Principal ready to ‘give it a go’ at Beachlands

The potential for a school principal or two to get bumped about in a car race at Beachlands Speedway has pupils and parents rubbing their hands together.

About a dozen principals from schools around Dunedin have tentatively agreed to take part in the School Principals’ Race this Friday.

One of them is Carisbrook School principal Bruce James, who said the closest he had ever come to car racing was on go-karts, which was nothing like this.

He would be strapped in behind the wheel of a powerful six-cylinder car, travelling at up to 80kmh on a circuit not much bigger than a football field.

The fact the circuit is surrounded by a concrete wall makes the racing dicey.

One wrong move and you could be smashed up against it.

"I’m nervous, but quite excited about it at the same time," Mr James said.

"If you’re in front, you should be OK."

So why would a seemingly sensible school principal put himself in harm’s way?

He said a friend from Beachlands Speedway encouraged him to "give it a go".

Carisbrook School principal Bruce James will tap into his "bogan" side this Friday when he...
Carisbrook School principal Bruce James will tap into his "bogan" side this Friday when he competes in the Principals’ Race at Beachlands Speedway. Photo: Peter McIntosh
"I’ve got a competitive spirit.

"I come from Southland so I’m used to being a bit bogan-ish at times.

"I’ll quite happily put my foot down in this controlled environment."

He said his biggest worry about the race was whether the other principals he was competing against had grudges against him.

"I am a bit concerned about that.

"Several seemed to be a bit too quick to put their hands up when they heard I was going to be in it."

He was looking forward to hearing some of his pupils and their parents cheering for him at the race.

Beachlands vice-president and event co-organiser Gareth Kelk said it was the first time since Covid-19 the event had been held.

It starts at 6pm.