Lte's take it to the world

By CHRISTIAN STANGER

FESTIVAL organiser Roger Ealand is planning to take Speed On Tweed to the world in the wake of its roaring success at the weekend. Vintage car lovers, racers and enthusiasts braved the spring heat and packed the streets of Murwillumbah as classic cars screamed around the track. The festival exceeded expectations, injecting thousands, possibly millions of dollars into the local economy and has emphatically put the town on the map as a motorsport destination. Mr Ealand estimated that crowds which filled the showgrounds and spectator points scattered around the track exceeded those of last year and may even be up on the expected 20,000. "I am absolutely over the moon," he said. This is certainly the best event that we have put on and the response from the public has just been overwhelming. "You don't have to be that sharp to see that numbers are well up on last year." The festival is riding a wave of success which has seen the festival go from strength to strength in its short history. Mr Ealand thinks this is only the beginning ,and Speed On Tweed enthusiasts can expect bigger and better things in the years to come. "Going international is definitely the next step, looking for some overseas cars," he said "I think we could have some staggering personalities and cars next year. We just have to put the work in to make sure of it." Mr Ealand said he is looking to current superstar drivers to attend the festival in years to come, but said the highlight of the festival this year was the 20 retired drivers who were reunited with the cars they drove in their heyday. "There is nowhere else you can mingle with these famous drivers without the PR people in the way, and touch the wheel or even sit behind the wheel of a Grand Prix-winning Brabham," Mr Ealand said. The fact the town was completely booked out of accommodation was proof of the appeal and success of the festival, and Mr Ealand speculated that in 20 years, Murwillumbah may be known the world over for the Speed On Tweed event. "The future of Speed on Tweed in only governed by our imagination," he said. "We've got enough support in the town and the community and there's nothing that can stop us."



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