The Evolution of Burnout Competitions in Australia

Discover the exhilarating realm of Australian burnout competitions. Uncover the cultural significance, technological advancements, and the unmatched passion of drivers. Experience the power, precision, and showmanship that make these events an unforgettable spectacle.

Akin to the thunderous clap of a didgeridoo or the majestic sight of a kangaroo bounding across the sun-baked outback, the spectacle of burnout competitions is an unmissable part of the Australian cultural tapestry. For the uninitiated, this may appear to be a raw, riotous display of hoon culture. But in truth, it's far more than that.

Burnout competitions are deeply entwined within the nation's motoring culture, capturing the hearts of automotive enthusiasts across the Great Southern Land. From the dense urban landscapes of Sydney to the rugged terrains of the Outback, these high-octane displays of power and precision underscore the Australians' zest for life and their unyielding spirit.

So, why has this smoky spectacle captured the Aussie imagination? And what's the significance of burnout competitions in Australia's diverse culture?

The Essence of Burnout Competitions

Burnout competitions, with their roaring engines, screeching tyres, and billowing clouds of smoke, are the ultimate expression of automotive power and control. To the unacquainted observer, they may seem like a cacophony of noise and a maelstrom of smoke. But for the seasoned enthusiast, they represent a ballet of precision, a symphony of sounds, and a masterclass in vehicular control.

In essence, a burnout competition involves driving a vehicle in such a way that it spins its tyres while remaining stationary or moving minimally. This creates an immense amount of friction, causing the tyres to heat up, smoke and eventually disintegrate, all while the vehicle performs an intricate dance of spins and doughnuts. It's a precarious high-wire act of pushing a car to its limits while maintaining precise control.

The art of the perfect burnout is a combination of several factors. The vehicle, often modified or custom-built, must be fitted with a powerful engine capable of generating enough torque to spin the tyres against the resistance of the tarmac. The tyres must be able to withstand the immense heat and friction created by the spinning action, and the driver must possess the skill to manage the throttle, brake and steering wheel to control the car's movements.

Moreover, the competitors are not merely engaged in a show of mechanical prowess. They are also performers, playing to a crowd of spectators who appreciate the skill, danger, and daring required to execute a perfect burnout. Each puff of smoke, each rev of the engine, and each controlled spin is a nod to the spectators, acknowledging their appreciation and stoking their excitement.

But the appeal of burnout competitions extends beyond the mechanical and the performative aspects. It's about the thrill of competition, the camaraderie among participants, and the shared love of high-octane automotive displays. It's a celebration of Aussie car culture, an echo of the nation's love for motoring and a testament to the adventurous Australian spirit.

From the choice of vehicle and its customisation, the mastery over the controls, to the theatrics on the tarmac, every aspect of a burnout competition reflects the participants' passion and commitment to the sport. It's an exhilarating display of engineering, skill, and showmanship that captivates audiences and participants alike, making burnout competitions an essential component of Australia's vibrant motoring scene.

The Cultural Impact of Burnout Competitions in Australia

In the grand tapestry of Australian culture, the spectacle of burnout competitions has found its unique place. Born out of the nation's love for motoring, this high-octane sport has gradually intertwined itself into the social fabric of Australia, impacting not just the car culture but also the wider societal norms and behaviours.

Historically, burnout competitions were often misunderstood and dismissed as acts of hooliganism or reckless street behaviour. However, over the decades, the sport has evolved and matured, gaining national recognition and fostering a dedicated community of passionate automotive enthusiasts.

Burnout competitions have indeed become a significant part of Australian culture, with their impact felt far beyond the confines of race tracks and car festivals. They have served as a cultural connector, uniting people from diverse backgrounds and age groups under a shared passion for automotive thrill and spectacle. 

From the big cities to small country towns, these events provide a platform for the community to come together, bridging socio-economic and generational gaps. The camaraderie forged over shared experiences, the friendships built around common interests, and the sense of belonging to a community all contribute to the cultural resonance of these events.

The sport also encourages creativity and ingenuity. Many competitors take pride in modifying their cars, pushing the boundaries of automotive technology, and challenging the norms of what vehicles can do. These modifications aren't merely cosmetic but are often innovative engineering solutions, thus fuelling a culture of invention and technical mastery within the community.

Burnout competitions, much like other popular Australian pastimes such as rugby or cricket, have become a medium through which Australians express their national identity. They reflect Australians' adventurous spirit, their love for thrills and their technical ingenuity, thereby encapsulating the nation's distinctive character traits.

