POWERCRUISE 78 – DAY 2

Ahh sunshine. The skies had cleared after the deluge on Day 1 and more competitors were making their way up to Barbagallo Raceway in Western Australia for Day 2 of Powercruise 78. On the way up I got stuck behind a beautiful GTS with a fake number plate that would draw the attention of the boys in blue for sure however we passed none on the way up.

Arriving slightly late as always, the first Powercruise session was underway and again cars of all shapes, sizes, vintages and conditions were out on track. Powercruise for some reason in Western Australia seems to get bashed as a “beaten up Holden Commodore clunker fest”. However looking around the pit area, its hard to spot these beaten up clunkers among the beautifully presented cars. Maybe some people are getting confused between patina paint jobs and actual clunkers?

The rules clearly state all cars must be registered and roadworthy. If they are not registered a submission must be made as to why you should be allowed to let it run with photos.

I digress! With the sunshine out and it being Saturday, the outside of the track was filling with spectators nicely and many were wandering through the pits checking out all the cars that were not on track at the time. I checked in with a few of the regular drivers at the track to see how things were going, a few broken pieces here and there but most of them were getting things back together and ready to go back on track for either a cruise session or the drift sessions.

For the most part the early cruise sessions of the day were pretty tame with no-one wanting to push the limits too far and risk losing their arm bands for poor driving or stupid behaviour. And to be honest at Powercruise, its pretty simple. If you want to drift, enter the drift sessions, if you want to do burnouts, enter the burnout competition, if you want to race flat out, enter the off street racing, if you just want to cruise, well just cruise!

To explain the arm bands, each driver gets an armband to say they are an entrant, they then attend a drivers briefing and get a second armband which means they have attended the briefing and agree to drive accordingly. Now depending on what a driver does wrong on the track, they will get a warning from track side officials and if they continue their behaviour, they get called into the pits, their second armband removed and off to the briefing they go again. If its a serious issue, they risk having both removed and therefore can not participate any further.

Speaking with one of the regular marshals today, he had a nice collection of armbands going which shows a commitment by the team to regulate the behaviour on track as best as they can. At the last Perth Powercruise, an entrant had his armbands removed for being dangerous and proceeded when told to leave the venue, to do a burnout all through the pit area. The organisers actually notified the authorities about this as they, nor the other entrants doing the right thing need that kind of association.

The second session of the day saw the drifters head back on track with sideways action coming courtesy of a ride variety of cars from dedicated drift cars, to daily drives being thrown sideways and even the Toyota Hiace van as featured on this article! I had seen this van going sideways on Friday but was in the mindset of “Its wet, whatever.” .. But turns out this thing can REALLY drift. And sorry to Hyundai, but this Toyota was out there first and it drifts better than your Hyundai iMax N that debuted at the World Time Attack in Sydney.

The drifting session went off pretty smooth with the main off of the session coming from an Australia Post themed car. Yes Australia Post will send it, but will it ever arrive? Tempting fate maybe with that theme!

Heading into the lunch break, the quick shot burnout runs were held with the usual Kwinana Performance crew hammering it hard as well as the Toyota Hiace (Is there anything this car can not enter?) and the 1948 Rust Ford V8 Supercharged entry. I overheard a funny conversation between the officials and the Ford entry, they were all told that it was a quick burnout, no bursting tyres, don’t spend too long out there. The response? We’re running a ridiculous amount of horsepower, if they pop they pop…. and boy did they pop!

In the pit lane at lunch time while it was closed there was also a kids running race with two different age groups run. This was pretty cool and would love to see this run on the main track while its closed next time! What a thrill for the kids to be able to race where their parents have been all day!

After lunch the focus shifted up to Turn 7 and the off street racing sessions, basically you line up, you race, you go around, and do it all again! The drivers were pretty much pitted against whoever they ended up against. Some completely wild pairings occurred and then there were some surprise sleeper types that appeared out of nowhere. Luckily today was just about having fun with the business end of the racing on Sunday.

With the off street racing session finished up, it was back to cruising and unfortunately it was heading towards dumb-shit-oclock very fast. Towards the end of the session, one driver decided it would be a fantastic idea to do donuts in Turn 7 thus blocking all the other drivers from continuing on and ending his Powercruise a day early. Both wristbands removed and a stay over in the dummy grid for a while was in order.

Sunset arrived not soon enough and the overcooked heads of some started to cool quickly. The burnout qualifying session was up and with some massive burnouts and some should have stayed at home Sunday drivers on the burnout pad, it made for a roller coaster of a qualifying session with a huge variation of cars again.

The clear standout of the night was the 1948 Ford Ute spitting fire, shredding tyres and throwing out sparks, if a title could have been awarded Saturday night for the best burnout, they would have won for sure.

So with day 2 done and dusted, it was time to head home and get ready for the final day of madness of Powercruise 78 Perth.

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