Te Awamutu Teenager Regan Tyler found himself engulfed in flames on Saturday at Western Springs Speedway in Auckland and managed to make a fast exit of his burning car avoiding injury. Michael Pickens going on to win the series in both Midget and Sprintcars.
The 18 year old started 9th in the Three Quarter Midget divisions’ final race of the evening. Moments before the race started the water truck doused the outer portion of the track.
While running the bottom of the track on the second lap Scott Baker climbed over the wheel of the car in front which spun him out and came almost to a stop on the high line. Tyler had set his car into the turn on the greasy outer portion of track that had just been watered moments before, which left him with nowhere to go but straight into the back of Baker.
The impact seemingly opening the back of Bakers fuel tank with the shunt enough to keep Baker from stalling and he was able to drive away leaving Tyler stationary on the track directly in the path of Jayden Busch. The impact split Tyler’s aluminum fuel tank open causing the gasoline to pour out and instantly ignite.
The flames rose well above the car and trailed in a streak across the track. The apprentice fabricator wasted no time in climbing out and jumping clear of the blaze as the safety crew extinguished the flames seconds later. Nathan Brough in the Avondale Pack & Send #12 T.Q found himself heading straight for the fire but managed to drive through the flames around the outside.
Some Speedway fans taking to social media unhappy with the post-crash live stream interview where former T.Q and Midget Car Hall of Fame driver Graham Standring placed blame with the teenager for not looking far enough ahead on the track.
Tyler disagreed with that characterization and stated the top of the track being watered to be the cause and he could not avoid the accident. Standring interjected that it had not been watered and that the driver was wrong and the interview abruptly ended.
Tyler’s OMP race suit saved him from a potentially severe burn injury on one arm in particular. Meanwhile OMP’s New Zealand distributor, Racer Products, have donated Tyler a brand new replacement OMP race suit to assist him returning to the racetrack. The car is already back at Harris Racecars to be repaired for subsequent events this season.
Earlier in the meeting Jakeb Le Cren walked away from a T.Q crash when he flipped during his heat race.
Ben Morrison going on to win his 2nd Feature this season with his nephew Cole Morrison and TQ rookie Terence Dorrell rounding out the podium.
In F2 Midget competition Corbin Anderson passed 7 cars in his first 10 Lap heat, won his second heat and the dash on the way to his Feature win over Max Guilford and James Earl.
Michael Pickens was able to capture both the Midget and Sprintcar Pipeline Hose Shop Red Light Series honors with a win in the Midget feature over his brother-in-law Brock Maskovich and Brad Mosen.
The series ending in a 3-way tie with Pickens winning rounds 1 and 3 and 18th in round two, Aaron Hodgson 4th, 1st and 5th with Mosen collecting 3 third place finishes over the three rounds. All driver with 78 points and the Series awarded to Pickens having the most wins.
Johnathan Allard in the Daltons 11USA Sprintcar won the 25 Lap Feature over James Dahm and Ryan O’Connor. Pickens home 5th doing enough having won the first two rounds.
The 10 time Speedway NZ Champion putting his crew to work with both cars in need of urgent repairs when his CRC King/Toyota Midget locked in gear after a heat race and the Sprintcar going for a wild ride tumbling several times in heat two. The Pickens team helped by opposing teams in the pit to get his Maxim chassis and Maxwill Racing Engine Sprintcar car back on track.
The final meeting for the Western Springs Speedway season is the Barry Butterworth Memorial + Modifieds King of The Springs scheduled for 26th March. See www.wsspeedway.com for details.
Catch all the action on the video live stream at www.wsspeedway.com/livestream or on Flo Racing www.floracing.com