Sunday 14th June tis a day I shall remember for yrs to come, as it marks the closing of an era for Australian motorsports.
Last Sunday marked the closing of the Newcastle International Motordrome(Jerilderee Park), A 400m D shaped dirt track oval, that has been used for last 30 yrs.
It was the home of many NSW, & Australian Champions, from the Pyne brothers, Alan Butcher, & Alan Baker in the Supersedans, to the likes of Adam Clarke in speedcars, Tony Pryor & Brett Hayes in the formula 500s,Mick Turner in Modified Rods, the Hopwoods in street stockers, Gary Morris in Fenda Benda's. As well as hosting other talented but lesser well known drivers, in all categories of dirt track, & also other forms of motorsprots entertainment from monstertruck racing to motorcross, & stadium offroad, and how could I possibly forget burnout competition vehicles.
The motordrome over the years has been a frequent source of entertainment for my family, having been a constant visitor since I was born. I remember snugling under blankets wishing that the noisy cars would go away & the smash up cars would come out, to only a few yrs ago where I was one of those responsible for sending those same noisy cars out to annoy the kids!
This year in the middle of August when the season would be due to begin, the familiar sweet smell of methanol/racing fuel exhaust, mixed with boiling coolant, & hot oil, will be sadly sadly missed. And by christmas time where in years goneby, the track would have traditionally hosted their supersedan test series, whereby 4 of our best would go up against 4 drivers fron the USA, I believe the whole site will have been converted into an industrial estate.
Newcastle International Motordrome - THANX for the memories.
Yeah, know how it must feel for ya mate.
Over the years we've lost Surfer's Paradise Raceway,
Lakeside, and others that I'd never been able to get to.
Made it to Surfer's for the last Touring Car race in 1987,
but didn't get to Lakeside for it's send off...
Still remember the speedway at the Brisy Ekka grounds too!
Sometimes progress sucks.
Original XD 351 Ute - I got one!!
HSV - I just don't want one....EVER!
My XF 3 on the tree ute is ALWAYS stuck in third......
I know how you feel! When they clossed down Forrest lake stadium in Hamilton New Zealand I felt my youth going too .We had some bloody GOOD times there.. Forrest lake is like Parra Clay raceway...[Net ball courts now much quieter]
Don't be afraid to try something new. Remember, amateurs built the Ark...Professionals built the Titanic!
Tuned & maintained by "Peppertree Perfmormance". Dart block, Scat 4340 steel crank, Custom C.P pistons.Oliver rods.. Mal Wood twin plate clutch.. Twin SC61/2's,482 rwkw/ 645 rwhp..
Passengers, myocardial infarction material..
As a sign of the rapid migration of Motor Sport in this country from "amateur" to pro I would imagine we will see many more of these facilities closed.
It is sad that rising insurance costs and the increasing demands of the promoters will relegate many of these accessible tracks beyond the reach of the average person.
The great tragedy of this is that it was at these little venues that families could attend a motor sport event without needing to save for 3 months to afford it - and where many of us got our first sight, sound and smell of racing. Something that never leaves you as a memory.
To this and the other great tracks that have and will cease(d) to be and all those people who entertained us on them - farewell and you will be sadly missed.
The last time I went there was about 6 years ago after they put on security people to patrol the car park. The ferals would steal badges, key the paint, break aerials, slash tyres, etc while Dads and the kids had a good time watching the demo derby. Sometimes it seemed that every set of mag wheels in the valley was in the entrance queue or the carpark.
The sppeedway smell in the air is in my memory too.
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yes very sad, i remember many balmy saturday nights in summer at newcastle motordrome (and even a few back at heddon greta!). Know the Pines brothers fairly well (dads a mechanic in cessnock where they have there auto parts store), will be sadly missed. The smell, the bits of mud being flung up on you as the cars raced around, the Australia vs USA tests etc. etc. etc.
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