close to the forties club with his lap time. You’ll noticed I posted this time into the hundredths because not far behind him was…

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6th Place: 1:50.4950
Driver: Hayden Ryan
Nugget: 1998 Toyota Starlet Blue

After replacing several worn components of his 300km+ EP91, the fruits of his labour has paid off with Hayden smashing his old PB by several seconds. He also made his local footy finals so he was pretty chuffed all weekend!

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7th Place: 1:52.3
Driver: Harry Toumbos
Nugget: 2004 Holden Barina

The PB train kept rolling through with the only Holden at the track claiming a new PB for it’s owner, Harry.

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8th Place: 1:53.1
Driver: Douglas Eves
Nugget: 2001 Toyota Echo Blue

The triple entered small block Echo had a mammoth task ahead of it to survive being driven in 3 different sessions and delivered a new PB for Doug.

9th Place: 1:54.2
Driver: Matthew Doyle
Nugget: 1995 Mazda 121 Black/White

The most kawaii nugget on the day also delivered a new PB for Matt.

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10th Place: 1:54.8
Driver: David Donnoli
Nugget: 2001 Toyota Echo Blue

11th Place: 1:55.1
Driver: James Donnoli
Nugget: 2001 Toyota Echo Blue

More PB’s for a Nugget that was entered 3 times and picked up for a initial purchase price of $150. Well done to the Donnoli brothers on their PB’s.

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12th Place: 1:55.7
Driver: Tommy Chan
Nugget: 1995 Toyota Paseo

A car I have long hoped to see at Nugget Nationals, Tommy has recently purchased very clean series 2 Paseo.

Unfortunately no photos of this green machine but it was completely stock and set a great base time for the 5efe powered car.

13th Place: 1:57.5
Driver: Paride Palmeri
Nugget: 2003 Toyota Echo Beige

Paride was back with even louder livery in his mum’s old car!

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14th Place: 1:58.7
Driver: Nathan Au
Nugget: 2004 Toyota Echo Blue

Easily the most immaculately presented Nugget on the day, Nathan was rocking some sweet Wedsports and completed his first track event ever!

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15th Place: 2:00.3
Driver: Thomas Loo
Nugget: 2004 Honda Jazz

16th Place: 2:00.9
Driver: Lawrence Ho
Nugget: 2004 Honda Jazz

Thomas and Lawrence also were out and popped their track cherry in our series first Honda Jazz.

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We couldn’t be more proud of this field, not only for the lap times that are being put down but simply for being out there and having fun in cars which aren’t typically associated with being tracked.

As always big thank you to EXE crew for everything this weekend.

Hope to see you all for Round 4 @ Wakefield Park!

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.