The month of March has zoomed by with Gunnedah’s Weeks of Speed.
The collaborative festival wrapped after many successful events, including drag racing, the tractor trek, multicultural markets, show and shine, greyhound racing, motorcycle racing, and the Mt Porcupine hill climb.
For the first time, the Australian whip cracking titles and world bullock whip titles were part of the program, and the local Wicks family was well-represented.
The multicultural market was a colourful affair and more than 900 people visited the event throughout the day.
The final weekend of the festival was affected by wet weather conditions, but racers still came out in force to test their skills.
Weeks of Speed committee chair, Ray Darcy, said the festival was off to a great start and the first three weekends were “brilliant”.
“This year has probably been one of the better years,” Mr Darcy said.
“I think everyone was glad to get out and do something for a change … it can only get bigger and better.”
Gunnedah Motoring Enthusiasts was behind a number of the month’s events, including the annual hill climb and aerodrome half-mile sprint.
GME’s Geoff Hood said the rain on the weekend drove some spectators away, and discouraged a few drivers from competing, but they were able to manage a few good runs.
“Numbers were down because our events clashed with other events on the coast, however, we had enough to have a really good day,” he said.
Mr Hood said one major positive was the feedback from drivers about how the events were run.
He said the response from visitors who had often competed all over Australia in motor events was “the friendly country atmosphere of Gunnedah and its events is very enjoyable”.
Mr Hood said it was a team effort, and the festival was well supported by numerous groups, including the Tamworth Drag Racing Association and Tamworth Sporting Car Club.
“Without them, we couldn’t have done it,” he said.
It was a busy weekend in town, and motels were booked out with Weeks of Speed, the dog show and the Country Music Muster as well as the Gunnedah Rural Museum open day and 30th birthday celebration.
Gunnedah Shire Council’s tourism team leader Nikki Robertson said it was wonderful to see so many people flocking to the Gunnedah Shire.
“There were people everywhere. It gives visitors good vibes when many events are on and there are lots of choices,” she said.
It was Mrs Robertson’s first taste of the Weeks of Speed, and she believes the festival has huge potential.
“I am new to the tourism role in Gunnedah, and it was exciting for me to be part of the organising committee and see the events come to life,” she said.
“The motor racing world has a lot to offer, and it attracts competitors and spectators from across the state to attend our annual festival.
“Council has been a key supporter of the Weeks of Speed since its inception.
“I can see that this event is a great contributor to our visitor economy and certainly has potential for future years to keep growing and expanding as the motor racing sport evolves.”