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5 May, 2021

Start your engines

The 2021 Northern Nats are ready to roll into the Springmount Raceway this weekend with hundreds of competitors set to attend from all across Australia

By Rhys Thomas

Michael Gonzalez is looking forward to the Northern Nats this weekend at the Springmount Raceway

MORE than 300 petrol heads are expected to race out to the Springmount Raceway this coming weekend for the 2021 Northern Nats, ready to test their cars and burn through some tyres. 

Taking place from May 7 to 9, the Northern Nats attracts car enthusiasts from all corners of Australia for a weekend full of rev bashing, tyre blowing fun. 

Drag racing, burnouts, car show, power, skids and roll racing are just some of the events that eager participants and spectators can look forward to in this year’s event. 

After last year’s Northern Nats was cancelled participants were left out to dry with only a few smaller, local drag events going ahead. 

This year restrictions eased in time so racers and spectators will be able to flock to the raceway for the first Raceway event in nearly a year.

Michael Gonzalez has been racing in the Northern Nats for the past four years sporting his VC SLE Holden Commodore with its stock 355 engine for its first year. 

After realising that he wanted to go much faster, Michael purchased a 2017 HSV GTS engine and swapped out his old engine.

“Everyone does that they get a bit of a feel for it and goes ‘I want to go faster’,” - Mr Gonzalez. 

Initially running over 10 second times for the quarter mile with his stock engine, after some much needed upgrading his car now does a consistent 8.9 seconds for the quarter mile with over 900hp to the wheels. 

“You want to beat your competitor, you want to do better than you last time, you want to be faster than your fastest, that’s a given,” Michael said. 

“But to me I really enjoy the spectators and how they get involved, seeing their faces when you dive back down the return road.”

Around 200 entrants are currently registered for the Northern Nats, however Managing Director of Springmount Raceway Evan Yelavich expects this number to continue to grow right up until the first car enters the drag strip. 

“Typically, we end up with about 300 entrants and the entrants are certainly on track to hit that mark,” he said.

“For Northern Nats we get cars from Victoria and New South Wales, all over the country really and some big names in the burnout scenes.

“They (the competitors) love coming up here, they generally tie it in with a holiday and do quite a few things on the Tablelands and in the region.”  

Event to bring economic boom  

MAREEBA is well on its way to returning to the bustling tourist filled pre-COVID town it was with events like the Northern Nats ready to go for 2021. 

Massive community events like the Rotary FNQ Field Days and the Northern Nats bring an influx of visitors to the town who like to explore, enjoy and splurge.

The Northern Nats is expected to get nearly 300 entrants excluding spectators for their weekend long activities this coming weekend. Mareeba Chamber of Commerce President Joe Moro said that this event does just as much for the community as it does for the raceway. 

“Events like Northern Nats bring people, and once people come into the community they spend money on all different levels,” - Mr Moro

“From booking hotel rooms to food and the essentials, it generates more activity within the economy and helps promote the region.

“Events like this give locals a lot of reasons to get out, people have pent up energy from a very quiet year and even this year.

“I think that events this year are going to be supported very strongly because people just want to get out and back into normality as much as possible.”  

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