Thousands flocked to the burnouts during the Rare Spares Rockynats in Rockhampton over the Easter weekend. Picture: Rodney Stevens
Thousands flocked to the burnouts during the Rare Spares Rockynats in Rockhampton over the Easter weekend. Picture: Rodney Stevens

Rockynats ‘blew our expectations out of the water’

Andy Lopez is still basking in the glow of the incredibly successful Rare Spares Rockynats.

The inaugural three-day car festival held in Rockhampton over the Easter long weekend was presented by the Rockhampton Regional Council in conjunction with Summernats, of which Lopez is a co-owner.

It attracted 954 cars and 323 bikes, saw 40,000 people through the gates, and injected more than $20 million into the city’s economy.

Lopez said it was a joyous occasion and a fabulous celebration of all things automotive.

“If I’m really honest, I’m a little bit overwhelmed by just how fabulous it was,” he said on Tuesday.

“It blew our expectations out of the water.

Summernats co-owner Andy Lopez. Picture Kym Smith
Summernats co-owner Andy Lopez. Picture Kym Smith

“It was a really ambitious project, to take over a city and run multiple venues, and then with the additional stress of COVID on top on that.

“But the people of Queensland and also interstate really believed in it; they came and had an amazing time and loved what we put on.”

Rockynats is locked in for the next four years, and Lopez said its potential for growth was massive.

“The sky’s the limit,” he said.

“We were confident with this first one, but you always need to see it happen to really believe it’s got the potential you think it has.”

Lopez said Rockynats had cemented its place on the country’s automotive scene.

“You’ll have Summernats in Canberra in January, Rockhampton is where everyone will want to be at Easter and then we have our Red Centre NATS on Father’s Day,” he said.

“Rockynats has, in its first year, jumped straight up to claim equal billing with those two other great automotive festivals that we run.”

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