Petrolhead heaven: Speedway to be motorsport hub
THE new Benaraby Speedway promises to be a petrolhead's heaven upon completion, with its vice-president hoping it will become the motorsport hub for Central Queensland.
Neil Smith said the speedway had an impromptu start to life, as COVID-19 redirected Bob McCosker's construction staff and machinery to the track site.
"With a lot of this gear, it was supposed to go north to a construction site as it all belongs to McCosker Contracting," Mr Smith said.
"When COVID-19 hit he chose to move all of it here and get a start on this project instead of shifting it up north.
"Quite a bit of the work completed here already was done by McCosker's workers who are waiting to go up north for this other job."
Mr Smith explained the inspiration behind pushing for the construction of a speedway in Benaraby.
"The reason we made the decision to build the facility was because we got moved from the showgrounds due to dirt, dust and noise complaints," he said.
"They told us to go somewhere else, this is somewhere else.
"We will move all the motor-sporting codes we are associated with into this facility - like the bikes, the drags etc - so we don't have any complaints."
Mr Smith said funding had been steady but more support was needed.
"The council gave us $80,000 and we got funding from Ken O'Dowd, which will pay for fencing around the whole facility," he said.
"What we are really chasing is more support to put up the lights, more fencing and other components of the facility.
"When we originally costed it was $3.5 million - how much it will cost to fully complete I am not sure."
Mr Smith said 30 cars of varying classes from modified sedans, stocks and junior cars would feature when the track is fully operational.
"One of the factors behind us building the facility was that it is 140km in any direction just to be able to race and that makes it really hard for competitors," he said.
Mr Smith said the Benaraby Speedway was the only purpose-built speedway that had been constructed for 30 years and hoped it would be a roaring success.