New motorsport facility proves M'boro is ahead of the game
THE approval of a new supermoto track has reaffirmed Maryborough's title as regional Queensland's premier motorsport destination.
Queensland Raceways CEO John Tetley flew himself to the former kart track at Tinana to cast his eye over the result of an 18-month, community-led project driven by track operations co-ordinator, rider, and motorsports enthusiast Hayden Baldwin.
What Tetley saw was a facility that, when combined with the speedway next door, khanacross course, BMX track, Action Park and the proposed Wide Bay Motor Complex, put Maryborough far ahead of any other regional destination.
"You're actually well ahead of the average and there are plenty of young people around which helps," Tetley said. "If you go to a larger regional centre like Townsville, what have you got there? Not much. Mackay? Not much.
"Maryborough is well ahead of the game there."
For Baldwin, Tetley's visit to the open trial day is the culmination of 18 months of hard work by him, fellow committee members and riders, and volunteers.
Countless working bees, track revisions and help from the local community has seen the birth of the only supermoto track between Brisbane and Proserpine, trips Baldwin had completed several times before he took action.
"I just thought on those early mornings to Brisbane and driving home after a big day of riding, we need something around here," Baldwin said. "I heard they were wanting to get this place going and I had a proposal ready. I put it in and they welcomed it with open arms."
By "they", Baldwin means Maryborough Speedway, of which he is a committee member. The speedway kept its distance, allowing Baldwin to create a track that catered specifically to the sport's needs.
Baldwin, who was one of several riders who graced the newly accredited track last week, was thankful to every person who helped.
"It feels awesome to finally be here," he said.
"I've lived out here most weekends for 18 months with my dad and a heap of other people have helped out. Volunteers, working bees - we've had guys travel from Sunshine Coast and Rockhampton, we've had people wanting to travel to help us out.
"Maryborough Speedway has helped us immensely, they own this whole complex so they've allowed us to do it. We've had people donate machinery, their time and operators."
One of those is Georgiou Group, a construction company currently working on the Tinana Interchange upgrade. They agreed to shift excess dirt from the site to the new facility to serve as spectator mounds, among other things.
That minor gesture of turning one group's waste to a community group's treasure was a major point in mayor Chris Loft's praise for the facility.
"A corporate business helping a community organisation with what's rubbish to them is an asset to the group here," Cr Loft said.
"This is all community, it's using what we've got. Passionate people with an interest in a sport, and look what can happen."
Fraser Coast Supermoto Riders will host its grand opening at the first official Fraser Coast Small Wheels event at the track on June 4.
TOMORROW: The goals and uses of the facility.