Newspaper article Fraser Coast Chronicle (Hervey Bay, Australia)

Ted Seaton; Speedway Star's Life on and off the Track

Newspaper article Fraser Coast Chronicle (Hervey Bay, Australia)

Ted Seaton; Speedway Star's Life on and off the Track

Article excerpt

Byline: Blake Antrobus blake.antrobus@frasercoastchronicle.com.au

EVERY time Ted Seaton closes his eyes, he's still at the Speedway.

The grinding of rubber against the dirt track.

The roar of the ready engine.

The thrill of the race.

For the 79-year-old retiree, racing wasn't just a hobby, it was a way of life.

Even now, his Fraser Shores home is decked out with trophies of his victories in the competitions, including a model car collection spanning two cabinets.

His garage is home to a Can-Am Spyder Roadster which sits alongside a Route 66 sign and other memorabilia.

Born in 1938 in Toowoomba, he grew up around fuel fanatics on his mother's side, who taught him everything he needed to know about cars and racing.

His real moment of clarity came when he visited the Toowoomba Speedway at eight-years-old with his uncle Ned.

After seeing the cars zoom around the track, drivers risking all, he was set on one day becoming a professional racer.

"I remember riding my pushbike to all the motorbike events out there, sometimes riding 25-30km just go to and see them," Mr Seaton said.

"I'd always wanted to race with them."

When he came of age, he started off in the three-quarter midgets category, before progressing to speedcars, modifieds and stopcars over the years.

It was a different time for the sport, which he says has transformed over the 14 years he raced on the Speedway between 1956-1970.

"Things were primitive back then, you could drive up and sit on the bonnet of the car to watch the races, and there weren't many safety railings or barriers," Mr Seaton said.

"Cigarette companies could advertise on the sides of some of the big players in the industry, so you'd see the logos race past every time they turned a lap.

"The Winfield company was quite into the speedway scene back then. …

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