Western Australia’s biggest festival of street machine horsepower is returning to Perth Motorplex this weekend, with Motorvation 35 set to attract muscle cars and top burnout competitors from around the State.
Among them will be Lauren Youngs, a relatively new participant who has quickly found her place as a skilled and championship-capable driver. Youngs was introduced to burnouts by her partner Tim Nelson, who took her for a ride in his own burnout car.
“I turned around and said, ‘I want one!’” she laughed.
The pair turned a BA Falcon one-tonner into a burnout machine and an instantly recognisable performer thanks to its pink glitter paint job. Youngs said it had been the perfect platform to learn the sport with.
“Tim joked that I wouldn’t be able to kill a Barra six cylinder (the infamously strong six-cylinder motor Ford Australia built), which didn’t go so well as I have killed a few of them. But they are cheap parts and it keeps it affordable, and if I break one week I can be straight back out the next.”
The sport of professional burnouts has exploded in Australia in the last decade, going from novelty to a full-time occupation for some drivers and car builders. Prize money often reaches five figures and events take place in front of thousands of spectators.
Youngs can still remember the first time she drove on to the burnout pad at Perth Motorplex.
“It was really nerve wracking,” she said. “I picked Good Friday Burnout King and I had never done a burnout at the Motorplex before. I thought if it went wrong everyone was going to boo me off.
“It actually went really well. I didn’t blow the tyres in time, but people actually cheered which made me happy.”
At the 2018 running of the Burnout Boss event, Youngs broke through for her first major event victory. She claimed the Sportsman class and would go on to win the 2018/19 Sportsman Championship.
“I remember at Burnout Boss I was stoked to get called up as part of the top five. Then they called my name out for the win, and I did the girly thing and cried. I’ve been getting teased about that ever since.”
After taking most of last season off, Youngs is back with a vengeance and hoping to secure a second championship. Winning Motorvation 35 would be a huge step towards that goal.
“To take out the championship in my first year was unreal, and then I didn’t get too many comps done last year,” she said. “A lot of people say it must be easy, all you do is turn in circles, but there is a lot more skill to it. I do go out with a strategy but as soon as I put my foot down it goes out the window.
“I will be taking a lot of tyres to Motorvation 35 as I plan on running the car every day, in every cruise session and competition there is. If we can pop some tyres and drive it back on to the trailer at the end of the weekend it will have been a great event.”
Motorvation 35 is Western Australia’s longest running car festival and takes place from January 15-17 for entrants and January 16-17 for spectators. For more information, visit www.motorplex.com.au
Words: Luke Nieuwhof
Pic: High Octane Photos