Speedway is ‘World Class’

MUD FLIES, CARS SLIDE AT SPEEDWAY OPENING: Mud flies and cars slide as competitorsround a bend during a Limited Sportsman race at Blue Ribbon Speedway, north of Horsham. Mail-Times photographer David Fletcher caught the Limited Sportsmen drivers testing their skills just before sunset during speedway action at the weekend. The race was one of the first at the meet ing which featured an official opening of the Horsham Motor Sports Club track.
MUD FLIES, CARS SLIDE AT SPEEDWAY OPENING: Mud flies and cars slide as competitorsround a bend during a Limited Sportsman race at Blue Ribbon Speedway, north of Horsham.
Mail-Times photographer David Fletcher caught the Limited Sportsmen drivers testing their skills just before sunset during speedway action at the weekend. The race was one of the first at the meet ing which featured an official opening of the Horsham Motor Sports Club track. PHOTO: WIMMERA MAIL TIMES

Australian speedway leaders believe Horsham’s new Blue Ribbon Raceway at Kalkee is ‘world class’ and one of the best in Victoria.

Federation of Australian Speedways issued Horsham Motor Sports Club an A rating for the track before an official opening at the weekend. Federation chief administrator Peter Dodd of Adelaide said last night the track was a credit to members of the Horsham club.

“I inspected the track in September with a representative of our American insurance underwriter”, Mr Dodd said. “We were both very impressed with the Horsham track.”

“As far as safety and presentation are concerned, the track is definitely world class.”

The A rating means all classes of speedway race cars can compete on the Horsham raceway, on the Blue Ribbon Road, just north of Horsham.

Horsham Motor Sports Club has already secured the Victorian Sprint Car titles on February 1. The club’s next meeting on December 14 will feature Formula 500s, a single seat, open-wheel car driven by a 500cc motorcycle engine.

Healthy

The club hopes to stage a round of the Victorian Super Sedan series on the March long weekend and will feature the exciting Super Rods category on April 6. Other meetings are planned for January 4 and April 25.

Mr Dodd said he rated Blue Ribbon Raceway as just below AA, a rating reserved for tracks of ‘television quality’ used nornational titles.

Mr Dodd’s comments come after an entertaining and well-received official opening in front of a healthy crowd on Saturday night.

Victorian Speedway Council president Alan Jones opened the track and Reverend Neale Michael then blessed the track, drivers and spectators before Horsham club drivers and cars were presented to the crowd.

Officials released balloons and cars drove through a club banner while Wimmera singer Lisa Thomas sang Advance Australia Fair.

Lighting

Spokesperson Di Bell said the club was generally pleased with its opening night but lighting problems made it difficult for drivers and spectators to see well. “At present a lighting tower is driven across from Adelaide for each meeting,” Mrs Bell said. “But on Saturday there were problems with the setting which couldn’t be fixed without half an hour close down.”

“Adjustments have been made so the problem doesn’t happen again and we hope it doesn’t stop people coming back.” “In the long term we hope to get our own lights.”

Mrs Bell said the club was also disappointed that Sprint Car representatives from around Victoria withdrew from Saturday’s program at late notice.

Results:

A Modified: M. Hawson, Mildura 1, T. Wilson, Ballarat 2, G. Holden, Stawell 3
Ladies Sedan: K. Berry, Horsham 1, L. Wilde, Horsham 2, S. Watts, Horsham 3
Three Litre Class, formerly B Grade, D. Job, Mildura 1, L. Bell, Horsham 2, P. Mills, Horsham 3.
Super sedans: T. Simmons, Horsham 1, R. Buckley, Horsham 2; Juniors: L. Pyke, Stawell 1, B. Wilde, Horsham 2
Limited Sportsman: J. Baker, Horsham 1, B. Foley, Hamilton 2, P. Bull, Hamilton 3
Street Stocks Final: G. Puls, Horsham 1, D. Elsey, Ballarat 2, S. Ellis, Horsham 3.

Gate Prizes: H. Smith, Horsham 1, B. Luy, Pimpinio 2.
Ride in a Speedway Car Competition, B. Elsom and T. Carman.

– Paul Ashenden

SOURCE: The Mail-Times November 27, 1996