New Zealanders and Americans call them Midget Cars and Australians call them Speedcars. Whatever you like to call them the small car Trans-Tasman speedway action is set to ignite in Sydney over the next two weekends.
For the second season in a row there will be a New Zealand invasion of Sydney’s Valvoline Raceway. Once again for two weekends, however, this time, contesting the New South Wales State Title and the Sydney City 50 Lap Classic which is now a Friday to Saturday two-day event.
The former presented by American Tire and Racing as well as CEJN and the latter by Seamount Racing and CEJN.
The New South Wales State Speedcar Title to be held on Saturday is one of the most coveted titles in Southern Hemisphere Midget car racing. Dating back to 1937 and now in its 77th running, the list of winners is a who’s who of Australian and American racing. Michael Pickens is the only New Zealander to win this title though many before and after him have tried.
The Sydney City 50 Lap Classic is scheduled for 3-4 May. The race was started in 2005 and of the 13 times contested two drivers have 5 wins each; Australian Nathan Smee and New Zealand’s Michael Pickens. Australian duo Mark Brown and Adam Clarke join defending Champion and second ever Kiwi to win the big race Tayler Clarke as its only winners.
Leading the Kiwi contingent is former Australian Champion, and five-time Sydney City 50 Lap winner Michael Pickens. His 1NZ tail tank has a spine covered in Feature win decals that marks him as a top contender every time he hits the track.
Having claimed a record eighth New Zealand Championship and topped the podium at Western Springs Speedways United Truck Parts International Midget Car Series this season he carries good form into the upcoming meets. Pickens will drive for Australian car owner and former racer Brett Morris.
Brad Mosen has many laps under his belt at Valvoline Raceway and this time appears in a Seamount Racing King Chassis with Toyota power. His teammate is also New Zealand born Scotty Farmer.
Having moved to Australia when he was younger Farmer now races out of Brisbane but is excited to drive for Seamount Racing after competing against them earlier in the season while on his first visit to race at Western Springs Speedway.
BSL (Buckley Systems Limited) Racing have three of their five drivers ditch hoping for the next two weeks. Hayden Williams who drove in last year’s Trans-Tasman series for Australian car owners Scott and Jade Wilson has been getting to grips with his Bullet chassis after starting the season in a BREKA and has gained speed every race.
The team’s other Hayden is Gupitll. The former New Zealand Three Quarter Midget car Champion returns for his second time in Sydney after finding his way to several podium finishes and a win on local shores.
Another young up and coming BSL driver making a second Valvoline Raceway appearance is Jayden Worthington. Unlike his Hayden teammates, Worthington is not a graduate of the Quarter and Three Quarter cars but what he lacks in laps he makes up for in vigour.
HLR (Harper Leonard Racing) also have three entrants. Chris McCutcheon was also among the New Zealand drivers who competed last season in the Trans-Tasman Series and will drive a Bullet chassis with Esslinger power.
Last year HLR driver Caleb Antonio Rooney drove for a local team but this time will be in his familiar blue Aggressor chassis. Leon Burgess completes the third driver and chassis combination in the Scott Buckley designed Terra chassis, also Esslinger powered.
Former New Zealand Midget car National Champion Peter Hunnibell will also fling Parramatta clay over the next few weeks making his first racing trip to the wide oval having previously raced in Australia on several occasions at other tracks.
Twenty-five-year-old James Earl is set to make his first International appearance after his fifth season in Midgets at Western Springs and has an extra jump in his step as he prepares to reunite with his pride and joy.
Last season’s Sydney 50 Lap winner Taylor Clarke will defend his title in the Gavin Wesble owned no.67NSW car after having a baby and most of the season off, no longer driving for his Families Seamount Racing Team.
The lone American is Alex Bright racing who add spice and makes this two way a three way National battle.
With the total nominated car counts topping the 50 car mark the Aussie drivers are numerous and talented. The likes of National Champion Dayne Kingshot and previous titlist Kaidon Brown are bolstered by Super Series Champions Travis Mills and Veterans Adam Clarke and Nathan Smee.
With drivers from multiple countries and every Australian state attending, patriotism could quickly be cast aside and an ‘each man for himself’ Speedcar free-for-all over the next few weeks.
If you are unable to attend search Clay Per View for live and on demand video coverage.