Western Springs Speedway held the opening round of the Pipeline Hose Shop Red Light Racing Series for Midget and Sprintcars with both wins claimed by NZ Speedway ace Michael Pickens.
Limited crowd sizes with segregated seating and facilities were all part of the challenges for event organisers last Saturday as the Midget and Sprintcar divisions were joined by 20 F2 Midgets and 18 Three Quarter Midgets.
The first Formula Two Midgets 10 Lap heat race was won by James Earl who broke his season long hiatus from the open Midget division to heave the Jeffries Racing 2011 Spike/3SGE Toyota around the bullring. Harper Leonard Racing’s Crew chief and racer Bruce James claimed the 2nd heat win in the ex-Hayden Williams 2017 Aggressor now in F2 spec. with a Honda K20 power plant.
The top six F2’s had a dash to set the start order for the Feature with Corbin Anderson pulling away to a half second win over Earl in just 6 laps, rookie Nico Pinkerton 3rd, James, Carlos Stone, Kyle Simpson back for his 1st meeting of the season, veteran Eric Smith and former Springs Flagman Michael Robertson the finishing order.
The 15 Lap Feature went 13 Laps until Carlos Stone in the Ivent Solutions sponsored Nick James & Joe Malone built chassis/Honda K20 rode a wheel while challenging for 3rd and ground his car against the wall in a shower of sparks. The teenage rookie racer walking away from the wreck unharmed.
The race declared with the win awarded to the ultra-quick Anderson who went 11th to 5th in heat one and 6th to 2nd in heat two. Earl came home 2nd with Pinkerton claiming his 1st podium in the adult division. James and Simpson rounding out the top five.
The 10 Lap TQ heat wins went to perennial front runners Scott Baker and Cole Morrison both in Harris Chassis and started on the front row. The Dash was won by Morrison with Baker 2nd, Cousin of Cole – Ben Morrison 3rd in his Harris with Troy Pennington, Jakeb LeCren and younger brother of Troy – Bryce Pennington all in CP3 chassis, rounding out the field and filling the front 3 rows of the 15 Lap Feature.
Cole Morrison led from start to finish over Baker, LeCren, Ben Morrison, Regan Tyler who started 11th also in the top 5. The whole field utilizing the Suzuki GSXR750 power plant.
The Midget heats were also 10 Laps with victories going to Buckley Systems Limited Racing drivers Aaron Hodgson, Hayden Guptill, Privateers Mitch Osborne and Peter Hunnibell. All of whom started in pole position.
The top 6 in points after heat races had their 8 Lap Dash with Hodgson winning over former and 50 Lap Classic winner and Midget Champion Brad Mosen. Jordan McDonnell, Pickens, Hunnibell, Guptill, National Champion Williams and Osborne who all stated to start in the top 8 spots of the Red Light Series Feature.
The track was smooth and flat to a thin cushion as the 25 Lap Feature began. A light shower of rain falling for several hours in the low pressure weather system that had threatened to cancel the meeting as proceedings continued, the track somehow able to absorb this moisture.
Mosen took the initial lead with Hodgson fending off 9 time Midget champion Pickens for second place for the opening five laps. With 12 laps to go Mosen, in the Greenway Sponsored CP3/Toyota had built a comfortable led only to make contact with a lapped car and come to a halt.
At the restart Hodgson slid in front of Pickens in the 1st turn but Pickens was able to cross back under and cover the low line in turn 3 and retain the lead. Hodgson fell back to 3rd behind Williams as Mosen’s rear of field restart set him back to 16th.
After several more caution periods Pickens was able to win by a comfortable 1.4 seconds ahead of Williams however the highlight was Mosen going from 13th to 3rd in the final 7 laps as he found grip below the rest of the field. Guptill and Hodgson completing the top 5 placings.
In Sprintcar action Heat race wins went to former National Title holder Jamie McDonald, current champ Pickens, Dion Kendall and Palmerston North registered Dean Cooper. Cooper then able to win the Dash ahead of McDonald and Daltons Sponsored Californian veteran Johnathan Allard, Kihikihi registered James Dahm, Pickens and pair of former champions in Dean Brindle and Jamie Larsen and the well-traveled Stephen Taylor completing the dash result.
With the dash setting the 25-Lap Feature line up McDonald took the early lead over Dahm. The race was slowed early when Larsen’s car gripped up on a tacky piece of track and spun leaving F2 Feature winner Anderson and his Sprintcar nowhere to go, colliding with Larsen and flipping to a stop. The pair out of the race with damage.
At this time Taylor’s quick change differential had blown in half retiring him from the race. At the restart Pickens was 6th and worked his way to second to battle McDonald. Pickens made the pass and took the lead on lap 5.
A multi car pile up on a mid-race restart saw 8 cars stopped and a red flag waved while the Kendall car was extracted from the fence. All drivers unhurt with the 20-Car field now down to ten.
Pickens going on to win by a full 3 seconds ahead of McDonald, Cooper, James Dahm. Brother of James, Keaton Dahm who started 13th and came home in 5th position.
The Pipeline Hose Shop Red Light Racing Series continues with round 2 or 3 set for Saturday 19th February at Western Springs Speedway with limited online ticket sales only and limited crowd size. See wsspeedway.com for details
Catch all the action on the video live stream at wsspeedway.com/livestream or on floracing.com