More than 120,000 descend on Canberra for annual Summernats Car Festival

More than 120,000 motoring fanatics are expected to spill into Canberra’s Exhibition Park on Sunday for the 36th annual Summernats festival.

The motorist mecca is expected to feature about 2500 cars, from tricked-out Holden’s to purpose-built speedsters and track-only dragsters.

Rev-heads have travelled from all over the country for Summernats, which featured burnout and skid events, as well as the infamous mullet competition.

Summernats co-owner Andy Lopez said earlier this year the event will “undoubtedly be the biggest Summernats ever”.

“Its an automotive lovefest … Canberra can be a bit grey, a bit beige. What we bring is chrome, colour, and noise,” Mr Lopez told Sky News.

“I’m probably being a bit unfair to Canberra, it’s a fantastic place. It’s been our home for 30-something years, We just bring something a bit different”.

Mr Lopez said organisers worked closely with ACT Police, from the planning stage right through to the implementation of the event.

“As a proper street machine community, we also share their view of zero tolerance for poor behaviour on public roads,” he said.

“Events like Summernats are built to allow you to show off, whether registered or unregistered cart, in a safe environment.

“If you want to do burnouts do it on our burnout pad. If you want to do skids, do it on our skid row. Don’t do it on a public street.”

There were early reports on Saturday of crowds erupting into chant, saying “Let them go”, after police reportedly escorted a car from the festival.

ACT Police earlier warned motorists against any hooning behaviour prior to the annual cruise through the city’s centre.

The four-day festival has attracted controversy in previous years, including after the death of Luke Newsome in 2019.

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