For the vast majority of sports fans, Speedway racing and more specifically Sprintcar racing is a relative unknown, but for me it was a regular part of my Saturday nights growing up. And with the NSW Governments announcement of a Metro train holding yard took away a historic part of Sydney.
Granville Speedway, Parramatta Raceway or Sydney Speedway, whatever you knew it as is a fixture in Sydney. Just off Parramatta road in Granville next to Rosehill Racecourse, almost every Saturday night through spring and summer and the occasional Friday night, you could head out to Western Sydney and check out some high speed, high risk, high intensity Speedway racing. Whether it be Sprintcars, Speedcars, Late Models, Super sedans or most kids favourites the Fender Benders. And twice a season you’d get the very popular demolition derby, always a big crowd drawer.
But as of the 10th of April, the doors for Sydney Speedway were closed forever and it left the Speedway racing community in NSW wondering and waiting when we would get to see racing in Sydney again. With the governments plans to close the historic Sydney/Valvoline Raceway, fans petitioned the government to give us a speedway worthy of Sydney and what we Speedway fans deserved, and they delivered.
The new Eastern Creek Speedway was to be built at Sydney Motorsport park, off the back of the sand trap at the Dragway. Realistically it’s the perfect location for it. Eastern Creek raceway and dragstrip are the effective home of motorsport in Sydney so what better location. Originally it was meant to open on October 8th for Practice, with the first big event to be on October 23. But with the Covid 19 lockdown Greater Sydney was under for 4 months construction halted which meant it wouldn’t be done in time for those events.
On the 21st of December the NSW Government gave Eastern Creek Speedway the green light to open for its first event on the 14th of January for a 2-night NSW Sprintcar title, but unfortunately for myself and all fans of Speedway in Sydney and NSW the event has been postponed to the 26th of February.
Now my frustration with Covid 19 is very evident. If you’ve been reading my blogs this year or listening to any of the podcasts Ive appeared on throughout the Covid 19 pandemic, my frustration is very evident. It’s been over 2 years now and every time we appear to be getting through it, a new variant is found and thus the pandemic extends, and panic grows again. But this event was for me a huge sign of things returning back to normal. Having not been to a Sprintcar meeting for nearly 2 years now because of Covid, being back in a speedway would for me be a big sign of normalcy. But at this point, the only chance I’m going to get to see Speedway racing anytime soon while be travelling interstate where meetings are continues and the racing looks amazing. Premier Speedway Warrnambool, Archerfield Speedway Brisbane, Toowoomba Speedway are all up and running and producing amazing race meetings, and yet we here in Sydney are still waiting.
Thankfully, Eastern Creek Speedway are refunding all pre purchased tickets for the events, and I’m hoping that anyone coming from out of Sydney or interstate who’ve booked accommodation for the event are able to also get refunds. There is no way in hell I’m missing this game, if it stays on the 26th of February ill be going to both nights, if it moves, ill still be there. The only thing that concerns me now is that with the opening night NSW title, we still had a good 2 months of racing season left to get more events and maybe run at least 6 or 8 rounds of the track championship. But by moving it to the end of February, I fear that we may only get 1 maybe 2 major events at the new speedway, and we will all be waiting till the 2022/23 season for a new track championship.
Hopefully, all the big drivers we are so used to seeing race at Sydney Speedway like Grant Tunks, Ben Atkinson, Sammy Walsh, Max, Matt and Marcus Dumesny, Robbie Farr and Alex Orr will return to Eastern Creek Speedway and become regular if not permanent fixtures at the new home of Speedway in NSW.
I will finish by saying, if you ever attended the old Parramatta Speedway in any of its many names over the years, get out to the new Eastern Creek Speedway for the opening night on the 26th of February and lets make Speedway Racing big again in Sydney.