Smoke billows in Lawrence burnout competition

Alan and Sandra Clearwater, of Dunedin, display their original condition 1949 Ford V8 at the...
Alan and Sandra Clearwater, of Dunedin, display their original condition 1949 Ford V8 at the Lawrence Rev, Rock & Hop car show on Saturday. PHOTO: RICHARD DAVISON
A new burnout competition proved to be a big draw for an extended Lawrence Car Show this weekend, organisers say.

About 15 vehicles entered the inaugural Lawrence Rev, Rock & Hop burnout event, including several seasoned competitors, show convener Bill Bazley said on Saturday.

He expected the new attraction — and an extended three-day show format allowing visitors to camp at the Wetherstons Gully Gymkhana Grounds — would continue to expand the annual event to record numbers.

"We’ve had a lot of interest in the burnout competition from those attending, and everyone’s been looking forward to seeing some top contenders in action today."

About 70 people had opted to stay on site for the full three days, he said.

"We’re expecting another 300-plus cars today for the show itself, and we have capacity here at the new site for about a thousand, so we’re expecting to see it grow as word spreads."

Burning up the rubber on Saturday was experienced Christchurch burn-out driver Craig Roberts, in his highly modified, 500 horsepower, series 1 Mazda RX7.

Mr Roberts said competitive burnouts were a skilled undertaking.

"You’ve got to have a lot of car control to pop your tyres within two minutes, while drifting within a very tight circle.

"Not everyone can do it to a reliable standard."

For the most part, regular, brand new road tyres were used, although some drivers favoured coloured tyres to release coloured smoke.

Mr Roberts said new events like the Lawrence burnout were welcomed, as the South Island lacked the number of venues and competitions available in the North.

"It’s a fast-growing sport in New Zealand, and having dedicated places to take part helps keep people off the roads. We’d really like more places, and controlling authorities, to open their minds to it as an idea."

Joining the fun for Saturday only were Dunedin couple Alan and Sandra Clearwater, in their original condition 1949 Ford V8.

Mr Clearwater said he was aware of the burnout competition, but not sure whether he would attend.

"I like my cars in good condition, like this one. Seeing those nice new tyres go up in smoke might be a bit hard to watch," he joked.

He said they had enjoyed their first visit to the Lawrence show.

"It’s a good, family day out, with plenty of scope in the field here.

"We’ll probably come back next year."


The environmental damage caused by doing burnouts is massive. Tyre pollution is 1,200 times WORSE than exhaust emissions just driving on the open road! 10% of ocean plastic pollution is estimated to be from tyres. Microplastics can also absorb and concentrate toxic pollutants from the surrounding seawater, making them even more poisonous to animals that mistake them for food or absorb them through their gills and skin.


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