Bumper Classic looks to future

MORE terraced seating and a second grandstand will be considered by Premier Speedway officials as they look to fit more fans into the Allansford venue for its iconic Grand Annual Sprintcar Classic.

The club’s first three-night Classic, won by American Tim Kaeding, was hailed a success after unprecedented entries drew record crowds on the weekend. But such was the crowd size, organsiers stopped selling tickets at 5.30pm with only those with pre-purchased passes allowed in after that time.

The expanded format, which was to be trialled for two years, is likely to become permanent, following the positive response.

Club general manager David Mills said about 22,000 spectators watched the first three-night Classic in the race’s 42-year history, including a capacity 9000 on Sunday night.

Mills said the club and its volunteers were now exploring options to improve spectator facilities, including expanding the venue’s capacity.

“There are some things we are looking at, the kettle hasn’t come off the stove,” he said.

“We’ve had a look at where we could expand and how we could get more seating. When you get crowds like that, when you are walking around you are always looking at different options.”

He said club volunteers had thrown up some ideas during the weekend, including adding terraced seating along the front straight.

“One of our volunteers did some measuring and said the average fold-up chair was 900mm wide and a plastic (bucket) seat was 550mm. We could get three seats for every two chairs, plus we could pre-sell them and reserve them and that would stop some of the rush when the gates open.”

Mills said the club would bid to host the 2016 Australian title the weekend after the Classic.

“History tells us the year we have a double-header, the Classic field escalates and that could be scary.”

He said the club was no guarantee of winning the right to host the national title with any track in Victoria able to bid.

“In 2016 if we were fortunate enough to get the Australian title, maybe you could put a second grandstand or elevated seating behind the terrace (on the Warrnambool side).”

But he said the club had to examine the costs of any additions.

Mills said profits from the bumper three-night Classic would be poured back into the venue.

He said the first three-night Classic was a hit with teams and supporters.

Feedback had been positive from teams and crowd numbers justified the extra night.

“I just think the whole atmosphere was great across the three nights.”

The club had indicated it would trial the three-night format for two years.

“Something would have to change pretty significantly to think seriously about a change (away from three nights).”

Next year’s Classic is locked in for a three-night show.

grbest@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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