Here we are in the middle of March wondering where the season went. To think back to the 14th November when we got underway, seems like a distant memory.
Before I start with the 2015/2016 season, both Bill and I would personally like to thank the competitors, crew, volunteers, officials and fans for their continued support at WXC Speedway – Western Springs. The sport appreciates your efforts week in and week out. Those late nights getting the cars ready, the mid-week trips to SNZ Training Seminars, visiting the occasional injured driver to make sure everything is ok, these people work tirelessly to make the place the way it is, thank you.
I will be working over the winter months with plans for the 2016/2017 season. We have several big things lined up and I can assure you that next season will be bigger again. I will keep you all in the loop as we head toward the start of the season so that you too can look forward to that happening.
Looking back, we got under way on the 14th November with the Auckland Champs for all classes. This was a great meeting with the resurgence of the Sprintcar class having drivers from Tauranga up to race in their all new Series. We also saw the return of the Side Cars which always seem to keep everyone on the edge of their seat.
Then into the International Sprintcar Series and we were very fortunate to have “The King” Steve Kinser here to farewell his fans in New Zealand. The 3 round series was a crowd favorite, and I am sure our local lads were thrilled to race against the legend himself.
The International Midget Car Series ran through the end of December and early January with a record number of visiting drivers here from both the USA and Australia. Great racing and good to see the local lads step up and not let those visitors have it their own way.
The TQ Midgets raced in their New Zealand TQ Midget Title and we saw some of the best racing we have seen in this class, long may that continue.
Rolling Thunder was next with the return of the Super Saloons having been away for over 20 years. With the Sprintcar drivers competing for the coveted ‘Championship Ring’ like the Midget drivers do, this was officially the biggest crowd we had at the venue this season.
The Eliminator was next, and this split the crowd in some loving it, and others hating it. No one was undecided, so we will rethink that one going forward.
Early February had the NZ Midget Championship and we would have to say it was one of a kind. The annual running of the Barry Butterworth Classic was next and great to see the Harleys back and all classes running ‘fastest off the rear’. Not sure the car owners liked it much, as the damage bill would have been horrendous in some classes.
The season ended with both the Heritage Shield and the North Island Midget Champs. We had 28 races scheduled that night and included both the final round of the Side Car Series and running the Vintage Cars before the Feature races.
A huge thanks to the F2 Midgets and the ¼ Midgets, both with big numbers in each class, with hard fought racing right through the fields.
The season had an increase in attendance of just under 20% across the season. We had over 110 competitors and by all indications we can expect to see that number grow next season. The prize money for the competitors also rose by just over 20% to a record $376,000 across the classes.
One thing is for certain, next year is going to be huge, and there could well be a very good reason why we plan to open on Saturday the 5th November.
Thanks again, have a great off-season.
Greg Mosen – Promoter.