the inaugural series was won by local racer Johnny Hepburn, from Timaru.
This year, the town was host to street race cars; rally cars; and, again, the D1NZ North versus South Drift competition participants — always a crowdpleaser in the close confines of Waimate’s streets. Livestreaming meant the track could be viewed from anywhere. Accommodation was booked out, and there was plenty to entertain young and old, day and night.
With recent support from local businessman Ken Mckeown’s Mckeown Petroleum company and a host of other local businesses and individuals, the region should enjoy the success of this event for years to come.
“The gravel weekend events and the Vines Hillclimb event, which is new for this year, is a logistical challenge in its complexity. The hill climb and downhill events have been received very well, with no negatives,” Aikman said.
Questions were raised in the lead-up to this year’s event, as a large portion of the budget went towards fulfilling health-andsafety compliance issues. But the crowds came in big numbers and enjoyed an array of great racing and socializing and sent the organizers a clear message that the Waimate 50 was enjoyed by all.
“Our aim is to bring something special, and variety, to entertain people over Labour Weekend. It does take several weeks of construction and work to get it all together. We are grateful to have the people and expertise on hand to do that,” he said.
Waimate mayor Craig Rowley praised the efforts of organizers, businesses, and volunteers who made it all happen.
“The Waimate 50 is a welcome event for our district — the economic benefit it brings to our district is not underestimated. No event of this magnitude can be run without sponsors, and, to this year’s sponsors, I express a big thank you,” Rowley said.