South Australia was the third Australian State to run Midgets/Speedcars when a group of drivers assembled with their cars at the Camden Motordrome on December 28, 1935 with further meetings held through to April 4, 1936. They were thin in numbers, with visiting drivers from VIC, NSW, and the UK.

 

Some of the drivers who competed that first season were Aub Ramsay, Bert Woodman, Ted Poole from NSW, and Ralph Secretan and Bud Stanley from England. One of the pioneering South Australian drivers that season was the late and great Alex Rowe.

Two years later, a new sanctioning body, South Australian Speedways Limited was formed to control racing and continued at the Camden track until World War II, when the gates were closed to speedway in 1940. When the war ended, speedway never returned to the Camden track.

Midget car racing commenced again at the old Rowley Park speedway for its very first season in December 1949 where Harry Neale won the 8 lap feature race and who would go on to win a further 51 A-mains at the track affectionately known as ‘The Brick Pit’. Neale became the winningest driver on the Park from Joe Braendler and Bill Wigzell. Many great stars rose out of the brickpits of Rowley. Champions like Neale, Rick Harvey, Arne Sunstrom, Roy Sands, Kym Boython, Bill Wigzell, Bruce Rickard, Dean Hogarth, Joe Braendler and Phil Herreen to name a few.

Racing continued at Rowley Park for another 28 years before finally closing its doors to speedway when George Tatnell took out the very last feature race, a 15 lapper, and fittingly, it was for the Harry Neale Memorial race who tragically lost his life racing at Claremont speedway on February 6, 1959.

These days, Speedcar competition in South Australia is again on the rise at tracks throughout the state including Murray Bridge, Speedway City, Renmark, Mt Gambier, Bordertown and other tracks across the SA/VIC border.

The 2011/2012 season saw the inaugural running of the MIDDY'S South Australian Speedcar Slam, which continues to grow into season 12/13 thanks to the generous support of MIDDY'S Data & Electrical, Baines Engines, Thursday Thunder, Race & General Engineering, Hoolagators, Dillon Bulk Haulage, AMPAC, Lonsdale Competition Tyres, Ghent Automotive, Speedway Australia, Loanave & Artmetal Coatings.


** Historical content written by the late & great Speedcar historian, Mr Bill Lawler

1/15