Port Pirie

Australian Muscle Car - - Sacred Sites Special -

South

Australia al­ways seemed an en­er­getic cen­tre for the devel­op­ment of drag strips. Af­ter the Brooks­field strip was closed in 1969, the bur­den of pro­vid­ing an out­let for the rac­ing com­mu­nity fell to the re­gional strips at Whyalla (Steel City Drag­way, still op­er­at­ing) and the new venue built at Port Pirie.

The industrial city 220km north of Ade­laide nursed its share of rac­ers, not least the en­er­getic Will broth­ers. Of­fi­cially run by the Port Pirie Drag Club, the Coon­amia Drag­way, as it was known, of­fered rac­ers an eighth-mile rac­ing op­por­tu­nity at a strip that was prob­a­bly best known for its log cabin-style con­trol tower.

Ini­tially the track had a C-grade rank­ing which was upped to B-grade sta­tus later in the year fol­low­ing a range of im­prove­ments. The track ran un­til Au­gust 1971 when, with the loom­ing open­ing of the new Ade­laide In­ter­na­tional Race­way, as Keith Wil­liams’ lat­est ven­ture, the track closed. It had, nonethe­less, pro­vided a vi­tal link be­tween Brooks­field and the new AIR strip.

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