Vintage speedway festival cancelled
Promoter David Lander has abandoned the Australian Vintage Speedway Festival planned for the 2016 Queen’s Birthday long weekend at Trevan Ford Grafton Speedway due to a lack of interest and nominations. David did not hide his disappointment when he announced he was “pulling the pin” on the Festival after calling for nominations since last September. “The heritage and history of our fantastic sport will die with the current vintage people when they die. The history and heritage of our great sport is not in anybody’s hands,” he said. “If those people running the respective vintage clubs believe a display somewhere in a park or running around a trotting track as a closed event to only the inner circle is displaying our rich history to the masses, they are sadly mistaken.” He was quick to acknowledge – and sincerely thank – the 21 people who had nominated their machines for the Festival. Lander also made it clear he will never again attempt such a promotion to honour and pay tribute to our glorious past and great history of speedway in this country which is recognised as being “invented” here by Johnnie Hoskins at West Maitland in 1923. Plans for the Australian Vintage Speedway Festival were well advanced for what would have also been a very significant “media event”. David Lander always has media coverage of his fixtures (before and after the event) featured in all avenues of the media – and the Australian Vintage Speedway Festival was not an exception to that rule, with local radio, television and newspaper coverage already in place. Negotiations with Fox Sports to present a one hour special delayed coverage of the Festival had made significant progress over the past month after Dennis Newlyn approached his contacts at the sports channel and the show looked set for a green light. This Festival was always destined to be a lot more than just a gathering of vintage personnel, cars and bikes, but the end result is: the event has now become a non-event.