Grafton speedway keys handed over

EIGHT new faces are on track to steer Grafton Speedway in a new direction.

After 12 years, previous owner Greg Coombes recently handed the keys over to a consortium of locals.

The new owners, James Clark, Eddie Mackney, Matt Brown, Robert Hull, Matt Moore, Bryan Hyatt, Mark Hyatt and Will Newtown, are all current or previous speedway drivers.

Mr Coombes is now a lawyer with McNamara James and O'Connor Solicitors and said after running more than 200 events, it was time to move on.

“These guys will give the venue a boost of enthusiasm, with new ideas and the manpower to get things done,” he said.

Described by his fellow business partners as the catalyst behind the changeover, Bryan Hyatt helped organise the group when he heard the Speedway was up for sale.

“We just wanted to keep it going,” he said.

Fellow Speedway owner James Clark agreed and said if Grafton Speedway closed, people would have to race at Lismore, Brisbane or Sydney.

“It'd be a shame to see it go because no-one else came forward,” he said.

The new owners said they hoped to attract more families by dropping entry prices.

Eventually, Mr Clark said they hoped to also hold special events and encourage local high school bands to play short sets before the races.

For now though, the focus will be on attracting more drivers and spectators.

“It's not like we're starting from scratch, we can build on what Greg's had in place,” Mr Clark said.

The next Speedway event will be held on April 10.

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