Oxford Speedway: A brief history

Image result for oxford speedway logoThe Oxford Speedway has always sat on it present location- a parcel of land in North Canterbury, New Zealand. As of 2018, it has been in existence for a solid 39 years, having first hosted races in 1979. The land on which the track sits used to be a farm, just like a majority of Oxford land.

Actually, to date, Oxford remains a farm town with a renowned farmers’ market. A family identified as the Crawfords owned the farm which later converted into the present day Speedway.

Since its inception, the Oxford Speedway has been a dirt track. It was created in that form with the aim of hosting races in the winter when other established tracks were in the offseason. Over the years, however, the speedway has carved its niche in the racing industry in New Zealand and currently hosts races every other month.

The original track where competitors raced was 350 meters in length. The viewing areas were just natural clearances on the sloping areas next to the racing surface.

Upgrades

The speedway has undergone a number of upgrades over the years mainly in the viewing and office areas. The track mainly undergoes routine maintenance as the management looks to maintain the initial aim of a tough competing surface.

The only major change on the track was an increase in length from 350 to 420 meters and re-orientation from North-South to East-West in a renovation done during a five-month closure in 1995.

At the turn of the 21st century, the track saw the introduction of a new office complex. The building increased space for management and race control for referees and monitors. Within this complex, there is space that is leased out to vendors of different services during racing events. Betting houses have become a regular feature at the race events in recent years.