Through their promotion of community, their celebration of automotive passion, and their contribution to the evolving Australian identity, burnout competitions have truly left an indelible mark on the country's cultural landscape.

A Dive into the Mechanics of Burnout Competitions

The adrenaline-fueled world of burnout competitions is underpinned by a deep understanding of automotive mechanics and engineering principles. Beneath the smoke, noise, and bravado, there is a harmonious blend of technology, physics, and human skill at work.

At its most fundamental level, a burnout is achieved when a driver uses their vehicle's power to spin its wheels while keeping the vehicle mostly stationary. This intense spinning causes the tyres to heat up due to friction against the tarmac, generating plumes of smoke as the rubber begins to disintegrate.

However, executing a successful burnout that captivates audiences requires much more than raw power. It necessitates a keen understanding of your vehicle, masterful control, and a strategic approach.

Vehicles and Modifications

Vehicles used in burnout competitions often undergo extensive modifications to meet the sport's intense demands. A powerful engine is a prerequisite for generating the torque necessary to spin the wheels against the frictional forces of the tarmac. Therefore, competitors often use vehicles fitted with supercharged or turbocharged engines capable of producing high power output.

Car modifications also extend to the choice of tyres, which need to withstand the extreme heat generated by the spinning action. Specific types of tyres are favoured in the burnout community for their ability to produce substantial amounts of smoke while maintaining structural integrity for as long as possible during the performance.

The Role of the Driver

In the thrilling world of burnout competitions, it is the driver who holds the reins of power, control, and showmanship. Behind the wheel, they are the maestros of the symphony of smoke, noise, and precision. The driver's role in a burnout competition is paramount, as they navigate the fine line between raw power and meticulous control, captivating audiences and leaving a lasting impression.

The Art of Vehicle Control

At the heart of every mesmerising burnout performance is the driver's mastery over the controls of their vehicle. They possess an intimate understanding of their machine's capabilities, harnessing its power and torque to generate the captivating display that defines burnouts. Through their skillful manipulation of the throttle, brake, and steering wheel, drivers dictate the intensity, duration, and direction of the burnout, ensuring a perfectly choreographed spectacle.

Navigating the Limits

Executing a successful burnout requires the driver to push their vehicle to its limits while maintaining complete control. They must strike a delicate balance between generating the desired smoke and maintaining traction. Too much throttle can result in wheel spin and loss of control, while too little can dampen the spectacle. The driver's ability to navigate this fine line showcases their experience, expertise, and finely honed instincts honed through years of practice and dedication.

Reading the Vehicle

A seasoned burnout driver possesses a deep connection with their vehicle. They can read the subtle feedback from the engine, suspension, and tyres, adapting their approach in real-time to optimize performance. This intuition allows them to make split-second adjustments to maintain control, prevent mechanical failures, and deliver an enthralling display.

Showmanship and Audience Engagement

Beyond their technical prowess, burnout drivers are also performers. They understand the importance of showmanship and audience engagement. A successful burnout performance is not just about generating smoke and noise; it's about captivating the spectators, creating an emotional connection, and leaving them in awe. Skilful spins, well-timed bursts of throttle, and interaction with the crowd are all part of the driver's arsenal to create a memorable experience for everyone watching.

The Thrill of the Challenge

Burnout competitions are a test of skill, nerves, and bravery. The driver embraces the challenge of pushing their limits, both as a driver and as an individual. They willingly step into the arena, knowing that they are about to engage in a high-stakes performance that requires utmost concentration, precise control, and unwavering focus.

The driver plays a pivotal role in the success of a burnout competition. Their expertise, control, showmanship, and connection with the vehicle combine to create an unforgettable experience for both themselves and the audience.

Australia’s Premier Burnout Events

Australia's fervour for burnout competitions is evident in the array of events that populate its motoring calendar, each providing a platform for the most skilled performers to captivate audiences with their vehicular prowess.


At the pinnacle of Australia's burnout calendar lies Summernats - a motorsport extravaganza that every year paints Canberra with shades of burning rubber and the sweet smell of high-octane fuel. This event, held annually since 1987, is a vibrant celebration of Australia's love for cars and has become an iconic part of the nation's cultural landscape.

What is the Burnout Masters & Who Won In 2023?

The Burnout Masters, one of the most intense and exhilarating motor sports events, concluded its 2023 iteration with a spectacular showdown. This unique competition has carved out a niche in the world of motorsport, attracting a diverse range of participants and spectators alike.

