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 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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