Kurt Bayer is a Herald reporter based in Christchurch

Multi-million dollar racing car test track 'pretty much ruined' by mega quake, says IT tycoon

A multi-million dollar racing car test track situated near Monday's mega-quake epicentre is "pretty much ruined", says its Australian IT tycoon owner.

Millionaire businessman David Dicker was at Wandle Downs on the Inland Rd north of Waiau - still closed with massive quake damage - when the magnitude-7.8 jolt struck.

It ripped through the area with such force that it twisted houses and tore apart roads.

Dicker's dream track, where he tests prototype supercars that he wants to go faster than Formula One cars, was also devastated in the violent shaking.

Dicker told the Herald today that the sealed 3km stretch of asphalt track has suffered 60 cracks "from edge to edge".

The cracks vary in width from 20mm to more than 200mm, Dicker said.

"It's pretty much ruined," said the 63-year-old.

Dicker, who divides his time between Waiau, his native Sydney, Jumeira Beach in Dubai and Italy's Dolomites mountain range, said the quake made for "not the most enjoyable of nights".

David Dicker's Lotus T125 racing car.
David Dicker's Lotus T125 racing car.

The super rich-lister bought the remote 1450-acre property more than a decade ago.
His dream to make a track-day car for mega-millionaires as fast, or faster, than a Formula 1 car was exclusively revealed by the Herald earlier this year.

Development of his FZero, described by Dicker as a "Formula One car with fenders" has been on pace.

But earlier this year, he leapt at the chance to buy out a Lotus track car project that terrified Jeremy Clarkson and which is as close to F1 that anyone not named Lewis Hamilton or Nico Rosberg will get - if they have a spare $1 million.

Dicker, whose hardware distribution company Dicker Data surpassed $1 billion in sales last year, has already sold one - a Rodin FZed - to a German buyer.

He has been in the process of building a near-1km long straight to test his 300km/h-plus machines.

David Dicker with his wife, Delwyn, who shares his dream of building the world's fastest track car.
David Dicker with his wife, Delwyn, who shares his dream of building the world's fastest track car.

Dicker is adamant the quakes will not delay his ambitious project.

"We have already cleaned up most of the mess and will be back at work in the next few days, so it's not really going to have a great effect," he said.

Dicker's long-term "vanity project" envisages 40-50 cars being made every year, across all models.

"The cars are pretty much unique, there's really nothing else available like this. They will be exciting to drive and I think there's definite market for it," he said.

- NZ Herald

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