Twenty five years of racing

Dirt Track Racing started at the Meremere venue in 1972 when extra dirt from
excavations to build the drag strip were used to create a dirt track on the
other side of the hill.

This allowed the builders of the drag strip, Pukekohe Hot Rod Club to move their
grass track racing activities from Pukekawa over the river to Meremere. In 1980
the Auckland Hot Rod Club took over the running of the dirt track as repayment
of debentures the Auckland Hot Rod Club held in the drag strip.

The Meremere Dirt Track Club was formed in the winter of 1983 when members of
the three clubs made up the bulk of the competitors involved, decided to form a
new club solely focused on their sport and to take over the running of the event
from the then promoters, the Auckland hot rod club. The three clubs were: Auckland Hot Rod Club, Western
Districts Offroad Racing Club and the Waiuku Dirt Track Club.

Keith Robson who had been the president of the Auckland hot rod club, and Lance
Green the treasurer of the western districts off road racing club became
President and Secretary/Treasurer respectively of the new club. Keith Robson
took on the roll of writing the club rules along with refining the car
construction and racing rules which he had written while president of AHRC along
with the myriad of minor details needed to get the club up and running while
Lance Green used his marketing skills to create a business plan and a strategy
to raise the funds necessary to get a brand new club under way. Many innovative
ideas were dreamed up at this time. Such as a free glossy pro gramme each
meeting. The first national champs weekend, monthly club nights, proper
sponsorship and a level of professionalism that had never been seen at Meremere
before. It was thanks to Lance Greens business skills and contacts that the club
gained the support. That first couple of years from some major businesses,

Auto Trader magazine, BP oils, McEntee Hire services, Trans Tours, and Mitre 10.

The club was also well supported by many members who owned their own businesses
and chose to sponsor events and programme adverts or to provide goods and
services to the fledgling club. Ultimately Keith and Lance were only able to do
so much and it was thanks to the initial nine committee members that so much was
achieved in so little time. The track was rebuilt and reshaped with a new off
road course built with jumps that ran around thru and over the dirt track a new
control tower was built, the main pit fence was built and sign written. The
access roads graded and metalled, lawns mowed, toilets built, water lanes laid
and the water truck was dragged up to Auckland and rebuilt. Anything that didn’t
move was painted.

The committee was made up with 3 members
from each club, members being:

Auckland Hot Rod Club
Keith Vazey, Ricky Mitchell, Bob Bassett

Waiuku Dirk Track Club
Kerry Jones, Harold Kitson, John Rattrie

Western Districts Off Road Racing Club
Stewart Reid, Alan Wakeling, Trevor Watts

The members of the club could see what was happening and became enthused enough
to become involved as well. With working bees well attended by large amounts of
members all keen to make the club and its first season of racing successful.
Many a saturday night was spent at the track with members camping over. Sitting
around the bonfire enjoying a sociable night of story telling singing and the
odd drink or two. There was obviously the odd driver in those days that would
have failed a current breathalyzer test even in the sunday mid afternoon, but
those were different times.

The first race meeting run by the new club happened on the 16th of October 1983
as planned. All the hard work was done and all the efforts of those that had
worked so hard to get the new club up and running were well rewarded with a very
successful opening meeting. It was a start of a club and venue that continues to
this day having given lots of people a great start in motor sport and even more
a great deal of comradeship in the last 25 years. Some of those that have taken
part and gained their initial experience in motor sport at meremere and moved
onto much bigger things in the broader world of motor racing, these include:

Kerry Jones and Alan Wakeling – NZ Sprint Car Champions

Possum Bourne – Australian, Asia Pacific and NZ Rally Champ
(in the mid 70′s with his V8 Cortina)

Peter Hemi – NZ Super Saloon car Champ

Kim Austin – Ashley Forest Rally Sprint record holder

Ricky Mitchell – Auckland Super Stock Champ

Steve Murphy – 2 x NI rallycross champ. NZ rallycross Champ
2 x Ashley Forest Rally Sprint Champ

Andrew Hawkeswood – NZ Rally Champ and Sprintcar Driver

Mike Eggleton – Multiple Champion Rally co-driver for Possum Bourne

Clyde Walters – Multiple Targa driver with his spectacular MK 3 Zephyr

Tony Mc Call – 9 x Nz Offroad Racing Champ

Dean Perkins – NZ V8 Race Car Driver

Paul Vazey – Well regarded Stockcar Chassis builder and Racer

Ossie Sokol – One of NZ’s top Sprintcar drivers

Others, not already mentioned that moved to different forms of racing.

Gavin Welch
Ray Cannons
Tim Knight
Barry Woods
Scott Rumble
Chip Adams
Peter Botma
Dave McCutcheon (deceased)
Chris Allen
Steve Pilkington

Rallying / Rally Sprints
James Allen (deceased)
Don Hickman
Wayne Grinlinton
Max Irwin

Super saloons / Saloons
Don Spice
Todd Green
Stuart Harker
Doug Torrey

Sprint Cars
Peter Kuhn
Hans Boere
Robert Corscadden

Midget Racing
Hans Boere
Tony Eggleton

Mini Sprints
Bevan Cossey
Ben Cossey

Some names may have been missed out… contact us if you have any suggestions.