A crowd of over 8000 people packed Western Springs Speedway on Saturday night for what until as late as Thursday had been slated to be the last night ever for the 90 year old crown jewel of South Pacific Speedway.
The plight of speedway at Australasia’s most famous dirt oval has been well publicised in its 11th hour rock and a hard place situation. Although the true complexities of the entire matter have not yet been fully realised, the good will and support of Auckland and Speedway fans across New Zealand culminated in one of the biggest Speedway crowds seen at the venue in this millennium. All in attendance there to support Speedway.
A field of nearly twenty “KiwiKidz” Quarter Midget cars raced 3 races with their 1st race win going to Bryce Pennington, 2nd was Dylan Cooke with Scott 3rd.
In heat two the 3 were 1st Reagan Edwards, 2nd Emerson Vincent and 3rd Keiano Weir.
In the final 6 lap race for the 8 to 14 year olds class Vincent won his 10th feature race with Edwards 2nd in his 10th podium appearance of the season. Third place was a delighted Dylan Forsey who had come all the way from Christchurch for the special occasion. Scott and Cole Robertson also finished in the top five.
Thirty-five entries contested heat races in the Three Quarter Midget car class with heat wins earned by Duane Todd, Ryan Baker, National Champion Jeremy Webb who had added his potent car to fellow Cantabrian Foresy’s teams tow North and Aucklander Cole Morrison.
In the 20 Lap feature 3NZ Ryan Baker took the his 6th win, the 11th for the team giving him and brother Scott a clean sweep of all Features for the Western Springs Season. Older brother Scott colliding with a stationary car on the front straight while running 2nd. Webb finished 2nd with Morrison 3rd followed by Ryan Barry 4th and 2NZ Peter Hunnibell 5th.
In the Formula Two Midget cars former TQ drivers Darryl Webster, Eric Smith, winner of the single night Springs F2 Championship event Aaron Hodgson and reigning F2 Midget Series Champion Nathan Howard all had heat wins. Howard only finding a season long gremlin in time for the final night.
Benjamin Mathews was able to hold off several attacks from Howard to win his 1st ever feature over Corbin Anderson, Howard, Hodgson and New Series Champion and team mate to Howard Matthew McCutcheon in 5th.
The race was not without drama when rookie driver Stuart Marshall took a wild ride to the collective gasps from the giant crowd. Marshall was taken to hospital for further treatment.
In Midget Car heat race action Michael Pickens, Brad Mosen, Shayne Alach and Hayden Williams took line honours with Joe Malone winning the semi-main to start the 30 lap feature along with fellow semi-main transferees Ricky McGough, Kayne Buck and Matthew Watson.
Pickens led from start to finish with Williams 2nd from his 3rd row starting position. BSL Racing teammate to Williams Hayden Guptill come home in 3rd. Mosen and Alach completing the top five.
The Sprintcar division had heat win collected by Adam Child, Jamie MacDonald, Pickens and Rodney Wood.
The 25 lap feature went to Pickens with Jamie Larsen fishing 2nd and recording an equal fast lap time with Pickens down to a thousandth of a second. Third was a Dean Brindle who had made retirement moves towards the end of last season but finds his current situation may see him return next summer. The Dahm Motorsports brothers of Keaton and James finished 4th and 5th respectively.
As the curtain draws closed on this summer’s Western Springs Speedway action be sure to follow velocity News for update on the hallowed grounds future.
If you missed the action the full nights racing can be found on www.speedshifttv.com