Full house revs up speed­way opener

Upper Hutt Leader - - SPORT - COLIN WILLIAMS

‘‘The ex­tra at­mos­phere that came with a full arena re­ally fu­elled the ac­tion.’’

The Welling­ton Speed­way sea­son has started with a bang.

More than 6000 speed­way fans turned out for the Te Marua club’s open­ing night.

The ‘‘full house’’ signs went up at the venue’s carpark­ing early on the Labour Week­end Sun­day and fans were left to park as far away as Plateau Rd and walk in.

This Satur­day the long es­tab­lished Te Marua club will hold its Fire­works Su­per­show night meet­ing with the mix of rac­ing and fire­works a pop­u­lar an­nual event.

‘‘We al­ways have good crowds for our open­ing meet­ing, but this was ex­cep­tional and the ex­tra at­mos­phere that came with a full arena re­ally fu­elled the ac­tion,’’ Welling­ton Speed­way spokesman Aaron Mus­grove said.

‘‘We learned later that there were traf­fic queues ex­tend­ing back as far as To­tara Park bridge on the River Road.’’

‘‘One reg­u­lar speed­way cou­ple we know left at their nor­mal time to get there and they gave up in the end and turned around at the Rimu­taka Cal­tex sta­tion and headed home,’’ he said.

Mus­grove was ex­pect­ing an­other big turnout on Satur­day.

‘‘We have made changes to how we do some things to make sure there are less de­lays for peo­ple, both when they are ar­riv­ing and when they are leav­ing.

‘‘We’re open­ing a sec­ond car park and more staff have been hired.’’

Speed­way has gone through im­por­tant changes in the last decade, Mus­grove said.

‘‘It’s moved on and away from be­ing seen as a bo­gan af­fair and is now recog­nised as well rounded and pro­fes­sional fam­ily en­ter­tain­ment.’’

The can­cel­la­tion of the open­ing night ac­tion at the Palmer­ston North Speed­way the evening be­fore the Te Marua night was a fac­tor in the ex­tra high level of crowd in­ter­est in Welling­ton, Mus­grove said. That meant there was a higher num­ber of Manawatu¯ driv­ers, sup­port teams and race fans at Te Marua.

They all con­trib­uted to the Su­per Stock­car crash and bash ac­tion on a pro­gramme which was backed with top rac­ing in other classes and fin­ished off with a de­mo­li­tion derby hit out de­liv­er­ing plenty of car­nage.

The Welling­ton Speed­way 2017/18 has plenty of other high­lights.

Next up, af­ter the fire­works night, is the sec­ond round of the Na­tional Su­per Saloon se­ries on Novem­ber 11.

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