Thursday 10th August 1933
Midget car racing was officially born at the Loyola High School Stadium in Los Angeles (US) as a regular weekly program under the control of the first official governing body, the Midget Auto Racing Association (MARA). After spreading across the country, the sport traveled around the world; first to Australia in 1934 at Melbourne’s Olympic Park on December 15, and to New Zealand in 1937. Early midget races were held on board tracks previously used for bicycle racing. When the purpose built speedway at Gilmore Stadium was completed, racing ended at the school stadium, and hundreds of tracks began to spring up across the United States. Angell Park Speedway in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin (near Madison) is another major track in the United States operating since the first half of the twentieth century. Soon after in Australia, speedcar racing became popular with the first Australian Speedcar Championship being contested in Melbourne in 1935, its popularity running through the country’s “golden era” of the 1950s and 1960s. Australian promoters such as Adelaide’s Kym Bonython who ran the Rowley Park Speedway, and Empire Speedways who ran the Brisbane Exhibition Ground and the famous Sydney Showground Speedway, often imported drivers from the US including the popular Bob Tattersall and Jimmy Davies. Promoters in Australia during this period often staged races billed as either a “world speedcar championship” or “world speedcar derby”. During this time speedcars were arguably the most popular category in Australian speedway with crowds of up to 30,000 attending meetings at the Sydney Showground and over 10,000 in Adelaide and Brisbane. Speedcars continue to race in Australia, with the major events being the Australian Championship, and the Australian Speedcar Grand Prix (first run in 1938). Along with various state championships, there is also the Speedcar Pro Series and the Speedcar Super Series. Speedcar crowds of 10,000 people are common in Australia.