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Central Motor Speedway Celebrates Memory of Founder, Ron Spriggs

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Central Motor Speedway Celebrates Memory of Founder, Ron Spriggs

By Ross Lindsay

This Saturday’s meeting at Heavy Trax Hire Central Motor Speedway in Cromwell celebrates the memory of Ron Spriggs, the speedways founder. As with so many community visionary’s, Ron was a stand-out of what one man can achieve.

Back in the late 1970’s, Ron was a panel beater, speedway driver and all-round fan. He felt the region lacked family entertainment, namely a speedway. His search for a suitable central location took him to council-owned marginal land off Cromwell’s Sandflat Road that offered a natural amphitheatre embankment.

The council, eager for an attraction that would bring people to the newly created Lake Dunstan and to a pretty much relocated Cromwell, supported Ron’s proposal granting him a long-term lease.

With support from his partner Valerie and willing helpers, ‘Golden Central Speedway’, was ready to host its first meeting over Christmas 1980. Cars were backed up well into the Kawarau Gorge, but terrible weather meant a last-minute postponement of that inaugural meeting. The winds were so fierce that the porta loos blew over, including one with a man in it.

Ron ran the speedway for 11 years until terminal illness forced him from active involvement. He died in March, 1996 just days shy of his 54th birthday.

The 2020/21 Ron Spriggs Memorial Meeting will feature all the favourites, with big fields of sprint cars, six shooters, super saloons, production’s and youth ministocks all racing for the honour of taking home the Ron Spriggs trophy for their class.

Everyone is invited to call into the clubrooms for a nostalgic trip to the Ron Spriggs era via a large photo and article display board.

Central Motor Speedway, Sandflat Road, Cromwell
Gates open at 3pm with 5pm race start.