FROM "WHANGAREI KART CLUB" TO "KARTSPORT WHANGAREI INCORPORATED"
The Whangarei Kart Club began operating from a dirt track at Port Road circa 1956. If anyone has details of that era please let us know so that this history of the club can be updated.
On October 10th 2010 the club's name was changed to KartSport Whangarei Incorporated.
The existing track is at Austin Road which is on the outskirts of Whangarei City off the main road to Dargaville. Originally the track was dirt. A formed track was developed during 1974. During the approximate 12 months taken to seal the track the members traveled each month to the Mount Wellington track in South Auckland to compete there. The club's President at that time was Ray Cameron. In addition to organising the first track sealing he purchased for $20 the old Badminton Club House at Kensington Park and it was relocated to the track. This remained the Club's Club House for over 25 years until old age finally caught up on it.
On 3rd December 1980 consent was granted by the Whangarei County Council to develop a permanent track on a 2.29 hectare allotment that was sub divided by Mr. Edward Anderson for use as a private recreation area by the Whangarei Kart Club. The Certificate of Title of the land was transferred to the club on 19th April 1983. The complex is known as Anderson Park in honour of the man who transferred ownership of the land to the club.
The sealed track originally was about 350 metres and was extended around 1982 to become 380 metres in length. Compared to some other tracks in New Zealand of over 900 metres that was a very short one.
Since 1997 there has been a program of substantial upgrading of the facilities with safety fences and track upgrades being the first priority. Throughout the 50 plus years at Austins Road the club has been through many changes and now has a membership of over 50 persons. There are over 35 active race kart drivers ranging from Cadet class starting with 7 year old members through to Seniors over 65 years of age. Karters from Auckland and further away often come to Whangarei, including Bay of Plenty, EBOP and from Hastings, for the experience of racing on a short track with very tight corners. Club days are held each month and with the gates opening at 8 a.m. Our members live from as far away as Kerikeri in the north and Auckland in the south. As racing is normally over by 4 p.m. Those competitors living outside of Whangarei have time to get back home in the early evening after a full day of good racing fun.
As noted above the old Club House became too old to use and in 2003 was replaced by a building that was donated to the club by Mark Cromie Holden. In addition to the Club House Mark Cromie Holden also supplied a Tech Shed. There are photos on the "Photos from the Past" page of the old building being demolished on 27th November 2005.
During October and November of 2013 the track was closed for practice and racing. During that time the laying of concrete, curbing, landscaping and fencing to extend the track to 525 metres, from the previous 380 metres, was carried out. The extended part of the track is between 6 and 7 metres wide. The track has been certified for use in both directions in its new configuration and was officially reopened on the December 2013 Club Day by her Worship the Mayor of Whangarei District. New Pit Shelters have been added in May 2014 to the pit area.