Alice the petrol head capital? Yep.


p2172-Red-Centre-NATS-5By ERWIN CHLANDA
Alice Springs put beyond doubt that it is the capital of petrol heads when the Red CentreNATS got into top gear today.
There were close to 500 competitors – some 300 more than hoped for: “We thought 200 would be a great start to this event,” says media manager Mike Drewer. “The numbers we got are overwhelming.”
The 60% from the NT – including Alice Springs, of course – are supplemented from all over Australia, and even one from New Zealand, says Mr Drewer.
The event will now go for at least two more years, staged by the Summernats organisation in Canberra and the NT Government’s Major Events instrumentality.
Chief Minister Adam Giles, now presiding over a minority government, was a major promoter of the event, touted as the “ultimate festival of wheels in the heart of Australia”.
“The Red CentreNATS is proudly presented by the Northern Territory Government in association with the team from Australia’s favourite horsepower party, the Summernats,” says the pitch.
An estimated 1500 people were at Baltherskite Park this morning where the program unfolded with a show of street machines, elite cars, hobby vehicles, hot rods, classics, supercars, and a “show and shine”.
The event shifted to the drags venue in the afternoon for drag racing – entrants doing up to 170 miles an hours (note: not kilometers) over a quarter of a mile (no such a thing as kilometers in drag racing). This was followed by the official Burnout Masters Qualifier selection.
In case you don’t know what a burnout is: You do doughnuts spinning your back wheels until they burst. Extra points if they do it at the same time.
If you see this modest ute at an intersection, don’t say to the driver: “How about a drag?”
The fiery competition got a bit out of hand with this F100.
A smart machine admired.
You spent hundreds of hours and OMG so many dollars on your machine: This morning you could find out what torque and KWs (horse power) it produces.
So this is where Adolf got to!
The grass at Blatherskite park will need a bit of TLC.
Green light at the drags.
The crowd loved it.


  1. Personally, I wasn’t interested in the NATS, but I do think it was a great event to come to Alice Springs as it opens the doors to hold more major events in the near future!
    I also think that bringing Port Adelaide and Melbourne Demons here was the perfect start and it’s made a good impact by making more opportunities for the red centre!

  2. I agree Alexis, I’m not a rev head and breathing in plumes of smoke from burning rubber is not my idea of fun, but is is to the thousands of people who enjoyed this event.
    I was at the squash courts when I heard the cars rumble down Gap Road so I sat on a rock with my son and saw them go past, the spectacle of these beautifully presented vehicle was only matched by the crowds that turned out to see them.
    My son is only nine, and as we were driving home, I said to him that this is what Alice Springs used to be like when I first arrived here in 98.
    The town was buzzing. The streets were full of people, driving and walking along, enjoying what our town has to offer.
    From the sounds of it, the organisers were blown away by the number of entrants and the crowds that flocked to this event.
    Accommodation houses talked of zero vacancies. Well done to everybody involved, the organisers, the interstate competitors and support crews, the local redheads that got to show and shine their pride and joys and the locals that supported it.
    I suppose if anybody doubted the investment the government made in bringing the inland drags strip up to the standard is, those doubts have been laid to rest. With this event, the Masters, the Hall of Fame reunion, the mountain bike event held recently, we really have to wonder is there anything this town can’t do, and do well?
    This event will grow to become a truly national drawcard, much like Finke, and if the government realises the opportunities this town has by investing in infastructure, and industry, we could experience a growth that other regional centres could only dream of.
    Maybe a campaign with the slogan of Love it? Live it! Could be used to encourage people to make the move to Alice Springs for good, making the Alice a powerhouse of the NT.

  3. Ray, I think, “Love it? Live it!” is a great slogan! 🙂
    The town needs more positive publicity rather than all the negative it’s been getting.
    I really like your outlook Ray, even though it wasn’t your idea of fun you still mention the fun others had!
    It’s great to see people encourage positive things for other people within the community. 🙂
    I didn’t watch the parade unfortunately but I’m sure it would have been great. You’re right about the Masters, The Hall of Fame reunion, mountain bike event, etc.
    It sure does give the locals and others something to look forward to through-out the year. (For me, that’s Port Adelaide coming here because I’ve been barracking for them since Warren Tredrea was playing!)
    The more events the town creates, hopefully, the more tourism will be created for Alice Springs.
    For me, a main focus of events would be to make more events, family friendly.
    I don’t have any children but when I do, I would like to be able to take them out into the community and let them experience these great events held in the Red Centre!
    As you mentioned you have a 9 year old son, you or others on this forum may have an opinion on family friendly events ideas? 🙂
    Alice Springs is a town full of a lot of opportunities and the only way these opportunities can be created if the town is given a chance!


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