The Winner - Jake Myers

Jake Myers, a seasoned competitor in the burnout scene, secured his place in the annals of Burnout Masters history by clinching the 2023 title. Known for his daring performances and precision control, Myers is no stranger to the pressures and thrills of the Burnout Masters. For this event, he navigated a GM176 Ford Mustang 1966, a classic powerhouse that added to the spectacle of his victory.

The 2023 Event

The Burnout Masters 2023 unfolded in a whirlwind of smoke and screeching tyres. A formidable lineup of competitors pushed their vehicles to the limit, each vying for the coveted title. The event, as always, was a testament to the skill, endurance, and sheer audacity of the drivers as they put on a thrilling show for the crowd.

Jake Myers' Winning Performance

Myers' performance in the 2023 event was nothing short of phenomenal. His GM176 Ford Mustang 1966 roared to life as he commanded the track, demonstrating a blend of raw power and finesse. The roar of the engine, the billowing clouds of smoke, and the exquisite control with which Myers managed his vehicle left spectators and judges in awe. While specific scores and comments from the judges remain confidential, the unanimous decision in favour of Myers speaks volumes about his extraordinary performance.

The Significance of the Win

Myers' victory in Burnout Masters 2023 is a testament to his skill and perseverance. It cements his position as one of the premier competitors in this unique form of motorsport. Moreover, his victory underlines the appeal and excitement of the Burnout Masters, encouraging even more participation and interest in this adrenaline-fueled event.

The Heart of Australian Car Culture

With its origins steeped in the passionate grassroots car scene, Summernats has grown to be much more than just a local car show. It's the beating heart of Australian car culture, drawing in around 100,000 visitors each year who come to witness a showcase of engineering marvels, automotive innovation, and electrifying burnout performances.

The Burnout Championship

The Burnout Championship is the crown jewel of the Summernats. It is here that the nation's best burnout performers come to compete, making it the most anticipated event of the four-day festival. The championship challenges drivers to push their vehicles to the limit, leaving spectators awestruck with intricate routines, daring manoeuvres, and the inevitable burst of tyre smoke that engulfs the 'Burnout Pad'.

The Summernats Experience

But Summernats isn't just about the competitions. It's a comprehensive experience that encapsulates everything from car exhibitions and trade stands to live music and entertainment, making it a must-attend event for any car enthusiast. Over the years, Summernats has also proven to be a fertile ground for networking, where enthusiasts, industry insiders, and budding mechanics can connect, share ideas, and cultivate their passion for automotive culture.

An Australian Icon

Summernats' significance extends beyond the realm of motorsports. It's a showcase of Australian pride and identity, highlighting the nation's penchant for horsepower, speed, and a good old-fashioned spectacle. The event's enduring popularity and growing international reputation firmly place it as an icon of Australian culture.

Summernats epitomises the spirit of burnout competitions in Australia, capturing the essence of this thrilling sport while creating a platform for automotive passion to flourish. As each year's event raises the bar, the future of Summernats, and indeed of burnout competitions in Australia, looks to be filled with even more smoke, power, and high-octane excitement.

Red Centre Nats

Located in the middle of the Australian continent, Alice Springs is home to Red Centre NATS, an event that has firmly established itself as a shining beacon in Australia's burnout competition scene. Uniting the core elements of motorsport culture with the unique backdrop of Australia's red centre, this event is a spectacle unlike any other.

The Essence of Red Centre NATS

Red Centre NATS goes beyond being a mere motorsport event—it's a celebration of automotive passion. Every year, it offers enthusiasts from across the country a unique opportunity to experience the synergy of the vibrant automotive culture with the rugged beauty of the Outback. The event encapsulates car shows, drag racing, and a multitude of other automotive activities. Yet, the star of the event is undeniably the burnout competition.

The Burnout Competition

Within the hot, dry, and arid heart of Australia, competitors perform their burnout stunts, laying down layers of rubber on the iconic red dust, painting a picture of power and precision against an unforgettable backdrop. The competition, which draws participants from all over the country, is a test of vehicle control and nerve, with each driver aiming to impress the judges and spectators with the most impressive plumes of smoke and high-speed manoeuvres.

A Unique Setting

What sets Red Centre NATS apart from other burnout competitions is its unique location. Alice Springs provides a setting that adds an extra dimension to the event, immersing attendees in the rugged beauty of the Outback while they indulge in their shared passion for motorsport. The red terrain becomes a canvas for competitors, the tire marks and plumes of smoke standing as testament to the area's growing significance within the burnout scene.

