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Could we have lost another racing icon?

06.07.2015

WHILE the iconic Kyalami Racetrack is being given a world-class makeover, another historic racetrack has fallen under the hammer. Unfortunately its future doesn’t look as good as Kyalami’s.

The historic Wembley Raceway in Sturrock Park, Johannesburg, could be forever lost to the sport of motor racing by the end of this month. The raceway was the home of dirt-track speedway, oval track, hot rod and sprint-car racing in the City of Gold for over sixty years. The auction took place on Thursday the 2nd of July, by Auction Inc.

The Wembley Raceway was well known in the 1940s. Every Friday evening, crowds would gather to watch the speedway motorcycle riders compete and they again returned when the venue was revived in the early 1990s.

Since opening in 1934, Wembley was home to greyhound racing on the Rand. When greyhound racing was banned after WW2, Buddy Fuller, (also known as Mr Speedway, Mr Hot Rod, Mr Oval or just plain Buddy), one of South Africa’s most successful speedway riders, and the man instrumental in introducing speedway racing to the Sturrock Park venue, his proposal for speedway was accepted, with the first meeting staged on the 29th November 1947.

He was recognised as the leader of oval track racing promoters. He brought stock cars to Wembley in 1955 and soon after launched the Cavalcade of Speed, comprising speedway, stock car racing and stunts.

In 1966 he imported American V8 sprint car racing and later also popularised modified saloon oval track racing and Australian side-car speedway. He received a Lifetime Achievement Award from Motorsport South Africa in 2003 - two years before he passed away.

Article written by Autodealer
06.07.2015
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