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Victory at the 2012 Australian Evonationals

The Sonic Evo 9 GT has scored the coveted 1st outright position at the Australian Evonationals for the 2nd year on the trot. This year things were much closer with David spears just 2/1000ths of a second behind after adding the combined top times for the 4 events: Wakefield Sprint / 700m drag / Airport strip motorkhana / Wakefield Super Special Stage.

Going into the weekend i was worried whether the clutch and gearbox would last the event, the gearbox has been a bit notchy for a while and the clutch hasn’t been replaced since i bought the car, 2.5 years and over 30 events ago. with this in mind i went into the event with just two things in mind; to look after the car and to get a 1.02 at Wakefield.

After a lazy Friday night consisting of scruitineering and beers at the hotel, Saturday dawned with a very cold but thankfully, dry day. The weekend was not wet but was one of the coldest i think i’ve ever experienced! The windchill was sub zero all weekend. Great for turbo cars however!

I arrived at the track bright and early to unpack in the garages with the faithful Dashsport crew, and proceeded to mount the splitter on the car, one of my pet hates! I need to work out a better way to mount this thing but seeing as it is bolted directly to the chassis it isn’t as simple as removing the front bar.

After 30 minutes of swearing the splitter was on and the car was ready for battle sporting brand new Hankook F200 slicks in soft compound. I have never used Hankook slicks before, nor green slicks for that matter, so was looking forward to some big things from them.

The Sonic Evo 9GT in full flight:

The Evonationals is the pinnacle event for the Evolution Oz internet forum ( This was the 7th running of the event that has seen it run in 3 states, NSW, VIC and QLD. This year was a return to Wakefield Park where it all stared 7 years ago, incorporating circuit sprints on day 1 and a combined drag, motorkhana and tarmac stage on day 2, with the presentation dinner in between. As far as events go the Evonats is the most enjoyable time attack event i have competed in, next to World Time Attack. The Evonats consists of all Evos, 68 this year, and as such competition is fierce. Evos are one of if not the most successful club race cars so it requires a special effort to gain a result against such significant competition. At the top end there were a number of World Time Attack cars and competitors testing before WTAC in August.

Nik Kalis getting down to business on the airport stage:

Jason Naidoo’s immaculate Evo8MR Racer:

Marty Notaras’ Carbon Evo-something:

The Evonats caters for full on race cars all the way down to basic showroom spec cars, via the use of a sophisticated classing and points system that has been refined over the past 7 years.

Jason’s built Evo 4:

The Sonic Evo In action at the Wakefield Sprint:

This year the nats included a revolutionary event on the Sunday consisting of a reverse Wakefield Park course and incorporating the hillclimb. The competitors loved the event and other clubs have already expressed interest in following suit, a credit to the organisers’ foresight and innovation.

Fin was one of the main organisers and responsible for much of the event’s success. His Tarmac Rally spec Evo 9 wasn’t really setup for the track but still reeled off impressive figures in between power slides

Yolanda Manny, the sole female driver, scored a very reputable 1.06, that is quicker than most production racecars, and she had the heater to keep her warm in between sessions!

Pete Howard loves his new 8MR RS… and so he should because it is awsome! With the virgin white paint scheme it would be easy to think this is a princess car but a 1.07.7 on it’s first ever outing shows the potential with lots to spare. Pete just has to learn to drive it without the ABS! Pete is just getting started, i should be worried.. but i’m not Pete lol.

Pete getting his 8MR RS out of shape on the WP SSS:

To think the *slowest* car did a 1.15 at Wakefield Park is astounding. That laptime would be top 20 at any normal supersprint. At the Wakefield track sprint 56 cars out of 68 went quicker than 1.10 which firmly cements the club as the quickest car club in Australia.

First session on Saturday we hit the track, one warm up lap and went for it. The slicks still weren’t warm as the track was very cold being only 10am in the morning, then we were stopped with a red flag just as i was revving up to go for a hot lap now the slicks were finally up to temp. And that was it, the session was over, not happy! We trundled back to our garages with no decent times posted, i thought i had done a 1.07 or something as i was not trying at all. After reviewing the timecards it showed me in 2nd place with a 1.04.2 which i knew was a good 1.5 sec slower than i could go, so it was a good confidence booster. I was feeling confient now of a low 1.03 and maybe a 1.02 in the next session…

Session 2 started and it was on, perfect ambient temp, we had 15 minute session and everybody was pumped. I did a warm up lap and then a half quick lap in the 1.05 realm, there was plenty left, next lap i was held up by a late car entering the track so backed off. I found some space and prepared myself for a good run, the slicks were up to temp, this was it. I kept it flat through the kink and ploughed through Turn 2, the car felt fast. Turns 3,4 and 5 came and went in a flash and the car was stable and balanced, T6 the scary long right curve came and went and i braked into T7 the fishhook, hugging the corner and pushing out at full pace to short shift to fourth gear before T8. Onto the back straight and i held 4th to the lmiter, braking super late and slotting 3rd before turning in super late for T10 and onto the straight. Then it was just a matter of smashing though 4th and 5th gears as quick as possible whilst consciously not hurting the gearbox. 1.02.9!!!!! My first ever 1.02 flashed up on the Performance box, my first glimpse was as i barrelled through T1 at almost 200km/hr… i had to concentrate to ensure the next lap was even better, i knew i could go quicker as the previous lap was no where near perfect.

