Celebrating Anzac and 25 years
Waharoa Speedway is celebrating its 25th year of racing with a massive two-day event over Anzac weekend.
The track is holding an Anzac Youth and Veteran Day, which will feature vintage midgets, historic stock cars, quarter midgets and ministocks.
Racing will start at 1pm on Friday, April 25 and will continue into the evening, with a live band and food and drinks available.
The following day’s racing will kick off at 11am and will include the New Zealand Adult Ministock Title race.
The day will also feature the Aleisha O’Reilly Memorial – an annual production saloon 30 lapper.
President Marcus Bullen said they wanted to encourage as many locals as they could to come and help the club mark the occasion.
‘‘Come out and support your local track – it’s there for the community to join up and use,’’ he said.
‘‘ Come out,
a look, and see what it’s all about. We are a pretty easy-to-approach club and we are family orientated.’’
The club is still recovering after they lost thousands of dollars of equipment in a burglary, he said.
The two-day event is the last official meeting for the season, with a Picnic Day planned for May 11.
The club would like to thank everyone who has supported them over the years, including this season’s major sponsors J Swap Contractors, Matamata Hire, Neven Granich and Marc 1 Wheels and Tyres.
Gary Winton, the club’s patron and one of six life members, said the Rangeview Drivers and Supporters Club ( the track was previously known as Rangeview) was started in the 1988 to 1989 season.
The track on Landsdowne Rd was originally run by the Matamata Hot Rod Club and was later taken over by Rangeview.
‘‘The land is owned by Mr Buckley and his family. Matamata is pretty lucky to have a speedway track thanks to them,’’ said Winton.
In the early days, it was a cinders track and was coated in ash supplied by the dairy factory in Waharoa.
Peter Gurney and Les Berehe made the oval track and put up the fence and the club was involved in supply- ing extra classes such as production saloons, formula 500s and motorbikes, Winton said.
In 1996, the track was extended and converted to a clay surface, as it is today.
Winton said the club has always had a strong membership of about 120 and this year had a record 170.
Members range from 8 years old to 67 and anyone and everyone is welcome.
‘‘ The club has only survived because of the hard-working committees over the years and a whole heap of Matamata businesses that have helped us out,’’ said Winton.
‘‘I think it’s a great milestone. A lot of people didn’t think we’d make it, but we did.
‘‘Now, we are looking forward to the next 25 years.’’
In action: Come and check out the action at Waharoa Speedway next weekend.
Day out: Waharoa Speedway prides itself on being a family friendly track.