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2020 Ron Spriggs Memorial Speedway Meeting


Sat 21 Nov 2020, 5:00pm–9:00pm

Where: Central Motor Speedway, Sandflat Rd, Cromwell, Central Otago

Restrictions: All Ages

Listed by: rossLtwp

Join us in celebrating the memory of Ron Spriggs, the Invercargill panel beater whose vision and tenacity created Heavy Trax Hire Central Motor Speedway. Ron felt that as much as he enjoyed holidaying in Central Otago, the region lacks family entertainment, namely a speedway.

His search for a suitable location took him to council-owned marginal land off Cromwell’s Sandflat Road that offered a natural amphitheatre embankment. Cromwell's central location also helped Ron achieve his ambition for a speedway that the whole of Central Otago could call their own.

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

From the now-demolished caretaker’s house, he built beside the track, 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.

This is the third consecutive season that Ron’s memory is being kept alive through the ‘Ron Spriggs Memorial Meeting’.

Saturday, November 21 promises a big field of sprint cars along with six-shooters, saloons, super saloons, productions and youth mini stocks. Gates open at 3 pm with racing starting at 5 pm. One of the few speedways where spectators can park trackside to watch all the action, and keep socially distanced, it is recommended to arrive before 3 pm.

As has now become a tradition, the Central Motor Speedway sets aside the track VIP facilities for Ron’s immediate and extended family. At the 2018 inaugural memorial meeting, it was the first time many of them had visited the track since Ron lost his battle with cancer.

Photo shows Ron Spriggs sitting on a wheel of his midget racecar.