New Karting track opens

BLUES legend John Wark last night swapped the football pitch for the race circuit, at the official opening of a new Suffolk leisure enterprise.More used to donning a Town strip than a racing suit, Wark stepped into the driving seat to mark the launch of Martlesham's Beacon Rally Karts.

By Debbie Watson

BLUES legend, John Wark, last night swapped the football pitch for the race circuit, at the official opening of a new Suffolk leisure enterprise.

More used to donning a Town strip than a racing suit, Wark stepped into the driving seat to mark the launch of Martlesham's Beacon Rally Karts.

The six-acre karting venture has been set up on redundant agricultural land by farming couple, Phil and Louise Abbott.

For several years the husband and wife team has been battling to gain permission for the new business, as a means of diversifying from the troubled business of farming.

And last night, after a great deal of effort and strife, their unfaltering determination at last paid off.

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Speaking at the celebratory opening, Louise said: "It's been a lot of hard work and at times we came across a number of very big hurdles.

"But despite it all, today we really feel like we've launched the start of a new era and we're very optimistic about the future."

Phil and Louise both readily admit that their farm, and its shop, have noticed massive changes in recent years – particularly with the introduction of a large supermarket on their doorstep.

The karting venture, based on Bealings Road, became their dream in an effort to utilise their existing farmland in a modern way.

Phil, who also celebrated his 49th birthday yesterday, commented: "The last few years has been very difficult in farming, and the karting venture was just one avenue we looked at to help us survive.

"We've thought about it long and hard and we're convinced that it can be a huge success. I'm confident that our commitment and our determination will help make it a hit."

Cutting the ribbon at last night's event, John Wark said: "I think Phil and Louise have hit upon a brilliant idea because there isn't anything else quite like this in the area.

"It's going to be great for children and adults, and I certainly wish them the very best of luck."

The venture will now be open from 10am throughout the summer.

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