CLUB HISTORY

 
Overview

 

 

In early 1974 the basic groundwork for the Esperance Speedway was started by four keen young men in Kerry (Casper) Castledine, Marcus Gray, Gavan Jones, Eddie Cartlegde and with guidance from local clergyman Farther Kevin Glover. (Father had the guidance and know how to go through official channels).

​An application was made to the Esperance Shire Council for land, They offered a limestone pit on Norseman Road adjasent to the Esperance Golf Club, However the golf club strongly objected to this. The council then granted land 14km North of Esperance in a gravel pit east of Shark Lake.

​At the inaugural Annual General Meeting, John O'Donnell was elected President, Jeff Bain and Gavan Jones (Secretary), Danny Dunn (Treasurer) and John Goodlad (Vice President) along with their committee.

​The foundation members started the hard task of building the speedway track, giving up many hours of their free time. From dawn to dusk, seven days a week, they carved out the circuit with machinery they had begged and borrowed from local supporters.

Earthworks went ahead quickly with Brian Bradley, John O'Donnell, Allan Walters, Tony Lorretta, Stan Polmear and the Dickerson boys from D&D Pavers. The bush was cleared with a 4 cylinder Caterpillar dozer.

​The earth backed safety fence was constructed with 2000 railway sleepers, wired together horizontally and perpendicular trenched in with the use of a digger. Second hand sleepers were obtained from the nearby railway line that was being upgraded at the time. Sometimes the sleepers had to be carted at night when trucks were available. The boundary perimeter fence was erected with chain mesh, trees were planted around the boundary and the club was granted permission to use the water from Shark Lake to water the track until a dam could be sunk on site.

​After only four months of hard work by the dedicated volunteers, the Esperance Speedway Association Inc. ran their first race meeting at the unique 365 metre track on a Sunday afternoon, the 28th of December 1974 with 2,000 spectators in attendance. Officials used the back of a truck with a tarp over a frame to shelter from the hot sun while officiating the racing.

The men building the track had to still find time to their own race cars for the first meeting.

The ​Divisions racing were A and B class Productions, Supermodifieds, Formula 500's, A and B grade Solo's, Stock Bikes and Tq's. Go Kart enthusiasts also graded a track on the infield for use before the Go Kart Club was constructed years later next door to the Esperance Speedway.

​Visiting drivers from Norseman, Kalgoorlie, and Balladonia made up the fields for this opening meeting and from then on the Esperance Speedway would form a cornerstone for the town of Esperance, quality dirt racing entertainment for the locals nearly 45 years later.

Just like then, today the Esperance Speedway is built and run on the back of hard work from it’s dedicated members, volunteers and sponsors.

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Life Members

Mark Clancy

2016-17

Leanne Aldrick

2015-16

Mark Humphrys

2014-15

Trevor Bale

2009-10

Christine Stapely

2008-09

Colin Symonds (dec)

2006-07

Don Macalpine

2004-05

Liz Plecas

2003-04

Roy Parkins (dec)

2002-03

Lorraine Bale

2002-03