Australian speedway has a long dark history of tracks that have closed, and Speedway Australia’s general manager Tim Savell is committed to making sure that tally doesn’t grow.
Earlier this week, Savell visited the dilapidated site of Canberra’s Fraser Park Speedway in the ACT, which has been closed for over two decades now, and the visit left him with a mixture of emotions.
“When I started at Speedway Australia five years ago, I made a commitment to help grow the sport as a whole,” said the former general manager of Speedway New Zealand.
“Although it was quite sad walking around the old Fraser Park Speedway site as it was in such a bad condition because it has been left dormant since it closed in 1997, it at the same time pushed me on further through what I do at Speedway Australia to keep working hard to make sure this situation doesn’t happen again.”
Savell continued by saying that this sport must learn from its dark history of closed race tracks.
“There are a variety of reasons tracks have shut down over the years, but we have to learn from all of this,” he enthused.
“Too many people in this sport have the tendency of looking back to the glory days of speedway and not really focus on its future. However, I’m committed to pushing this sport forward and although we must respect the past, we have to continue to make sure that we don’t keep repeating past mistakes.”
With countless of speedway tracks having closed over the years throughout Australia for a variety of reasons, Savell says that the sport is fortunate that the government has made a commitment to replace Sydney’s Valvoline Raceway.
“Over the years, there have been plenty of empty promises to open new tracks when old ones close, but it has never eventuated,” commented Savell, who added that the last car speedway track opened was Moama’s Heartland Raceway on the NSW-Victorian border back in January 2005.
“To have a replacement venue set out for Valvoline Raceway is something this sport is very fortunate to have, and although it can be frustrating at times with the future uncertain, we just have to trust the process and in the meantime not tear each other apart, as we are all passionate about the sport in Sydney and its future.”