Auto club circling to fund track
SPEEDWAY enthusiast, Neil Smith usually likes racing around in circles, but he's not enjoying circling around town trying to get funds to build a new speedway track.
The Gladstone Auto Club member says that the club had outgrown the old track located in the show grounds and hadn't run a meeting for a couple of years.
"The show society have run some display events, but they don't have the support to achieve continuous ratings," said Mr. Smith.
Safety requirements were another reason for the clubs' decision to make the move.
We have plenty of local racers competing each year around the country but they're unknown in their own city
"The track doesn't meet the safety requirements outlined by Speedway Australia, the old fence has to be replaced, plus there's not enough room in the pits for all the cars or space to work on them," he said
Also, the grounds and pits were far too small to accommodate the big transporter trucks being used by drivers and their teams nowadays.
Plus complaints from nearby residents regarding the noise and dust from racing vehicles during meetings were also factored into their decision to find a venue away from built up areas.
The club has a parcel of land set aside at the Benaraby Motor Sports Complex and are seeking funding to build the track and pits areas.
Mr. Smith approached the council for assistance as, "The costs aren't outside the cost of building a good cricket or football ground," he said.
At last count, there were still 40 active vehicles still being used to race in many classes in venues around the country. "There are quite a number sitting in sheds, and even more being constructed," he said.
According to Mr. Smith Speedway is alive and well, but Gladstone's drivers can't build a fan base in their home town.
"We have plenty of locals competing but they're unknown in their own city."
"We just need some local support and funding to get this great sport back up to the standard it once held," he said.