When it comes to Boxing Day and sport, the cricket test matches have become a yearly tradition and anticipated event. Where men in white winter-suited clothing throw a ball, hit it with a stick, and catch it, whilst the commentators talk about what they had for Christmas lunch (i'm exaggerating, cricket is more interesting than that... apparently).
Yet all around the country, Boxing Day drags, burnout sessions and speedway nights are held for the common petrolhead.
So, this past Boxing Day, I headed back to Heathcote Park Raceway for a day of drag racing and burnouts
Having never photographed the latter, when I arrived at Heatchote I followed the sound of smashing rev-limiters and the sight of smoke rising into the sky.
At the burnout pad, Aussie paddock bashers turned horsepower monsters and smoke machines were turning fuel and air into smoke and shredded rubber.
These cars serve no other purpose than to kill tyres. Practicality, aesthetic and matters of mpg are thrown out the passenger window. The only statistic that matters is smiles per number of tyres ripped to pieces.
The pilot keeps his foot to the floor, whilst dancing on the brake and clutch, throwing the car every which way across the burnout pad, making sure to keep as much momentum as possible. These drivers don't stop when a tyre bursts. Oh no. The party only ends when rim scrapes the ground, and no rubber is left to be burnt.
Then it's an exhaust and rear scraping drive to the trailer, jack up the car, fit some new tyres, fix any mechanical issues and go out again. Us car enthusiasts really are easily amused!
On the other side, a more calculated and rapid demonstration of sheer horsepower was taking place.
Historic and modern Holdens, Ford Wagons and plenty more were heading down the drag strip in an attempt to break personal bests and get a dose of that speed thrill.
Riders on two wheels were also making their trip down the quarter mile pass. Average street bikes and choppers to modified drag bikes were ridden fearlessly, showing what a high revving small power-plant and lightweight machine can achieve in a quarter of a mile.
The fastest down the quarter mile on the day would go to this Chevrolet Monza, a rare sight anywhere. Regardless, it consistently ran 8 second passes, with its fastest time being a 8.20.
Another car that deserves a mention was this mad Ford Territory. It ran mid to low 9-second passes all day, and even sniffed at getting into the eights. Interestingly,. not once did it do a pre-stage burnout out clean and heat the rear tyres.
My favourite car of the day however was this super clean Chevy Bel-Air. It just oozed with old school drag racing style whilst it made clouds that would make the Commodores at the burnout pad leak oil with fear. I'm just a sucker for Gassers.
To some, it may seem wasteful and futile to shred tyres and drive in a straight line at full throttle all day. But the horsepower monsters on display at Heathcote, and all around Australia at different racetracks on Boxing Day shows off the human ability to build machines capable of amazing feats, and is a testament to those brave enough to pilot them.