Red CentreNATS organisers have today announced record numbers of entrants for the start of the Alice Springs “festival of wheels”. Over 600 of Australia’s best show and exotic vehicles will be on display at Blatherskite Park and competing at Alice Springs Inland Dragway (ASID) over the next three days. Entrant numbers are up 35% from last year.
Today’s highlight was the Street Parade, featuring over 400 of the entrants cruising through the streets of Alice Springs Town Centre and the Rock & Rumble Concert, featuring the iconic Aussie rockers, The Angels.
“The Street Parade is massive and an important part of our event for the entrants with many coming a long way. In fact, we can officially stake claim to it being Australia’s biggest street parade,” said Andrew Hopper, General Manager, Northern Territory Major Events Company.
Many of the entrants and spectators have travelled incredible distances to be at Red CentreNATS this year but none more than Wayne Garrett, who started his journey from Onslow WA over a week ago and arrived yesterday with an additional 5,300kms on his speedo.
“As expected, we have strong numbers of people coming from Northern Queensland, South Australia and WA. However, we’ve also noticed a stronger level of interest from Victoria and New South Wales this year. With the event pumping around $12M into the local economy and with a lot of the dollars spent coming from inter and intrastate, it’s a significant benefit to the Alice Springs community,” Hopper added.
One of the highlights for interstate entrants is the unique ability, provided by the event and the NT Government, in allowing modified cars to be driven on public roads during the event. Each vehicle must meet certain conditions and are required to undertake a scrutineering process and once given the green light, can cruise Alice Spring’s roads under a temporary permit.
“The Red CentreNATS’ entrants build their cars to drive them and to be able to give them this opportunity is fantastic. We know they get really excited about it and there’s nowhere else in the country that gives highly modified cars owners the chance to drive on public roads.”
The highlights for tomorrow’s day two of Red CentreNATS include the Shannons Show and Shine and Thrifty Grass Driving events at Blatherskite Park, The Lasseters Motorkhana at Lasseters Casino and a full day of burnouts and drag racing at ASID.
“I really want to encourage everyone to come down and support the event. It really is something that Alice Springs and Central Australia should be very proud of. We are really excited about what we have on offer over the next two days,” Hopper concluded.
Alice Springs has turned on great weather and big crowds on day two of The ‘Festival of Wheels’, Red CentreNATS, being held at multiple locations in the Central Australian capital over the Fathers’ Day weekend.
Over 13,000 people attended the event in its inaugural year in 2015, considerably higher than the 5,000 patrons initially estimated. In 2016, a 40% increase in entrant numbers, good weather, additional staff and even more on show, has given event organisers an optimistic outlook.
“We were overwhelmed with the success of the 2015 event, the crowd numbers actually took us a little by surprise. We are well prepared for 2016 with an increase in event staff to cater for patrons which is coupled by the extra activities Red CentreNATS has on offer,” said Northern Territory Major Events General Manager, Andrew Hopper.
“Whilst we won’t have official crowd figures until Sunday night, the overall feeling is that our numbers are up on last year.”
Today was the first big day of competition as the Thrifty Grass Driving events got underway which saw jumps added to the course this year and proved to be a real crowd pleaser. Entrants have been filing in to the Diggamen Dyno Cell throughout the day, looking to produce the highest horsepower figures and the Grudge Match Drag Racing has been fiercely contested at ASID.
“Not only has today been full of competitions but we have the Shannons Show and Shine on today and tomorrow at Blatherskite Park and the standard of vehicles is just outstanding. We have close to 700 entrants here this weekend and many of them are from interstate, so it will be the only chance Territorians will have to see these cars,” Hopper added.
Tomorrow is “finals day” at Red CentreNATS and promises to be a fitting conclusion to the event – “We will have the unfolding of the event’s biggest accolade, the Grand Champion award plus it’s the conclusion of the Lasseter’s Motorkhana, Thrifty Grass Driving, Grudge Match drag racing, the Burnout Masters and we’ll culminate at the Podium Party at Lasseter’s Centre of Entertainment,” Hopper concluded.
Red CentreNATS Wraps Up with Big Numbers
The close to doubling of entrant numbers and 14,008 spectators has cemented Alice Springs’ Red CentreNATS as one of Central Australia’s major events. As gates closed today on the third and final day, 723 entrants had brought their vehicles to the Red Centre Capital, giving the event the right to claim success.
“What an amazing three days! The increase in both entrants and spectators has genuinely exceeded all of our expectations. If there was any doubt that Red CentreNATS would be supported, those thoughts can well and truly be discarded now”, said Andrew Hopper, NTMEC’s General Manager.
“I’d like to thank each and every one of the 723 entrants, who many have travelled significant distances to be here. Last year we were thrilled to have 456 vehicles, to have increased that number by almost 300 to 723 is just fantastic.”
“To the Alice Springs community, a big thanks for all your support and the thousands of spectators that travelled, spent their hard earn money in Alice Springs and enjoyed all the Red CentreNATS had to offer, I’d also like to applaud you for what you have helped us achieve this weekend.”
“Lastly we couldn’t run this event without the great support from the team at Summernats,” Hopper added.
As the huge numbers came through the gates over the past three days, there has been a number of all-important competitions running in amongst all the bling. It was a fierce battle, especially in the showcase Grand Champion and Burnout Master awards. Winners of the main awards are:
Grand Champion Gregg Foss 1965 Ford Fairmont
Burnout Master Darren Williams 1991 Ford XF Ute
People’s Choice Malcolm Apps 1959 Holden FC
Many of the event’s judges praised the quality of show cars and competing cars at Red CentreNATS this year. The general sentiment was the standard was on-par, at least, with the major car shows across the country. In just its second year, Red CentreNATS has become a destination for the best of the best in the Australian street machining community.
“The Red CentreNATS is legitimately inside the top five car shows in Australia now,” said Andy Lopez, Summernats Co-owner.
With a minimum of a further five years left on the contract for Red CentreNATS, combined with this weekend’s solid results, event organisers are now planning for the long term growth of the event. The dust has not yet settled but additions, improvements and even greater excitement are already in the wings for 2017.
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For media enquiries please contact: – Dale Brittain DBC2 | Red CentreNATS Media Managers| Ph: 0418 697784 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org