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Mt Ginn speedway

By willo - 18 July 2009 33

I have recently being trying to find info on the Mt Ginn speedway that used to operate in canberra, but have drawn an almost complete blank

Does anyone have any info/ memories of this facility that they would like to share?

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33 Responses to
Mt Ginn speedway
willo 3:30 pm 19 Jul 09

thanks to all for your comments so far and to ace666 for the description of the track…… it was oil based? would have been a fast track i’d say. does anyone remember when it closed? i can remember both the very first and very last meetings at tralee but have no memory at all of mt ginn……anyone got any photos of it?

ant 10:54 am 19 Jul 09

This topic is bringing it all back, I remembered the sign veyr well, but couldn’t fathom where it was. We must have seen it on our walks, and I went to bendora riding school for years.

ace666 7:38 am 19 Jul 09

Mt Ginn was a bit past the anusment park. The entrance was opposite an old horse riding school? The spectators would park on the side of the hill and have a good view of the track from there. The track was basically flat with a slight slope away from the spectators. It was an oiled track so was extremely slippery in the wet. the shape was like a bowler hat. the long straight was past the spectators then a LH hairpin, a short straight,90 deg RH, a long LH sweeper, short straight, 45 deg right, LH back on to the straight. the car club controlled the venue, the bike clubs were join the cars and run on the same days. Sometimes seperate car/ bike meetings were run. The motorcycle sportsmens club ran the Terry McDonald memorial meeting in abnout 1970, It was a fantastic day with a lot of top line riders in attendance

Mike Bessenger 7:24 pm 18 Jul 09
old canberran 5:14 pm 18 Jul 09

Most of what has been said so far is basically correct It started in the 60’s as a go-kart track as I recall. We used to live in Watson and we could hear the noise quite easily. It was up near Canberry fairand as described, a dirt track with humps and hollows and right and left turns. I think trail bikes and small stock cars used to race there as well. It was named after Billy Ginn a well known old Canberra identity who was part of the Ginn family who owned property in Canberra.

nota 4:18 pm 18 Jul 09

Of related interest but from earlier days was the Canberra speed trials.

Conducted during the 1920s & ’30s and referred to as being an ‘annual’ event, it featured standing-start and flying-start time trials and was held along the rural road that is now Northbourne Avenue.

(Arthur Rizzo)
“1938 saw us at Canberra to watch the attempts on the Australian records. Peter Whitehead’s ERA sounded terrific and was hand timed at around 150mph (the timing gear refused to record his time) and Frank Kleinig removed all the gears from his gearbox prior to attacking the flying quarter mile.”

150 mph in today’s jargon equates to just over 240 km/h!
I wonder, could this be the fastest speed ever recorded on Northbourne?

Also this National Archives image from 1926:
“Two contestants in a 100 MPH 3 litre Bentley for the RACV Alpine Rally. Driver Fred Brodribb. A half mile speed test was held in Canberra; the Bentley recorded 74 mph.”

velocipede 3:40 pm 18 Jul 09

I went there in the early seventies to watch a friend race his mini bike. There were also karts racing at the same meeting. I drove the circuit once as a stage of a rally, in about 1980 (after it has ceased operating regular events).

It was a dirt circuit with both left and right turns – not a classic speedway oval – but lots of fun to drive!

YapYapYap 12:49 pm 18 Jul 09

I can confirm it was where Canberry Fair is, on the northern side of Antill St. That part of Antill St didn’t exist in those days – or at least wasn’t sealled. The (dirt) track extended over the hillside to the north and east of Canberry Fair. I lived near the old Watson High and we used to ride our bikes up there to watch whenever we heard the cars fire-up – four or five times a year, from memory.

Mike Bessenger 12:22 pm 18 Jul 09

So it’s on the other side of lake george? not in Canberra?

willo 12:15 pm 18 Jul 09

yes i’ve had a crack at that with no result, i’m a bit intrigued about the whole thing it seems to be on the far edge of everyone’s memory and i have heard many conflicting stories of where and what it was…….i have been told it was at the old starlight drive in, at canberry fair, on mt majura on the other side of lake george etc etc, all i’m sure of so far is that it did exist at some stage……

Mike Bessenger 11:57 am 18 Jul 09

I have never heard of it. Maybe do up a google maps link of it, as it might also be know under a different name.

willo 11:38 am 18 Jul 09

it’s a bit frustrating that the only reference to mt ginn i can find on the net is this

which is interesting but not very helpful, i guess it is because the speedway was done and dusted long before the world wide web came along…..but surely some older canberrans have some sort of memory of the joint?

vg 11:04 am 18 Jul 09

Use to go there and watch my uncle race his VW Beetle there in the early 70s when he worked at Lennock

willo 10:49 am 18 Jul 09

divisions that raced there photos , driver’s names etcwas it actually on the site of canberry fair? some people i have spoken to say it was on the side of mt majura and wasn’t a speedway at all but a dirt circuit with left and right turns and went up and down the hillside… uncles raced there too but i was too young to remember, i do remember tralee opening tho

frank2112 10:31 am 18 Jul 09

My father and uncle used to race there in the late 60’s. Sadly the site is now a service station and an abandoned theme park. It closed when Tralee speedway opened up. Not sure if my father still has any photos from racing there but I might have a look. What sort of information are you looking for?

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