President gets last lap around track
Cheers, applause and shout-outs for Daryl Ainsley followed his 5T Super saloon as it did its last lap around the Cromwell speedway track.
The 52-year-old Central Motor Speedway president’s body was recovered on Saturday after his vehicle plunged in the sea at the bottom of a cliff on the Tautuku peninsula, in the Catlins.
The tragedy occurred after he had gone to help friends, towing their stuck vehicle out of mud.
Over 2000 people attended Ainsley’s funeral before spreading around the speedway track to pay a final farewell to the well-known Cromwell identity.
Family gathered in the middle of the track with the hearse as Ainsley’s car did the lap of honour.
His car’s motor had blown up at the end of the season, and Ainsley’s brother, Lomas Ainsley, said speedway friends had come together to supply parts and rebuild his car for the last lap.
Central Motor Speedway former present Andy Erskine said earlier Ainsley was a beloved and respected friend, president and competitor. ‘‘He has lead our team from the top and guided and directed the club to where we are today.’’
‘‘He is very well known in the speedway community as a fierce competitor but also for his love and commitment to his club.
‘‘Central Motor Speedway has been a huge part of his life. His commitment to the presentation of the Central Motor Speedway facilities could not be questioned and the recently installed irrigation system was his pride and joy. He was relieved that moving K lines would not feature is his daily routine anymore.’’
Daryl Ainsley followed his 5T Super saloon as it did its last lap around the Cromwell speedway track.