The focus shifts back to the fastest class of speedway racing for the second of Baypark Speedway’s big $5000-to-win summer events this weekend.
A 31-strong field of methanol-injected V8 Sprint Cars has been assembled for the third annual Bay Piston Cup on Saturday evening, with the headline being the renewal of a 30-lapper rivalry between Hamilton’s Dean Brindle and Auckland-based California racer Jonathan Allard.
Brindle is looking to complete a hat-trick of victories in Baypark’s 30-lap Sprint Car showcase. His back-to-back wins were achieved by passing Allard in traffic on the final lap of the inaugural race and taking over the lead after an early duel with the American last summer.
This season, Brindle’s form includes an opening night Baypark feature race win on Labour weekend and then two more podiums through November before taking a holiday season break from racing.
Allard is making a much-anticipated return after a longer break from the cockpit of a 900-horsepower Sprint Car. The two-time New Zealand champion is making a late start to his Kiwi campaign after recovering from a back injury he sustained in mid-2023.
A quality field also includes reigning New Zealand champion Daniel Thomas (Hamilton) along with former national champions Rodney Wood (Tauranga), and Auckland racers Michael Pickens and Jamie McDonald.
The intensity of competition in the Sprint Car ranks has been impressive this season, with seven feature races now having produced six different winners. The only driver to double down on feature race success has been Wood while Brindle, Thomas, Katikati teenager Ayrton Hodson, Tokoroa’s James Dahm and Aucklander Ryan O’Connor have also delivered winning feature race drives and rank among the leading contenders again on Saturday night.
Another driver chasing a Baypark hat-trick this weekend is Auckland’s James Earl as the F2 Midget class makes a return to the Mount Maunganui oval. Earl has driven his self-built Honda-powered car to victory on both occasions the F2 class has raced at Baypark this summer, and this weekend Earl leads a 17-strong grid.
Racing starts at 6.30 pm with the 6 Shooters and Youth Mini Stocks providing the support race action.