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!

2015 Nugget Nationals Round 2: Motorkhana

Early on Sunday morning we gathered the Nugget competitors for the second round of Nugget Nationals. This event would mark the first time the Nuggets had come together for a motorkhana event!

Ying's top cooking tip: If you tie bread bags to your cage it won't get squished in transit!

Ying’s top cooking tip: If you tie bread bags to your cage it won’t get squished in transit!

It was our first attempt at drawing up motorkhana maps and in true Nugget style, we made sure there was a sense of humour to the courses.

Super efficient Ying had printed out enough copies for all the competitors.
Super idiotic Ying, then left all those maps at home.

Sorry guys. 😦

Lucky I still had the map we had scribbled the measurements on from the day before.

Lucky I still had the map we had scribbled the measurements on from the day before.

A big thanks to Johnny, Brett and Grant for some of the awesome photos I have used in this blog post. 

Without much notice, we asked Kam to help us with the drivers briefing that morning. We’ve done this heaps of times before and we’re a professional and well oiled machine by now.

You couldn’t even tell we hadn’t prepared.

"So the track is about...that big."

“So the track is about…that big.”

"And you just kind of twirl around it."

“And you just kind of twirl around it.”

It was now Kam’s turn to run through the penalty system, which despite having been sent out a few weeks in advance, was the first time he had read them.

"If you hit a cone, it's a 5 second penalty. If you go the wrong direction it's....A SIXTY SECOND PENALTY?!? Well you guys are all fucked."

“If you hit a cone, it’s a 5 second penalty.
If you go the wrong direction it’s….A SIXTY SECOND PENALTY?!? Well, you guys are all fucked.”

TJB is always less than impressed with our shenanigans.

While others expect to open warehouse doors to Ferrari’s and Lamborghini’s, this is what I’d much rather see.

All 3 members of team never lift.

Nugget competitors are the best.

Nugget competitors are the best.

Napo: The only competitor to wrong direction before the event even began.

Stuart and Brendan discuss how they didn’t’ have to do anything to get their cars “khana ready.”

Starlet Sandwich!

No your eyes are not deceiving you.

That’s Jace putting his 4×100 Star Sharks (previously seen on his MX5) on to his 121.

Hnnng. One day I will own a set.

Hnnng. One day I will own a set.

We also invited some of our non Nugget friends along to enjoy the day with us.

With the event under way, the competitors did whatever it took to remember the maps.

Lance preferred a more traditional method.

We must move forward, not backward. Upward, not forward and always twirling, twirling, twirling towards freedom.

Dan utilised his phone holder.

Dan utilised his phone holder.

While Johnny preferred to air drive the course.

While Johnny preferred to air drive the course.

After witnessing an expert run from Zac. The other competitors knew who the one to beat was.

Why so serious?

Why so serious?

In order of finish:

1st place:  2003 Mitsubishi Mirage

Zac regularly competes in Motorkhana events and his experience showed on the day.

2nd place: 2001 Daihatsu Sirion GTVi

Our resident rally champion Viv also showed that he’s no slouch around some witches cones either!

3rd place: 2009 Audi TT RS

A man who is never short of confidence, Kam declared before every run that he was going to win.

4th place: 2001 Toyota Echo Sportivo

Sandy.

Sandy’s owner Henry knows how to work his best angle with a cheeky booty pop.

That Hansel, he's so hot right now.

That Hansel, he’s so hot right now.

5th Place: 1992 Honda Civic ED 6

Iain who spent the entire day with a massive smile on his face.

 6th Place: 1995 Honda Civic EG

Napo is better at steering than he is at cooking sausages.

7th place: 2002 Toyota Echo Sportivo

60 second penalty for me because Ying because she went in the wrong direction on her own map.

You could say that the William course was really hard. (Teehee)

Nugget Gnome strikes again.

8th place: 2003 Mitsubishi Mirage

Liam in the Techsport Mitsi.

9th place: 1995 Honda Civic GLi

A good result for Brendan’s first attempt at Motorkhana.

10th place: 1992 Honda Civic ED 6

Ilhan was captured in this awesome photo by gripshiftslide.com photographer Grant.

11th place: 2015 Audi quattro

Much to our amusement, Josh opted to use his launch control out of the start box.

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12th place: 1998 Toyota Starlet Life

Doing Starlet life proud. Hayden in his EP91.

13th place: 1991 Nissan Micra

Peter had flown down from Brisbane to get his fix of Nugkhana. He had also managed to convince the ever gullible Napo that the K11 was fitted with a 4 pedal foot brake system.

14th place: 1992 Honda Civic ED 6

Om nom nom nom. Seb eating cones with the ED.

15th place: 1996 Nissan Skyline R33 GTS-T

Dan Leet – The driver.

Dan Leet – The Barista.

