Speed on Tweed classic car racing event held in and around the streets of Murwillumbah. Mark Hulst and his Brabham Dolphin
Speed on Tweed classic car racing event held in and around the streets of Murwillumbah. Mark Hulst and his Brabham Dolphin

When Speed of Tweed car race could return

ORGANISERS pushing for a return of the Festival of Speed on Tweed are in a race against the clock to secure funding for the event, planned for September next year.

The motor racing event which featured historic sports and racing cars in a time trial format over a 1.2km course through the streets of Murwillumbah was last held in 2010.

A public meeting on Tuesday night in Murwillumbah presented the community and interested groups with the latest in planning, carried out by the Festival of Speed on Tweed committee.

Steve Purdy and his MG racing car in 2010.
Steve Purdy and his MG racing car in 2010.

Committee chairman Tonny van't Riet said there had been strong and positive support from businesses and the community but time was against them in terms of raising funding.

"To ensure that Speed goes ahead this year, we need to have funding in place by March 31 so that we can notify competitors, arrange ancillary social events with council and work towards staging a memorable event in mid September," Mr van't Riet said.

"At this stage we are looking at around $200,000 minimum but have received initial precommitments from local businesses who would be prepared to provide some financial support."

Speed on Tweed classic car racing event held in and around the streets of Murwillumbah. Brian Kirby crashed his BNG #1 into a barrier
Speed on Tweed classic car racing event held in and around the streets of Murwillumbah. Brian Kirby crashed his BNG #1 into a barrier

Michael Simmons of the Murwillumbah Chamber of Commerce said pledges had been made totalling about $60,000 to date should the event go ahead.

"This would be a great event for the town and the entire Tweed and we would be looking to incorporate a number of events around the actual racing to make it a festival for everyone, not just for motoring fans," he said.

Tweed Shire Council events and filming officer Kerrie McConnell said organisers had already overcome one major hurdle with the local traffic committee giving support in principle for the closure of streets that would be used for the track.

Car 1 is an ESSEX/RaceAbout driven by Tery Hurst
Car 1 is an ESSEX/RaceAbout driven by Tery Hurst

"This is a very significant move in allowing Speed to go ahead," she said.

"However it is only one step in a long process and if there are to be other events to complement the festival, they will have to be lodged with council prior to the event.

"There are a lot of issues to be worked through but I'm sure we can assist the committee in lodging the right forms."

Festival race meeting secretary Mark Stockwell, who has been involved with organising similar events in Queensland, said the next major step would be securing Confederation of Australian Motor Sport (CAMS) approval of the track.

"We have a very dedicated and experienced group of people working very hard to see Speed return and with the expertise we have in track design and requirements, I am quietly confident we can do it," Mr Stockwell said.

"CAMS have their own criteria and standards required for events such as this but I am sure we will be able to negotiate some of the requirements.

"The layout of the track itself is fine, the road surfaces are fine, so what CAMS will be most interested in is the safety issues.

"If we can secure their approval, that will mean we can go full steam ahead in securing funding to stage what will be a very popular event."

Mr Stockwell said Speed on Tweed would have no problem attracting competitors. The committee would be looking to have around 200 historic cars racing against the clock in Murwillumbah.

The meeting was attended by representatives of the Murwillumbah Chamber of Commerce, the Murwillumbah Sporting Car Club, the Murwillumbah Football Club and residents.



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