Boy racers' vandalism ruins track

Otago Radio Control Car Club president Jamie Scott, of St Kilda, says vandalism to the club's painted race track beside the Dunedin Ice Stadium was caused by boy racers  performing doughnuts and burnouts in cars on diesel-slicked asphalt at the weekend. Photo by Craig Baxter.
Otago Radio Control Car Club president Jamie Scott, of St Kilda, says vandalism to the club's painted race track beside the Dunedin Ice Stadium was caused by boy racers performing doughnuts and burnouts in cars on diesel-slicked asphalt at the weekend. Photo by Craig Baxter.

Doughnuts and burnouts on diesel-slicked asphalt are an increasing problem in the Dunedin suburb of St Kilda.

Sticky black residue and overlapping tyre marks have scarred the large car parking area beside the Dunedin Ice Stadium, and in particular the painted race track of the Otago Radio Control Car Club.

Club president Jamie Scott, of St Kilda, said boy-racer activity had previously been a problem at the public car park, but the latest vandalism was the worst he had seen.

Mr Scott notified police and Dunedin City Council staff about the damage on Monday when it was discovered.

He and other club members were practising at the track on Sunday afternoon, and he believed the vandalism occurred later that day.

''They have poured diesel on the asphalt and then done doughnuts and burnouts. It's just people being stupid. My main concern is the community. Kids come down here and use the track to ride their bikes,'' he said.

The car parking area, formerly netball courts, was the council's responsibility.

Gates to the area were usually locked by council contractors between 10.30pm and 7am.

Mr Scott said the club had an agreement with the council to lease its track area, which members maintained.

The race track measured about 75m by 40m and was painted a couple of years ago.

Mr Scott said it would cost thousands to repaint, and members were unlikely to race their cars on a diesel-slicked surface.

''Just getting the white lines painted cost us $2500. Our radio control cars can be worth about $900, so we worry about handling. They could slip on the diesel and flip over or crash and be damaged,'' he said.

The club planned to host a major competition event in March and had also considered hosting the South Island and national championships.

Mr Scott and other members were practising for an upcoming national competition in Christchurch.

The track was used on a weekly basis and it was possible a club meet on Sunday would have to be cancelled because of the vandalism.

''We will see what some degreaser and scrubbing brushes can do. A waterblaster could damage the asphalt,'' he said.

The club had about 35 members.

''This kind of vandalism just gets you beat. It's such a shame,'' Mr Scott said.

In theory, that's a great idea

In reality, it's never going to happe.

In theory...

speedfreak: If the car enthusiasts can't raise the money for a pad for their own use then they should refrain from vandalism altogether.

Just won't work

@sv3nno:  While your idea may sound good in theory, I'm afraid it wont work. These people would rather spend their hard earned cash on their pride and joy. There is a bit of tarseal in every street in town they can skid on for free.

While Beachlands is not too far away to get to, it is a long way home in the case of a breakdown.

There is no substitute for JW Drive. End of story 

Too far?

Beachlands surely isn't too far for people who are enthusiastic about a mode of transport? Perhaps that's where they could build their skid pad. Less chance of scaring horses than Forbury!

The idea of giving them grants is a good one because as speedfreak points out, some lof these people would prefer to just vandalise other people's property rather than put their hands in their own pockets. It would still need to be driven by the boy racer fraternity so they don't moan about the finished product.

Rock the Casbah

1978? Don't you mean Punk Rockists?

I remember...

...when I was growing up, on the wall of the St. Clair playground was hand painted graffiti that read "Bodgies Suck".

Words that ring as true today as for 35 years ago.

Outstanding solution

Skillo, I suggest you arrange a meeting with the racer fraternity as soon as humanly possible. I would say they would be that impressed with your solution, they would insist you were the first to experience this new ride.

I know a place

I know of a specific place that these people could use; it's called the car crusher' yard and all of these people are welcome to come and feel the car crusher's pleasures.

It was where they went

And now they can't get up there, they go somewhere else. And how, trippy, is it that the place damaged is only a few hundred yards from JWD? Hmm. Believe it or not.

And as for Beachlands - 1) It's too far away from town; and 2) Said skid pad would have to be the worst in the country. From memory it's concrete and not tarseal. I stand to be corrected on that last one as I've only been there once since they stopped us reversing up the sand dunes, that allowed us to sit in the car and watch. Ruined the Beachlands experience for me and I know I'm not alone on this one.  (early to mid 80s I think). [abridged]


Polytech grant

ejkerr. Thanks for the info re the Exhibition building. 

They do

Beachlands Speedway has had a burnout pad for years. They held events all the time, it's legal and legit but the club got sick of the behaviour when they left damaged to their pits car park and access road.

Umm, no...

JWOD may have been where they went, but it was never somewhere for them to go.

Maybe Street Stock racers should have gone there to practise as well.

Bringing JWOD into this is a distraction and a red herring at best - nothing justifies this vandalism.

They had somewhere to go

@Trippy:  It's called John Wilson Drive. It was taken away from them and now consequences are being paid. Just give it back to them. No money needs to be spent by anyone. Would you have stumped up for a place to do a few skids when you were younger? When you could do them for free just round the road. No, and these guys won't either.

