GANDER, N.L. – A change in location has brought an increased interest to Gander’s automotive race scene.
The seventh annual Fly Your Car in Gander races, June 16, took place in the Steele Community Centre parking lot. Typically, it has been held on an airport runway, near EVAS Air.
“They are doing (work) on the runway and we couldn’t get a start date for that work, so we took the safe route in approaching the town about using the Steele Community Centre,” organizer Brad Melendy said. “The town was great, the recreation department took control of the request and got it nailed down in a couple of weeks.”
Melendy said the location change has proven beneficial to race.
“Logistically it was much better,” he said. “It was in the centre of town, so everything we needed only has to be brought half the distance and we didn’t need as much security. “Spectators and fans also had more of a chance to take in the event because it was in town.”
Melendy said just under 200 spectators attended the event, and there were 51 racers, putting both figures up over the previous year.
As a result, the event was able to raise $2,400 for the Central Northeast Health Foundation.
First time racer Dustin Lawton enjoyed his experience to the fullest. The 22-year-old Gander resident clenched the amateur championship and was named rookie of the day.
Having an interest in automotive racing since his youth, Lawton had always been a spectator, but this year decided to get behind the wheel for a few laps to help out with the fundraiser.
“I heard Brad had this event on the go, and I thought it would be a great opportunity to get involved and help raise some money for Central Health and it ended up being a whole lot of fun,” he said. “If I’m around, I’ll definitely take part again next year.”
Fly Your Car Race Results
Justin Gatehouse – St. John’s – Pro champion
Dustin Lawton – Gander – Amateur champion
Dustin Lawton – Gander – Rookie of the Day
Top five finishes
- Justin Gatehouse – 45.955
- Mike Mercer – 46.22
- Ryan Whalen – 46.672
- Lee Hayward – 46.819
- Nick Henderson – 47.337