Speedcars in Western Australia started in the 1946/47 season when 5 interstate drivers introduced the new and exciting sport to a huge crowd of 30,000 fans at the Claremont Showgrounds on New Years Eve, Tuesday the 31st of December 1946. They were Ken Wylie from Victoria, Lew Murphy from NSW, Fred Allen from QLD, Jimmy Cross from NSW and Johnny Maxwell from QLD. The team ran five 3 lap events at the New Years Eve meeting with Murphy setting the fastest time of 1 minute and 18.7 seconds and the 6 lap event which was won by Cross in 2 minutes and 36.7 seconds. These 5 drivers stayed and raced at Claremont Speedway for 13 meetings between December 1946 until March 1947.
The following season we had our own team of four local drivers in action at Claremont - Jack Howe
(Studebaker), former solo star Harry "Tiger" Lewis
(Ford), Bill Stitt
(Ford) and Rod Denney
(Terraplane). A few months later 4 more drivers joined the speedcar ranks - Bill Smallwood
(Overland), Barry Ranford
(Chrysler), Andy Hall
(Ford) and Vic Harris
(Ford). The Western Australian Speedcar Drivers' Association (W.A.S.D.A.) was finally established.
Although W.A.S.D.A. was formed in the 1947/48 season, it was not until the 19th of November 1953 (1953/54 season) when the club officially became known as Western Australian Speedcar Drivers' Association Incorporated.
W.A.S.D.A.'s original charter was:
"TO PROMOTE AND ENCOURAGE THE SPORT OF SPEEDCAR RACING AND THE SPIRIT OF SPORT AND GOOD FELLOWSHIP AMONGST MEMBERS"
Two of our legends of WA speedcar racing have been John Fenton and Michael Figliomeni. Both have won 7 state titles including 5 in succession and also won many Australian Championships aswell - Fenton (2) and Figliomeni (4). Fenton was the first WA driver to win an Australian Championship back in 1975 at Rowley Park, South Australia and Figliomeni was our last WA driver to take out the Australian Championship in 2002 at Archerfield, Queensland.
Our drivers have always performed well in the Australian Championship proving themselves to be the best in the country as well - winning 12 out of 29 Australian Championships! The Australian Speedcar Grand Prix has also been taken out four times by WA drivers Keith Giles (2), Michael Figliomeni and Dene McAllan. Many of our local stars have also performed with distinction at the famed Western Springs Speedway in Auckland, New Zealand against the flying Kiwis and the visiting American aces.
We have come a long way since our forefathers set up a charter to run speedcar racing in WA, have we done them proud let's hope so! The path has sometimes been bumpy but no relationship ever runs smooth and so long as you remain mindful that we are only custodians of this venture but for a short period in time and that at the end of our journey we can say we tried to the best of our ability to maintain the ideals as set out by them in the original charter.
Overall W.A.S.D.A. is a very passionate group of people who just love their sport! There have been many great highlights over the past 50 years with many ups and downs, great achievements and wonderful social events - let's hope that W.A.S.D.A. can continue to prosper for another 58 years or more!