A car rests on a shredded tyre after it blew during a "burnout" on a street in Canberra during the Summernats car festival January 6, 2007. Summernats is Australia's biggest and best-known car festival and draws more than 110,000 fans who each January queue to see the latest chromed and airbrushed street machines. Picture taken January 6, 2007. REUTERS/Andrew Sheargold (AUSTRALIA)

American street racers do it a quarter of a mile at a time, English Hot Hatch Harries make as much noise as they can without actually going very far or very fast, Japanese drifters hold their Celicas elegantly sideways on the ragged edge of car control - but there is something quintessentially Australian about mass burnouts.

Only at an Antipodean car festival would dozens of hoons incinerate thousands of dollars' worth of expensive performance rubber just to see how much blue smoke they can make.

Oh, and to get into the Guinness Book of World Records.

According to the guys at Guinness, the standing record for the largest number of cars spinning their rear wheels simultaneously was 49. Until last weekend, when no fewer than 69 participants at the annual Summernats Car Festival in Canberra got lit up at the same time to set a new benchmark.

No Cyril, 69; Channel 7 got it wrong.

Guinness rules require that the tyres have to spin for 10 seconds to qualify for the record and, when the smoke cleared, organisers found that about 30 of them had burst during the record attempt.

But the record stands - until next year's Summernats, in all probability. As we said: only in Australia...