Saving the Springs
THE FUTURE is looking bright for Western Springs Speedway.
That’s the view of new Springs Promotions boss Lewis Dawson, who took over the role late last year from long-time promoter Dave Stewart.
Mr Dawson returns to Auckland after three years in Christchurch, where he ran the Woodford Glen Speedway.
And with a master’s degree in marketing, along with years of involvement in the sport, he wants to create an entertainment package for the fans.
“It’s such an iconic venue. Everyone south of the Bombays looks at it in awe. It’s really the national speedway.”
As the clerk of the course on race nights he has had to get used to making sure strict noise and time limits imposed by the Auckland City Council are met.
Complaints about noise from local residents almost forced the venue to shut down several years ago.
“It’s quite complex juggling to make sure the show runs on time to finish by 10.30pm and juggling the noise,” Mr Dawson says.
“It’s a fine balancing act. We’re in constant communication with the council on a regular basis.”
And with six years left on their current contract with the council, which owns Western Springs, Mr Dawson says it gives them some stability when thinking about the future.
“It gives us the opportunity to implement a lot of forward thinking and it’s great for the fans and drivers who invest their money and time.”
Mr Dawson says some record-breaking times have been set on the dirt track this season.
But maintaining that speed can be difficult because it’s entirely weather dependent.
“Watering is a pretty important part of the track. You’ve got to make sure the water keeps coming up from the clay.”
Springs Promotions owner Bill Buckley says Mr Dawson’s mix of industry experience and love for the sport makes him the perfect man to take over.
“All I’ve ever wanted for the Springs is to keep it going and Lewis can see how we can do it.”
He says if speedway in Auckland is going to survive it has to stay at Western Springs.
“People won’t drive millions of miles to see it, then drive home again late in the evening. There are 12 to 15 people connected to every car that races down there.”
Fresh start: New Springs Promotions boss Lewis Dawson is confident about the future of speedway at Western Springs.