Love it or hate it, Summernats is usually big business for the territory.
At a quiet time in the nation’s capital, the event brings 100,000 people and $30 million to the ACT.
Next year, however, organisers will shift gears, moving the festival of fuel to the Sydney Dragway from 8 to 10 January.
The scaled-down COVID-safe event is expected to attract just 15,000 revheads across the three days and generate between $4 million and $5 million.
Summernats organiser Andy Lopez said current restrictions on large events meant the Territory would lose about $25 million worth of economic activity from the postponement of Summernats 34.
However, he moved to reassure fans another version of the event would return to Canberra on 5 to 7 March as Summernats Rev Rock and Roll, and would return in full as Summernats 34 in 2022.
The Rev Rock and Roll event will include the Burnout Masters Grand Final, cruising, show and shine, dyno, a retail expo, unveils and an elite show.
“Canberra is the spiritual home of Summernats and Exhibition Park is the perfect location for the marquee festival,” Mr Lopez told Region Media.
“The Sydney event is a new event in our calendar but it is not the full bells and whistles Summernats. What we have done is create two brand new events that are purpose-built to fit within the COVID-19 guidelines.
“Our absolute priority is to bring Summernats back to Canberra next year and that is exactly what we intend to do.”
Attendees can expect some new events at the Sydney show, including the use of an international drag strip for straight-line racing – something Mr Lopez wants to bring to Canberra in the future.
The smaller event will be welcomed by many Canberrans, who may see it as a first step to cancelling the event entirely.
The noise, smoke and increase in colourful characters in the capital have been a constant source of debate since the event began more than three decades ago.
ACT Policing issued 180 traffic infringements across the 2020 Summernats weekend, including to four drivers caught going more than 45 km/h above the speed limit. One driver from NSW lost his vehicle for 90 days after he performed a burnout in front of police in Braddon during Summernats.
For more information on the new events, or to book tickets, visit Summernats.