Warm welcome as speedway returns

ON TRACK: Blackwater’s Ross Ballard at the Wingless Sprints at the Rockhampton Speedway last year. Chris Ison - The Morning Bulletin
ON TRACK: Blackwater’s Ross Ballard at the Wingless Sprints at the Rockhampton Speedway last year. Chris Ison - The Morning Bulletin

IT has been a tough few months for Coal Capital Speedway in Blackwater but now, after all the rain and forced cancellations, racing is set to return to the Blackwater track.

“It’s bloody magic,” Speedway president Ross Ballard spruced.

“All we can do is plan for a meet and hope the weather gods work with us.”

The club has been hit hard financially. Almost nine months has passed without any racing action and the effects are taking their toll.

However, there is hope on the horizon and it comes in the form of one of Blackwater’s latest club recruits Mick Windon.

“They are really struggling. I’ve only been here four months and I can see they are really doing it tough,” Wondon said.

“The floods have knocked them around a fair bit.

“They have had a few dilemmas but hopefully fingers-crossed, we can get back up and running.”

The former Hunter Valley speedway driver said racing had always been a part of his life even if it was now only in an administrative capacity.

“I used to race but I decided to give it a break.

“Entertainment. I’m big on entertainment and that’s what I want to bring to Blackwater.

“I’m always looking at how we can give that wow-factor.”

Outside of normal weekend race circuit, Mick was eager to pursue the possibility of staging additional Blackwater race meets to maintain the speedway presence in town.

“We’re looking at holding afternoon meets during the winter months just to get some events under our belts and keep the money in the bank,” said Mick.

“Maybe have a Sunday where people can come and do some racing.”

Mick believes one of the more difficult tasks was enticing coastal drivers west to compete.

“The biggest issue is getting people out here racing... but we’ve got prize money in nearly every division,” Mick said.

“The only exception we make is the juniors but even then they still receive incentives such as vouchers. It’s all about development.”

The five division race card is showing plenty of promise as the track plays host to the year’s first Junior Sedan CQ Title.

Superstockers are back on board as well as the Modified Production, V6 Wingless and night’s main event AMCA Nationals.

For Ballard, a Blackwater track veteran, all thoughts will be with his engine and praying for his car to stay its course for his two starts in the AMCAs and Wingless divisions.

“I’ve had a few little mechanical gremlins,” Ross said.

Blackwater driver Brian “The Pom” Hodkin returns to the local race circuit after a two-year sabbatical.

The highly fancied superstocker, who has also had some car issues of late, appears right on track for his race return in Blackwater this weekend.

Gates open from 4pm with racing from 6pm at the Coal Capital Speedway in Blackwater.

“I’ve had a few little mechanical gremlins...”

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