Motorvation is a West Aussie institution, and if you’ve been counting, it’s been running for 33 years – one more than Summernats! For the last few years though, it’s been in a bit of a transitional phase with the management at the Motorplex changing and the organisers struggling to find the right balance between the right number of – and type of – cars they wanted to attract to the event.
A few years back there were around 800 cars in attendance, and while that might sound like a killer show, it usually resulted in a gridlocked cruise route and a large number of cars that you may or may not have been able to see at the shopping centre car park. It’s also tough to find the right balance of steel bumper versus late-model cars, because let’s face it, a lot of the younger crew are the guys throwing money at Commodores and Falcons and making stupid amounts of horsepower – and they’re the kind of people you need to attract to these kinds of events.
This year’s event was definitely down on numbers, which from an entrant’s point of view, isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It means more chances to cruise and less time waiting in the staging lanes. Unlike Summernats, because the Motorplex is held at a dragstrip, the cruising needs to be a little more structured, so they have a Smooth Cruise – where you’re meant to behave yourself – and a Super Cruise where you can cut sick.
The Elite tent had little more than a dozen cars on display and you have to wonder whether it’s the type of event that needs an elite show. To their credit, the organisers have made efforts to evolve this part of the event by making it an “active elite” show, which means you can – if you choose – take your car out of its display and cruise the event and even do some skids if you want.
I’m not sure what the future holds for Motorvation. It may never be a three-day event again, but I don’t see that as a negative. While it was a one-day-only event for spectators, entrants got to enjoy eighth-mile drags, cruising and a drive-in show on the Friday night.
Entrants in the burnout competitions were down on numbers as well, but the quality was right up there with some killer performances put on by Chad Douglas in 2MENTAL, Chris Orchard in BALLISTIC and Matt James in COMPACT. If you’re a West Aussie and on the fence about Motorvation, don’t be. Get behind it and enjoy it for what it is – a long-running, laid back, good time with your mates.
Words // Boris Viskovic
After blowing up the transmission in UNWANTED, Matt James jumped into COMPACT and drove it like a wild man, taking out the win in Pro class
Jamie Kennedy put on a great show in NASTY 8 during the cruising and the burnout comp, but the engine died and he couldn’t get it restarted to drive off the pad, ending any chance of a place
Ben Jansen’s HZ Sandman ute sure stands out with its turquoise paint and orange stripes. The tunnel-rammed big-block Chevy doesn’t hurt either!
Mark Grose is giving his HT Monaro a bit of a rest while he has a bunch of fun in his new ride, this killer EK ute which also features a tunnel-rammed and nitrous-fed small-block Chev
David Appel was doing it in style with his ’64 Compact Fairlane thanks to a blown Windsor adding a little more horsepower than the factory intended
Dean Parker’s HX wagon L3G IT had no problems pulling massive powerskids and went on to put on a killer display in the Open class to finish in second place
George Separovich at the start of a full-track powerskid in NUTTR. I caught him later checking the data and he took it pretty easy, only revving it to 9300rpm
Jason Herbert’s EK ute had its hard-earned patina sealed in with a coat of gloss clear. The old girl killed a few tyres before the big turbo hanging off the LS was too much for the transmission
Nick Ierino’s Whipple-blown small-block has no problems smoking the bags fully loaded thanks to 1000hp at the tyres
It might say NOBODY on the plates but Tony Ward’s well on the way to being a somebody with his fifth place finish in the Open class in his immaculate VY ute
Chad Douglas put on one of the best displays I’ve ever seen in his twin-turbo monster 2MENTAL. The car was on song and revving super clean but a slight tap on the wall put him out of contention