Lap 4 was almost a carbon copy of the previous lap and as a result was only 2/1000ths slower, i dug deep knowing there was more left, i just had to avoid any mistakes. This lap i really hugged the fishook and i think i held more speed through that section, as a result i came onto the straight almost half a second quicker than my previous lap. Passing the start finish a 1.02.48 flashed up on the Performance Box, i was ecstatic and powered down as my tyres had had enough! I did a circulation lap to cool the tyres down and had another 2 lap crack at it and peeled off yet another 1.02.9 and a 1.03 dead. To think before today my PB at this track was 1.03.5 and in the space of one seesion i had done four 1.02’s and a 1.03 dead, i was ecstatic!

As much as i tried i didn’t manage to better my time but regardles i was happy and it sealed the outright win in Supermodified class, with LT Dan second with a blistering 1.03 flat on Hankoon Z221 semis.

Somebody needs coilovers:

The Saturday dinner was a great experience, the 3 course dinner was top shelf and the speaker, Ross Dunkerton, was very entertaining. I look forward to reading Ross’ book ‘Dunko’, if it’s anywhere near as funny as he was on the night it will be a great read.

Sunday again dawned a nice sunny day however the freezing cold wind wasn’t very accommodating. It could have been worse though so i think we were pretty lucky to have 2 dry days on the trot given the recent weather patterns! First event was the airport drags which was a flat out 700m run on a moving start. The airport turned out to be very gravelly. Much to the organisers’ dismay having repeatedly requested the runway to be swept of gravel only to be told it had been done. It hadn’t.

The drag was more fun than expected, obviously the high powered cars excelled although there was a bit down to throttle control due to the gravel. Phil Heaphy with his sequential hollinger gearbox just revelled in the conditions with a 2nd outright and 11.9 beating much more high powered cars.

Nick Kalis taking on the 700m airport strip run:

Tobi in his Evo X:

Next we had the airport motorkhana, which was the same gravel surface as the drags. It was a lot of fun despite the damage the stones caused cars. To their credit the bigger dollar cars got stuck in and ran the stage along with the street cars. Prior to the event the airport owner had repeatedly been asked and replied the runway had been swept of losse stones, guess he must have gotten out there with his kitchen broomstick and given it a quick once over….

Over the hill at Wakefield Park the Super Special Stage was just FANTASTIC, a credit to the organisers’ innovation and efforts. This had never been done before and incorporated a reverse course of the Wakefield racetrack including the hillclimb section. It was very tight in places and required a few runs to get used to. There is nothing like flogging your car on cold tyres and brakes on a tight twisty track. The big horseposer cars were out of their element which allowed for a level playing field. As a result Tristan Catford, a tarmac rally veteran, managed to trounce the field by a full second in a moderately modified Evo 6 to show us all how it is really done. Phil Heaphy, the hillclimb magician, wasn’t far behind.

Phil Heaphy in his Holinger sequential powered TME:

Tristan Catford smashed the field by a full second on the Wakefield Park SSS:

LT Dan giving his weapon a run on the Wakefield Park SSS

The Vsport Evo X at the Wakefield Park SSS:

The Street Racing Team’s Evo 3 was getting back to it’s rally roots:


In all the 7th running of the australian Evonationals was yet another fantastic event. Great people, great cars, great organisation make it one of the primary time attack events in the calendar.

Performance Box Data File, my full 2nd session at the Wakefield sprint including 4 1.02 laps and my 1.02.48 PB: Click here to download



Wakefield Park Track Sprints: Three 1.02 laps on the trot, the 3rd lap is my new PB of 1.02.48:

Wakefield Park Super Special Stage:

Here’s a vew of the Wakefield Park Super Special Stage from outside the car kindly published by AndyMac:

Airport Motorkhana:

Photographer Credits:
The Lowdown

Gavin Bell

Kory Leung Photography

Stefan Trajkovski

Creative Drive Photography

Anybody else i’ve missed, very sorry, please email me.

4 Responses to “Victory at the 2012 Australian Evonationals”

  1. Jarred says:

    Great write up Mick and great driving too. Congrats on the win!

  2. Benny says:

    Nice write up Mick, well done again on the win!

  3. Nigel says:

    Great effort, thank for a good read and some very nice photos of the event!

  4. XSF10W says:

    Great right up mate, I think there’s a novel to come from you in the future.

    I was a bit confused on the overall winner and placing, great to hear you went two for two.

    Now how about a stroker and a holinger sequential……………………………………..