Dargaville's Blair Woollam wins 2015/2016 Circle Track Racing B-Saloon title in Whangarei
Dargaville residents are full of surprises and hidden talents.
During the working week Blair Woollam operates heavy machinery at a careful, cautious pace but come the weekend he can be found burning up rubber on the speedway.
The long-time Dargaville resident's dedication to the track has just won him the B-Saloon Champion title and trophy at the 2015/2016 Circle Track Racing Association (CTRA) races in Whangarei, a title he has won two years in succession.
Automatically qualifying due to his NZ title the year before, the 36-year-old finished above the five other finalists, completing eight laps in two minutes, 40 seconds with a top speed of 120kmh around the banked, quarter mile track.
Woollam says Dargaville produces a large number of quality drivers in all grades of racing. "But we're often not fully recognised," he says.
The need for speed is in Woollam's genes as his father, Peter Woollam, was one of Northland's best saloon drivers in the 80s and 90s.
Woollam often accompanied his father as a child and grew up around the speedway scene in Northland and Auckland.
"His passion sort of rubbed off on me, it's in the blood," the first-time father of a new baby boy says. "I'm very proud of my Dad's efforts."
Every racer needs a reliable pit-crew and for Woollam his main man is "my very good mate" Sandy Campbell. Together they attend a race every fortnight if not more and, in the off-season, maintain the 4.2 litre V8 Chevy Monza that Woollam drives.
Woollam is grateful for all his sponsors who afford him his racing lifestyle.
"My main sponsor is my employer, Wilson Earthmoving but I also get support from Ricks Paint and Panel, Nick Hill at Fluid Power and the WOF Centre in Dargaville."
For Woollam it is the adrenaline rush that keeps driving him on to keep racing.
"Love the thrill and trophies but its also about meeting new people and having the camaraderie of the other drivers," he says. "I'm forever learning... and trying not to wreck the car."