Boy racers' vandalism ruins track

Otago Radio Control Car Club president Jamie Scott, of St Kilda, says vandalism to the club's...
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...

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.

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