Event's checkered flag end of era for stalwart

LONGFORD Revival Festival was more than just an opportunity to watch fast cars whiz down Pateena Road for Launceston racing stalwart Geoff Smedley.

For Mr Smedley, it would have been a final chance to experience the glory of racing the Flying Mile.

The future of the festival was thrown into doubt when organising company Octagon last month announced a review into its feasibility.

``I first ran at Longford in 1955 in a Triumph TR2,'' Mr Smedley said, reeling through his various areas of involvement with the iconic event as a young man.

``I was involved with Longford every year in one way or another right up to its closing date.''

Mr Smedley said he was invited to the first Longford Revival event, but only attended as a spectator.

``The following year I had a better offer, it was held at the same time as a big motor show in Devonport and that won out for me that year,'' he said.

``All I wanted to do was to have a run down the Flying Mile and that would take it from, had it have been this year _ 1955 to 2014.

``It was postponed for a year and that's what I've been sitting on since then.''

Although a potential 2016 event has been flagged, Mr Smedley said he believes it will be too late.

``I don't know, I'm going on for 83, I don't think they would want an old fart like me running about in it,'' he said.

``I had been involved for the longest period out of anyone, it was just one of those little things in my mind that I was hoping for.

``I've got to come to terms with what's happened in life.''

Mr Smedley was last year inducted into the Tasmanian Motorsport Hall of Fame and was responsible for starting Launceston's National Automobile Museum of Tasmania in 1988.

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