The issues of dust that have plagued Springs Speedway should be a thing of the past with extensive work done on the Central Auckland track ahead of the new season.
Work is currently well underway in ripping up the old track and laying a correct base platform with a type of clay that won’t result in the clouds of dust that blanketed the entire venue at each race meet last summer.
“The dust was the key reason we did this,” promoter Greg Mosen tells herald.co.nz.
“We have been putting plasters over an open wound for a number of years now. Whilst you continue to add to track material you never get to the root cause.
“In order for us to get the right shape back in the track we needed to go right back to the beginning and reshaping the track to what it is we want the cars to race on. Once you then have that shape right, you can put your material back.
“There have been 58 truck and trailer loads of clay that has been moved from the oval, which is the race track itself. Underneath that is a base. The base was the wrong shape. It was due to the fact the thing continues to move – Western Springs is full of underground water springs. There has been a variety of machinery in there over the last few years.
“It was an opportunity for us to reshape and repack the base and then put the new material down on top of the shape we actually wanted.”
To get the right type of clay however, they needed a dirt specialist and that is where New Zealand’s leading cricket pitch curator Mark Perham comes in. Perham has worked with Springs Speedway to get the right type of clay to ensure the dust isn’t a problem – the end result will be a much darker looking clay.
“He is the man you go to when it comes to cricket pitches and he also goes to speedway,” Mosen says. “He approached me and told me he thought he could help us.
“Clay is made up of three things – dirt, sand and silt. It is getting the right balances relative to what you are trying to achieve. He is very confident this chocolate brown is the answer.”
Speedway has a contract to continue at the venue for another three summers but there has been a big push by Regional Facilities Auckland to find a new home further out of the central city. Mosen says the exercise hasn’t been cheap but the results should be worth it even if they are only there for three more years.
“It is a significant investment. “We have made the investment and there will be no price increase and there will be no increases in terms of what the competitors will need to pay to do exactly what they got to do last year. In fact our prizemoney schedule has gone up in all four main classes.”
If you drive past the track at the moment you could be forgiven for questioning whether the upgrades will be completed in time for the opening night on November 5 but Mosen says they will be on time.
“It looks like a bomb has gone off here at the moment and the weather is not helping.
“Porters have been terrific – with all their stresses and strains of all the motorway work going on they have managed to get the machinery we need here for us.
“They expect to have the base packed and ready for sign off this week. All we need to do after that is roll the new surface into the circuit layer by layer.
“The 29th of October will be our first practice and we’ll be putting it through its paces then.”