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Speedway season abandoned

SIMPSON Car Club announced it has joined the growing list of sporting organisations forced to cancel the remainder of its current season.

The speedway’s 2019/20 campaign was the biggest on record as the venue hosted two national championships and multiple high expenditure Sprintcar events.

The club is expected to escape relatively unscathed from the decision, with just one race meeting remaining on its calendar which was scheduled for April 4.

President Alan Symons said the club felt fortunate to have completed its major events prior to the latest Government restrictions regarding mass gatherings being enforced.

“As a club, we’re thanking our lucky stars really,” he said.

“Some of the other tracks around the region still had up to three or four race meetings to go on their calendar.

“So we’re rather fortunate that this affects us to a lesser degree somewhat.”

While disappointed the club is unable to complete its full slate of events, Symons believes there should be minimal flow-on effects from the cancellation.

“We generally make around $4000 to $5000 from our last race meeting,” he said.

“So it means we certainly take a hit, but it’s not like it’s something that we can’t bounce back from.

“Obviously the less money you make, the less you can put back into the facilities and infrastructre.”

Simpson successfully hosted the Australian Formula 500 Championship last December and more recently held the Australian 360ci Championship earlier this month.

“Our season as a whole turned out alright to be honest,” Symons said.

“It was a big risk for a country club to take on two pretty big title events like we did, but we’ve come out the other end thinking it was all worthwhile.

“The Formula 500 title was a success even though we battled through 43 degree weather on the first day.

“And the 360ci title obviously cost us a heck of a lot of money to put on but we came away from it in a sound position.”

Symons said the club will now push forward with preparations for the 2020/21 season, saying that its calendar is likely to concentrate on single day events.

“There’ll be no national titles next year, we haven’t applied for any of them,” he said.

“We’ll step back and take a bit of a breath for a year.

“Running multiple two night meetings really puts a strain on the volunteers we rely upon so heavily.

“We race for two nights but all-in-all it turns into about a four day commitment for the majority of our volunteers, and that’s outside of the committee members who do a tremendous amount of work on top of that.

“We’ll put submissions in for some state titles and get back to focusing on single day shows.”

Laang Speedway has also called a premature end to its season with the Ken Willsher Classic programmed for April 25 officially cancelled.