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Season off to successful start

SPEEDWAY

IT was not the grand opening to the season hoped for but the drivers and fans who went to the Gisborne Speedway Club’s opening day on Saturday had a great time.

The two-hour race programme was watched by around 300 fans who social distanced their way around the Eastland Group Raceway track.

The club was forced to postpone the full-scale meeting it had planned to start the season because of the Covid-19 Alert Level 2 restrictions.

“It was a really good afternoon, and it was great to have quite a few people in the crowd watching,” said speedway club president Clyde McGrory.

“We had races in just about all the classes though not with big fields.”

The stockcars were the best represented class for numbers.

“We had about a dozen stockcars, plus a superstock that came over from Tauranga to take part, and Reece Lister was out there in his classic stockcar.

“They all raced together and there was good competition. amongst the drivers.”

There were more than a dozen local young drivers in the youth mini-stock class, and they raced well.

The production saloons mustered seven or eight cars, and they put on a good show too, McGrory said.

“We finished it all off with a barbecue and it was all in all a really good family affair, so good we’re considering doing it again in a couple of weeks.

“It’s drawing the club together at a time when we don’t know what’s going to happen between now and Christmas when it comes to the Covid alert levels.

“It’s a bit hard to plan anything at the moment because of that uncertainty.”

The club would press ahead with planning for their next meeting, the Jukes Carriers Fireworks Meeting on November 6, which he hoped would proceed, he said.

“Everybody who came out on Saturday was overwhelmed with the progress made at the track over winter — the new parking area, improvements in the club house, the new toilets for the crowd and so on.

“Thanks everyone who turned up on Saturday to race or watch.

“It was great to get the season started.”

UNDER WAY: The 2021-22 season did not start the way Gisborne Speedway Club had planned, but the club day run last Saturday as an alternative was a success, with a good field of stockcars putting on a show reminiscent of this scene from last season. File picture by Liam Clayton