Forest Lake Speedway, Hamilton, Return to NZ Speedways. Home page.
Thanks to Graham McLachlan of Morrinsville, with help from Gordon McIsaac of Auckland, for this article.
Hamilton is south of Auckland and in the heart of the Waikato Diary Farming area. Forest lake stadium got its name from a small tree lined lake near by. Jack (Cocky) Cormack, a well known promoter from Auckland leased the land and built the track in an area with natural banking around two thirds of the track.
His opening speedway meeting was on Saturday January 21st 1956 with an 18 race program of midgets, TQ's and solo bikes. An estimated crowd of 8000 attended. Admission was Adults 4/- and children 1/-. There were 15 more meeting through to 21st April with the last three being daylight meetings due to the electricity restrictions.
Cocky Cormack ran two more seasons in 1956/57 and 1957/58. Meanwhile he secured the lease to promote Western Springs for 1958/59 so Forest Lake was restricted to two meetings on 7th and 28th of February 1959.
The owners of the property increased the lease which led to a disagreement between them and Cocky so he could not get his lights and equipment back. (Cocky Cormack had disagreements with most people it seems. Webmaster). These were later purchased by Spencer Black and Terry Scott. Previously praised by the competitors as being a perfect speedway, it now sat idle and abandoned between 1960 and 1965.
Forest Lake Stock Cars.
Morrinsville motor racing enthusiasts Spencer (Spinner) Black and Terry Scott obtained a lease for the track from the Rugby league Ass., after the usual local council hassles. They proceeded to tidy up and prepare it for stock car racing. Promoting themselves as "Red Line International Ltd." their opening meeting was on Saturday 3rd. December 1966 with a six race program. A capacity crowd of 11,000 crammed the stadium. Admission was adults 5/- and children 2/6.
For the new season of 1968/69 they introduced a new 'production cars' class to boost their stock car program.
In 1971 they purchased the stadium. Situated in a residential suburb of Hamilton they received a growing number of complaints about noise and traffic congestion, so it was inevitable that one day it would be closed. The final meeting was on Saturday night of March 24th 1979 The Hamilton City Council then took over the stadium.
Over the thirteen years Spencer and Terry ran Forest lake they held many Teams Races and International events for stock and saloon cars, and proved themselves to be exceptional promoters.
The drivers club, with Peter Burrows as President, obtained a new lease for one more season in 1979/80. In May 1980 the council put an end to it. The stadium was demolished and netball courts built there.
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Photo's at Forest Lake.
At left is Jim Simmons racing
in 1956/57 and
at right is the TQ of Brian Prestige (left background) after he won the NZ title at Templeton in the 1968/69 season.