Cel­e­brat­ing An­zac and 25 years

Matamata Chronicle - - News - By NI­COLA STE­WART ni­cola.ste­wart@ wrcn.co.nz

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,

have

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.

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