June 3, 2021
The last Wondai Sprints have been run and won after South Burnett Motors In Motion Inc voted last month to wind up the not-for-profit group.
The popular event – a mecca for car lovers – was the successor to Motors In Motion, another motor-themed event that ran at Kingaroy Airport between 2011 and 2014.
The Sprints originally planned its first outing to be held on roads in the Wondai Industrial Estate in 2014.
However, it had to be cancelled at short notice after racing officials ruled the road surface was too poor for the timed laps.
In 2015, South Burnett Regional Council stepped in and spent $220,000 of grant money to resurface parts of the estate and bring the proposed track up to scratch.
This allowed the first Wondai Sprints to be run in 2016, and its success led to Motors In Motion winning “Community Organisation Of The Year” in the South Burnett’s 2017 Australia Day Awards.
There were three even more successful outings – in 2017, 2018 and 2019 – but the event was cancelled in 2020 due to the drought and COVID-19 pandemic.
The decision to wind up the association follows the retirement of key members, rising costs and difficulties in sourcing materials.
Organising committee member Denis Carroll said the decision was “very tough” but he felt the group had done a lot of good for the community during the past 10 years.
“Most Motors In Motion events put $60,000 or more each year back into the community, and we believe the Wondai Sprints put back $250,000 every time they ran because so many competitors came from outside the region,” Denis said.
“Funds from the former Kingaroy Peanut Festival helped set up Motors In Motion, and that led to eight events that saw more than $1 million generated for the local economy.
“Now we’re passing on our own assets to the Proston Car Rally Club and the Kingaroy and District Vintage Machinery Club so they can use them for their own community activities.”
Denis thanked the many volunteers – both groups and individuals – as well as the sponsors who have helped over many years.
“No one realises just how much work goes into putting on a big public event until they do it themselves,” he said.
“Every time we ran the Sprints we had to secure 16 different permits as well as set up the course beforehand, take it down afterwards and attend to a million small details in between.
“That took literally hundreds of manhours, and we are very grateful to everyone who lent us a hand and all the sponsors who helped make it possible.”
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