OCT grant - heritage

Trev mightn't be aware that the former Logan Park Art Gallery building will become part of the Otago Polytechnic's campus from this month. The building will accommodate the Institute of Sport and Adventure. The grant received from Otago Community Trust goes to a feature of the building redevelopment project: the community space (the historic octagonal gallery) to host permanent displays about the 1925/26 New Zealand and South Seas Exhibition, which the building was constructed for. The old gallery building is listed in Schedule 25.1 of the district plan and classified by New Zealand Historic Places Trust as a Category I historic place.

Boy Racer grant?

Considering the huge number of handouts now given to Otago organisations, why not a grant for a boy-racer skid pad? Consider the recent Otago Community Trust grants including: Otago Polytech Heritage Buildings $25,000. (The Polytech is only 50 years old so where are the "Heritage" buildings?). Skeggs Foundation $25,000 - why? Chamber of Commerce $40,000 - why? And nearly every "sport" club in Dunedin now has their handout, so what about the boy-racer handout, or are Dunedin citizens too snobby?

Read it more closely.

I'm inclined to agree with Sv3nn0 here.

The area where this vandalism occured may be council owned, but this line in the article - ''Just getting the white lines painted cost us $2500 " - suggests that the RC club paid for the improvements.

If the boy racers of Dunedin want somewhere to go and be boy racers, they should petition the council for an area and fund in whole or in part the improvements, just as the RC club did.

While they're at it, they should pay to clean up the mess they made of the RC club's track.

Opinion noted but still ignoring the point

Just as you point out "the stadium was never going to be saved up for by the users" yet everyone is still stuck paying for it.

So, in all fairness, we can all pay for a skid pad too. Just remember, not everyone in this country is a rugby head.


The stadium and other things you don't like paying for were never going to be saved up for by the users, and I note your opinion on the matter; however, a small skid pad could be done for $10,000 which these car people could easily raise given the money they put into their machines. No need for ratepayer funding. They could form a club - 100 members at $100 per year and they could continually add to their facility. Better than the rest of us putting up with vandalism.

Missing the point

@Stevepf: I agree with what you say Steve but you are missing the point I was making for sv3nn0 who suggests that "The ratepayer should not be expected to contribute of course because there is no benefit to the ratepayer. The boy/girl racers should just save up to pay for their own facilities like any other group of enthusiasts.''

There is/was no benefit of of the new stadium to me. Did the sporting club (ORFU) pay for their new facilities? No. Were all landed with that, so surely we can provide a place for the racer fraternity. I will take the gas to JW drive and open it up at no cost to the ratepayers and the racer fraternity can go back there. Problem solved. Better yet, perhaps they should congregate at the new stadium as no doubt, they are paying for it in some way or other

Solidarity for Number43

Speedfreak43 leaves The Village, we all leave. Number 6.

Time to move on

@Speedfreak43 We don't all like what we pay for in our rates. I am happy to pay for stadium, yet will never use the public library. Happy to support Toitu but don't enjoy paying for rubbish because I also pay envirowaste. Either way, I don't expect rates to be calculated based on what I want and what I want only!

I am curious as to why you even live in this city. You don't support any form of new development or progress, and you don't want to visit any of the city assets. Maybe it's time you consider paying your rates to a city you do want to live in and experience.


Fair comment, but

This ratepayer will never go to the new stadium or the Chinese garden or the Otago Settlers museum. Feel free to take the portion I'm paying for these follies, which don't interest me in the least, to build the skid pad. There is no benefit to me for these millions spent yet I still have to pay for the interests of others. Fair's fair . . . [abridged]

White lines

Why on earth did it cost $2500 just to paint white lines on asphalt? I thought rc people were can-do types who don't need to get a contractor in and pay retail prices to do such a simple job.

Boy/girl racers

Speedfreak says "You people need to stop moaning about them and give them somewhere to go. If not, you will get what you get."

How about instead of ruining other people's property (as they clearly have ruined expensive paint work) they all put some money in to buy a section and asphalt it so they can "congregate", aka do their skids. The ratepayer should not be expected to contribute of course because there is no benefit to the ratepayer. The boy/girl racers should just save up to pay for their own facilities like any other group of enthusiasts.

Street racers

My suggestion to the ODT is to use "street racers" instead because that would also cover all ages not just the assumption of young people or only males involved.

An old larrikin

I'm inclined to agree, speedfreak43. I have no truck with vandalism (I have no truck at all), but speculation that young people will vandalise JWD is like 'Minority Report'; i.e. crime that hasn't happened. I vaguely remember Friday night drivers roaring into town from South Dunedin. Bogans they were called, but they brought a bit of life to the place.

Pardon me?

What's there to vandalise? Not much from memory. Haven't been there for quite some years as the gates have been shut. Have things changed and theres a new subdivision or 28 story hotel been built there?

I don't recall any trouble or vandalisim from back in the day when I used to do skids up there. Safest place for them in my opinion. You won't solve the problem by shutting things down, you will only shift it elsewhere. Back in my day we had JW Drive, the Octagon, the Esplanade and other places to congregate. Where do they go now? The RC Car club this week. Coming to a street near you next week. You people need to stop moaning about them and give them somewhere to go. If not, you will get what you get.

Not really a solution

Not really a solution to the problem as instead we would be reading an article about the vandalism of the newly opened John Wilson drive instead.

That's terrible

But no surprise to me. Dare I say, If John Wilson Drive was open, this wouldn't have happened.

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