Braemar Hospital’s anaesthetist Greg Spark was recently profiled in the Waikato Times online.
To read the Waikato Times article online, Click here.
Medical man enjoys fast lane thrill of racing
Waikato Times online
By Donna-Lee Biddle
From theatre to race track: Anaesthetist Greg Spark is a keen rally car driver.
Greg Spark is living every man’s childhood dream – he’s a race car driver.
The Braemar Hospital paediatric anaesthetist is a keen rally car driver and took up motorsport in 2006.
“You’ve gotta have something that takes you away from work occasionally,” he said.
He entered the New Zealand Targa event from 2006 to 2009 and then he lived his ultimate dream, to race in Germany.
“Most of my driving has been tarmac rally in the New Zealand Targa event and then I joined a team in Germany and drove in a 24-hour endurance race,” he said. A normal rally track is around 2 to 2.5kms and the circuit track for the Nuerburgring event in Germany is 25km.
“It’s considered to be the Holy Grail. It’s a very expensive exercise but I’m glad I’ve ticked it off, I’ve completed the bucket list in one hit now,” he said.
Spark grew up in Canterbury and completed two years of his medical training in Hamilton and two years in Melbourne where he completed specialist training in anaesthesiology.
“I’m a specialist anaesthetist and worked at Middlemore as my first consultant post which was a really good training ground,” he said.
Spark became disillusioned with the public health job he had at Middlemore and in 1985, he moved back to Hamilton. He has been a paediatric anaesthetist for nearly 30 years.
“I can honestly say I have not woken up and not wanted to come into work, I am one of the lucky ones that loves their job.”
Spark said he has always wanted to get into motorsport but because of career and family demands, it has been difficult to achieve.
“In 2001, I started organising track days at Taupo race track for advanced driving,” he said.
“I ran those for about eight or nine years and it was there that I made contacts and enhanced my interest in driving fast on the race track,” he said.
“In 2006 I decided to get involved and bought a car and put a cage in, and that’s when I went into Targa.
“One of the better parts of getting into Targa was that my younger son Matthew became involved and he was my co-driver.”
Spark, 61, said although he realised his dream later in life, it was the perfect time to get involved.
“I love my job and I love my racing. It keeps life exciting and busy.”
Imagery by Peter Drury/Fairfax NZ