A Bright Future

The success and popularity of Red Centre NATS speak volumes about the bright future of burnout competitions in Australia. With each passing year, the event grows in scale and reach, drawing larger crowds and more competitors. This growth underscores the popularity of burnout competitions and serves as a testament to their potential for even greater recognition and success in the years to come.

Red Centre NATS encapsulates the thrilling spectacle of burnout competitions, merging it with the unique charm of the Outback. As such, it represents an important chapter in Australia's ongoing love affair with the sport.

Kandos Street Machine and Hot Rod Show

Nestled in the heart of New South Wales, the small town of Kandos might appear unassuming at first glance. However, for one weekend every year, it becomes a mecca for motoring enthusiasts, as it plays host to the Kandos Street Machine and Hot Rod Show. This event is a vivid display of Australia's thriving car culture, with burnout competitions taking centre stage.

The Heartbeat of Kandos

The Kandos Street Machine and Hot Rod Show is an event that pulsates with energy, passion, and the distinct scent of burning rubber. Since its inception, the event has grown exponentially in scale and popularity, evolving from a local gathering to a national spectacle. Today, it draws thousands of visitors from across the country, all eager to witness the high-octane performances on offer.

The Burnout Competition

The highlight of the event is undoubtedly the burnout competition. Held in a purpose-built burnout pad, competitors take to the stage in a bid to impress judges and spectators with their skills, daring manoeuvres and, of course, the ever-important plumes of tyre smoke. The performance of each driver is judged on criteria including the volume and density of the smoke, the duration of the burnout, and the driver's control over their vehicle.

More Than Just Burnouts

While the burnout competition forms the crux of the event, the Kandos Street Machine and Hot Rod Show offers much more. From exhibitions of classic hot rods to custom car displays, the event is a celebration of all things automotive. For many, the show represents an opportunity to connect with like-minded enthusiasts, share ideas, and showcase their passion for cars and motorsport.

A Testament to Burnout Culture

The success of the Kandos Street Machine and Hot Rod Show is a testament to the enduring appeal of burnout culture in Australia. The event has, over the years, etched itself into the fabric of the country's motorsport scene, showcasing the skill, innovation, and passion that underpin the sport.

The Kandos Street Machine and Hot Rod Show encapsulates the essence of burnout competitions in Australia, acting as a vibrant showcase of the sport and a focal point for the country's automotive community.


Located on the eastern coast of Australia, Sydney Motorsport Park comes alive each year with the roar of engines and the aroma of burning rubber, courtesy of Brashernats. This highly anticipated event is a prime example of Australia's undying love for burnout competitions, showcasing some of the country's best drivers and machines.

The Brashernats Experience

Brashernats isn't just an event—it's an experience. From the moment the gates open, attendees are thrust into a world of high-octane thrills, heart-stopping action, and a tangible sense of camaraderie that is the hallmark of the burnout community. With an array of automotive activities to cater to every taste, Brashernats has something for everyone.

The Burnout Competition

At the heart of the event is the fierce and exhilarating burnout competition. In a display of power and precision, drivers battle against each other and their own machines, laying down a symphony of noise, smoke, and raw power. The purpose-built burnout pad provides the ideal stage for drivers to showcase their skills and their vehicles' capabilities. The competition draws both seasoned professionals and eager amateurs, each vying for the coveted championship title.

Beyond the Burnout Pad

Beyond the smoke-filled arena of the burnout competition, Brashernats is a celebration of all things automotive. Car shows, drag races, and stunt demonstrations fill the event's agenda, ensuring that there is never a dull moment. The event also plays host to a vast array of industry stalls, offering attendees a chance to delve deeper into the world of motorsports and potentially pick up a few tips, tricks, and tools of the trade.

Impact on the Burnout Scene

The consistent success and growing popularity of Brashernats demonstrate the undying appeal of burnout competitions in Australia. Each year, the event contributes to pushing the boundaries of the sport, encouraging drivers to reach new heights of performance and drawing ever-increasing crowds. It is events like Brashernats that drive the continued evolution and growth of the burnout scene in Australia.

Brashernats embodies the spirit of Australia's burnout culture, uniting a diverse crowd of enthusiasts under a shared passion for adrenaline-pumping motorsport.


A relative newcomer to the Australian burnout scene, RockyNats has quickly established itself as a must-see event in the burnout competition calendar. Taking place in the bustling city of Rockhampton, Queensland, RockyNats is a testament to the continuing growth and popularity of burnout competitions in Australia.

