From an illegal activity to fun, exciting sport
HOONS in Bundaberg are a menace, tying up police resources and endangering the lives of law-abiding motorists.
But a new facility at Carina Speedway is taking the "hoons" off the road and turning it into a sport.
After a 15-year hiatus, Bundaberg will welcome back motorsport's rawest entry-level form - the sport of burnouts.
A massive burnout pad, the envy of any in regional Australia, is set to open this Saturday.
The aim of the facility, according to Bundy Burnouts promoter Neil Irvine, is not only to see the sport grow, but change the culture of road behaviour within the ranks of young drivers.
"Often in the past, spinning your tyres up on a street corner somewhere in front of all of your mates was seen as a rite of passage for a younger driver," Mr Irvine said.
"Not only is it clearly dangerous to other road users, but it is anti-social, potentially damaging and ties up policing resources better spent concentrated on other areas.
"This is not even considering the penalties if you get caught... fines, points, licences, impounds... even potential loss of your vehicle."
Mr Irvine said he supported the simple message that if people were going to do burn outs, it should be in a safer setting where they won't risk penalties or put themselves or others in danger.
"Why take on this level of risk," he said.
Mr Irvine said Bundy Burnouts was all about getting this behaviour "off the street".
"The aim is to host great entertainment and competition, but also to foster the ideals that this be conducted in a safe, controlled environment.
"In fact, the burnout sporting community all push this message.
"But it is a simple message, loud and clearly shared these days, and one I support in total."
The education process includes safe vehicle modification, mechanical and maintenance skills, driver skill and car control.
"The acquisition of these skills is often accompanied by a strong message from an educated burnout competitor on how they wish they had honed their own on the pad rather than the street," Mr Irvine said.
"Fines, broken cars, the threat of jail, loss of licences... I've heard them all.
"In exploring greater means for this message to be spread, I see an opportunity for sporting clubs and youth groups to get involved in the sport."
Mr Irvine said that any groups interested in setting up this model would have resources made available by Bundy Burnouts to assist with developing a burnout car and the necessary support to see their endeavours make a change for the better.
"Our plan is to mix events so that we can on one weekend be enjoying local competition and participation on a wider level in budget classes and on the next be watching the high-octane thrills of seeing the very best in the business fight for serious prize money right here in Bundy," he said.
"We aim to foster growth of this sport, not just focus on 'boys and their toys' and will be showcasing the talents of a growing number of junior and female competitors in the burnout ranks at our events."
The planning and logistics stage of seeing this motorsport lover's dream become reality included the organisation of a 50-strong team of dedicated volunteers who oversaw the preparation and pouring of almost 200 cubic metres of concrete and construction of the 45-metre wide, 35-metre long pad.