Townsville-based burnout sensation to compete at Rockynats 02
Published on 01 April 2022
When Townsville motorsport enthusiast, Jay Chun-Tie, bought an old 1978 Suzuki Ute with the intention of turning it into a promo truck for his towing business, he certainly never expected it to result in him travelling the country to compete in Australia’s most elite burnout competition.
Although he grew up with a love of motorsport and first got into the burnout scene when he was quite young, Jay gave up the sport for several years to focus on raising his family and building his business, Tiny Towing. It was the purchase of his now-notorious aqua green Suzuki Ute and his subsequent decision to enter it into local burnout competitions that reignited his interest in the sport and saw him start travelling to compete in different events.
“I bought and restored the truck seven years ago because I thought it would make a good little advertisement for my business,” Jay explains, “but then I decided to enter a few burnout comps just for fun and it all escalated from there.”
“It wasn’t long before we started travelling to Cairns, Mackay, Alice Springs and even down to Canberra for competitions because we loved it so much. The whole family comes along, and it’s been a great way for our kids to see Australia.”
After initially starting in the lower-tier competitions, Jay’s breakthrough into the highly elite Burnout Masters Series, came after a surprise phone call inviting him to compete in the series’ qualifying event at the Red Centre NATS in Alice Springs a couple of years ago.
“It’s such a high-profile competition that it was something I never really aimed for, however I got a call to say I was eligible to compete in the qualification event, which I jumped at,” he reflects. “I ended up making it into the finals and was spearheaded as a wildcard at Summernats the following year, which is like the grand final of the Masters competition.”
Jay’s success at subsequent events, including a podium finish at last year’s Rockynats, has seen him become a permanent competitor in the Masters Series.
“It’s not the easiest sport because you’re always up against a tough field and you never know where you’ll finish,” he says. “At the end of the day, all you really want to do is get through an event with no damage and anything else is just a bonus because you’re pushing so hard.”
For a North Queensland local like Jay, the recent introduction of the Rockynats event into the Summernats calendar provides a welcome opportunity to compete at the highest level without having to travel thousands of kilometres.
“Rockynats is awesome for us because it’s only a day’s drive away – not three or four like all the other big car events,” he explains. “We, along with a lot of other Queenslanders, consider it our local comp and we’ll be there every year from now on guaranteed!”
But it’s not just the proximity event’s proximity that makes the Chun-Tie family so keen to come back for its second year, with the family-friendly atmosphere and spectator support also being a highlight.
“As a family, we loved the whole event and how much the town and the spectators got behind everything,” Jay says. “The street parade, in particular, was huge, with people lining the streets for the entire length of the parade…it was awesome to see.”
“We also loved meeting lots of new people. Everyone came up to you to have a chat, whether it was at the event, in town or at the caravan park. We also had lots of kids wanting to jump in the truck and get a photo which I think is a great way of encouraging the next generation.”
Advance Rockhampton Executive Manager, Greg Bowden, says the event is perfect for families wanting an Easter holiday or some high-adrenaline school holiday entertainment.
“There program is jammed packed of different on and off-track events so there’s something for everyone and all ages,” says Greg. “Unlike a standard racetrack or other large sporting events, you’re also up close to all the action and you can see entire events take place from start to finish.”
“Being held over the Easter long weekend, it also provides plenty of opportunity to explore the many local, family-friendly attractions on offer throughout our region, from the Capricorn Caves and Byfield National Park to Mt Archer and the Southern Great Barrier Reef.”
With kids under 12 receiving free entry with any Adult General Admission pass, Rockhampton Regional Council Mayor, Tony Williams, says is makes the festival an affordable family event, especially for those who might be travelling from outside the region.
“It can be hard to find holiday activities that don’t break the bank and we wanted to ensure that Rockynats is an affordable event that the whole family can come along to and enjoy.”
Rockynats will be held in Rockhampton from April 15 – 17 with tickets available online at https://www.rockynats.com.au/Get-Tickets.
The Queensland Government is proud to support the Rockynats Car Festival through Tourism and Events Queensland’s Destination Events Program and it is a feature on the It’s Live! in Queensland events calendar.