The Birth of a New Era

Making its debut in 2021, RockyNats is the brainchild of the same team behind the Summernats. Drawing from their wealth of experience in managing Australia's largest car festival, the team has successfully created a fresh, exciting addition to the burnout scene that strikes a perfect balance between the new and the familiar.

The Burnout Competition

As expected, the centrepiece of RockyNats is the burnout competition. Held on the city's streets, this competition provides a unique setting for drivers to showcase their skill and control. The raw energy, the intricate manoeuvres, and the colossal clouds of tyre smoke are a sight to behold, drawing enthusiastic crowds and creating a palpable atmosphere of excitement.

More Than Just Burnouts

RockyNats is not just about burnouts. This festival brings together multiple elements of car culture, from show 'n' shine displays and precision driving exhibitions to drag racing events. With something to cater to every automotive enthusiast, RockyNats has quickly carved out a unique identity within the Australian motorsport landscape.

The Future of RockyNats

Despite its relative newness, RockyNats has demonstrated a promising future. Its successful inauguration and continued popularity are clear indicators of its potential for growth and impact on the Australian burnout scene. With each subsequent event, RockyNats continues to strengthen its position within the Australian burnout competition circuit, proving that it is an event not to be missed.

RockyNats represents the evolution of burnout competitions in Australia. As a new but already influential player, it embodies the enduring appeal of this unique motorsport, standing as a beacon of the innovation and passion that define the Australian burnout scene.

The Future of Burnout Competitions in Australia

As the tyres cool and the smoke dissipates from today's burnout events, the gaze of enthusiasts and competitors alike turns to the horizon, pondering the future of this exhilarating sport within Australia. The pathway ahead is as exciting as it is uncertain, shaped by evolving trends, emerging technologies, and changing perceptions.

Technological Innovations

The symbiosis between technological innovation and motorsports is undeniable, and burnout competitions in Australia are no exception. As we venture further into the 21st century, the intersection of emerging automotive technologies and the traditional burnout competition promises to create a fascinating evolution in this adrenaline-filled sport.

Electric Vehicles (EV's)

One of the most significant shifts in the automotive industry is the rise of electric vehicles. With their ability to deliver high torque instantaneously, EVs have potential to invigorate the burnout landscape. This characteristic of electric powertrains could make for extremely compelling burnout performances, especially given the near-silent operation of EVs that would create a stark contrast to the thunderous symphony of internal combustion engines that currently dominate the sport. However, with this comes challenges, such as battery heat management and longevity, which will need to be addressed for successful integration into the sport.

Autonomous Technology

Autonomous technology, another burgeoning development in the automotive industry, could also play a role in the future of burnout competitions. Although the sport is rooted in human skill and control, autonomous technology could find a place in training or practice sessions, helping drivers perfect their routines by providing data-driven feedback. However, the essence of the sport will always prioritise human control and dexterity, keeping the driver at the heart of the spectacle.

Vehicle Modifications

The realm of vehicle modifications will continue to evolve in line with technological advancements. We may see more sophisticated on-board computer systems and engine control units (ECUs), allowing competitors to fine-tune their vehicles for optimal burnout performance. Additionally, developments in tyre technology could lead to tyres that produce even more smoke or withstand the high temperatures of burnouts for longer periods.

While the heart of burnout competitions - the sheer thrill and spectacle - remains timeless, the technological innovations on the horizon could herald a new era for this cherished Australian motorsport.

Expanding the Community

The future prosperity of burnout competitions will also hinge on the ability to attract new generations of fans and competitors. As the sport becomes more mainstream and sheds its renegade image, there is potential to expand the burnout community, inviting more people to engage with this unique expression of automotive passion.

Increased Recognition

As burnout competitions continue to evolve and mature, they may gain wider recognition as a legitimate motorsport. This would pave the way for more structured competitions, possibly even a national championship, attracting more sponsorship and media coverage, and further solidifying the place of burnouts in Australia's cultural landscape.

While the future of burnout competitions in Australia will undoubtedly face challenges, the passion of the community, the possibilities opened by technological advancements, and a growing acceptance of the sport point towards a bright and thrilling future.


In the heartland of Australia, amidst the cacophony of roaring engines and the spectacle of smoking tyres, burnout competitions have created a unique symphony of power, precision and passion. They are a testament to the unyielding spirit of the Aussie petrolheads, a celebration of their love for high-octane performances, and an embodiment of the thrilling motoring culture in Australia.


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