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16th place: 1995 Mazda 121 Bubble

Nugget 5-0 with Officer Doyle.

17th place: 1999 Honda S2000

Peter struggled with his wipers turning on during every run!

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18th place: 2007 Volkswagen Golf GTI

Jally drove AND helped me with admin AND entered in the timing results for us all day!

The excel wizard and the one who makes sure I don't completely botch all the paperwork up.

Excel wizard and the one who makes sure I don’t completely botch all the paperwork up.

19th place: 1996 Nissan Skyline GTST

It’s hard to tell Hann’s 33 apart from Dan’s.

20th place: 1990 Mazda MX5 Roadster

J. Blaze was too busy being a boss both on and off track to care about where he placed.

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21st place: 1988 Toyota Mark II

Charlie didn’t like my maps haha.

But he still took first place honours for best interior.

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22nd place: 1991 Nissan Micra

Along with his co-driver Peter, Jason pulled off some of the funniest runs of the day with one person steering while the other pulled the hand brake.

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23rd place: 2003 Mitsubishi Mirage

Unfortunately Stuarts track Nug couldn’t make it, but luckily he also had a back up daily Nug!

24th place: 2001 Mazda 121 Shades

Jace earned his B licence today and also had the best window banner I’ve ever seen.

25th place: 1998 Toyota Starlet Life

We we’re the only ones concerned that Acey was going to flip his bog stock Starlet. He clearly wasn’t worried as the car was so quiet we could hear him laughing from the other side of the skid pan.

26th place: 1993 Honda Civic EG GL

“My car stalls everytime it gets too much sideways” – Lance.

27th place: 2003 Nissan 350Z Touring

Jia had the most awful sounding tyres of the day, but made up for it with this.

28th place: 1996 Nissan 180sx Type X

Previous Nugget entrant Andrew was back but this time in his new 180sx. Everyone was impressed with Andrew’s driving, even if he made a very loose attempt at completing the maps.

“Do I get extra points for stopping in the box side ways?”
“No, but you do get an extra 20 second penalty for hitting 4 cones on your way in!”

A big thank you to all those who came down to compete in our first attempt at a NugKhana. We hope you enjoyed the courses but let us know your feedback if you think we can improve on anything!

Today’s field of drivers were some of the best we’ve seen with everyone organising themselves and many of the field chipping in to help. Whether it was making coffees, marshalling, helping to cook, picking up cones, cleaning up or taking photos, you all played your part.

Thank you for making it a great day out!

Special thanks to Darrin for his support of our series and motor sport in Victoria and also to the amazing Nugget committee (Thomas, Kam, Daniel, Jally, Henry, Ying) who put in extra hours prior to the event to make sure the day ran smoothly.

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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.

EXE and Nugget Nationals: End of year BBQ 2014

6th December, 2014

With our track days for the year done and dusted, we thought it would be a good time to get the crew together to reflect on the year that was.

Naturally, we took the two biggest cars to go collect supplies.

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Some of the nugget competitors were out and about today in their other cars, including Ying’s Starlet GT.

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Some people cook with gas, Tom cooks with beer.

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We purchased lots of Pork in the morning. 😉

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Kam and Justin celebrate the fact that none of their Porsches caught on fire this year.

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No table? Kam has a wheely good idea on how to rectify the problem.

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We are totally stoked that we finally have a 121 bubble car that will be competing in Nugget Nationals in 2015!

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New and old Nugget competitors discuss the upcoming season.

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Henry left his echo at home and arrived in his Evo instead.

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Napo’s new Nugget has it’s heater permanently stuck in the ‘ON’ position. This is particularly funny as his AC doesn’t work and we’re coming into the hot Summer months.

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“So the heater always being ‘ON’ is basically like having a dual core radiator.”

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Heathcliffe the Civic was sporting a new ride height.

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Apparently it’s not low enough until your mud flaps are scraping on the ground.

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We think JP went to almost every track day available this year. This is how realiable Toyota motors should be.

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Dan’s burger socks were appropriate for this day.

Who am I kidding? Burger socks are appropriate EVERY day.

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Pete’s s2k sans wing.

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“Just drive the car in Ash, there’s plenty of space in the car park.”

*SCRAPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPEEEEE*

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Vincenzo’s Lotus always gets plenty of love.

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Chris Nugget had recently come back from an off road camping expedition where it doubled as his hotel.

Ahh Nugget cars, is there anything you can’t do?

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I find it hilarious that Andrew has the tiniest car in Nugget Nats (Mira) and also one of the largest cars here (GS300).

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On a scale of 1 to Napo, how happy are you right now?

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Cheat day for everyone.

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Silas is back!

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Food coma’s all around.

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Thanks to Kam for hosting us and to everyone that came along to chew the fat.

Stay tuned for more details on Nugget Nationals 2015!