© Eric Sparling – Amherst Daily News
Springhiller Ryan Lockhart is introduced to the crowd at the start of Saturday night’s motorsport event. The 5th Annual Josh Damery Memorial Arenacross took place this weekend at Springhill’s Dr. Carson and Marion Murray Community Centre.
SPRINGHILL – It took 85 truckloads of dirt and a lot of enthusiasm to pull it off, but arenacross has achieved a foothold in Springhill.
The annual Canadian Motorsport Racing Club’s Josh Damery Memorial Arenacross made its first foray into Springhill Friday and Saturday after being held in Sackville, N.B., for the last four years.
“We were ecstatic with the fan turnout,” said promoter Ryan Lockhart. “They came at 6:30 p.m. and they stayed right to the very end, so that makes you feel really good as a promoter. I think it’s safe to say we’ll be here for at least another few years.”
Lockhart is a pro racer and has never raced in front of his home crowd.
He finished in first place during Saturday night’s Pro-class race.
“It felt good to be home and to race in front of the hometown crowd,” said Lockhart. “And winning on Saturday night made it that much better. Having a lot of people there that I know was a once in a lifetime experience."
Lockhart said organizers at the arena and the people who hauled the dirt for the event, the McCormick’s, were top-notch.
“If I could rate it out of 10, I’d give it an eight-and-a-half,” said Lockhart.
He already has ideas to make the event bigger and better in 2013.
“Having one year of experience will help us bring it to the next level next year,” he said. “We’ll advertise it a little better and get some sponsors on board and make it a little more prestigious, and we had a few problems with the dirt being wet but a part of the problem with that was leaving it to the last minute.”
Another problem was the amateur rider turnout.
“One of our plans for next year is to start a little early and make it more attractive for amateur riders to come,” he said.
Lockhart has been sidelined with a knee injury for the last few years and says he races now mostly for fun.
“I’m satisfied with what I did on the weekend so I think I’ll take a break,” he said.
He also raced against his younger brother, Brad Lockhart, for the first time.
Asked how it felt to race against his brother, Ryan said, “it didn’t feel bad because I beat him both nights.”
Lockhart thanks the community for their support.
“I’m ecstatic with how the community responded to the event,” he said. “We brought 85 truckloads of dirt into their hockey arena and they were good with that, so I want to thank everybody and hope they had a good time.”
Results from the Friday and Saturday’s Pro-class races are as follows.
Friday night Pro-class
First – Karl Normande, Matane, Que.
Second – Davey Fraser, Hammonds Plains, NS.
Third – Ryan Lockhart, Springhill, NS.
Fourth – Mitch Cooke. Brookfield, NS.
Fifth – Brad Lockhart, Springhill, NS.
Saturday night Pro-class
First – Ryan Lockhart, Springhill, NS.
Second – Karl Normande, Matane, Que.
Third – Davey Fraser, Hammonds Plains, NS.
Fourth – Brad Lockhart, Springhill, NS.
Fifth – David Strang, Malden, NB.