MIDGET 40 LAPPER
Nineteen Midgets fronted for the first serious shakedown at the track that hosts the New Zealand title
later this season. Mosen, Maskovich and Alach were all missing from the entry list but we gained 95s
Duane Hickman. A poor crowd fronted to watch racing on a track that had potential but wasn't allowed
to develop into a racing surface. Track staff insisted on watering the entire track from pole line to
the wall after every race.
The result was a track with even moisture distribution across the racing surface. So it was a case of finding the shortest
way around which was the pole line. To illustrate this point the Midget track record was beaten in the feature.
There is no way a feature track should have so much moisture around the pole line that drivers can
approach the track record let alone beat it. Had the track staff focussed on the outer half of the track
I feel we would have had a very good track but it wasn't to be. The grid for the big race saw 9usa Zach Daum
and 96a Chris McCutcheon on the front row. 31a Daniel Thomas and 95s Duane Hickman were row two. 21a Carl
Worboys and 9h Michael Brunt were the third row. 1nz Michael Pickens was a non-starter due to an off
Thomas took a 2-minute bell prior to the race commencing. It was later commented the issue was getting the
car into gear. It proved a fruitless exercise as the car jumped out of gear within meters of the race starting
and Thomas retired to the infield. McCutcheon won the start to take the lead from Daum. The opening stanza was
short lived as 33a James Cossey spun into the turn 1/2 wall and was unable to restart. 93a Kayne Buck
also pulled off. McCutcheon led away from the restart but even in the early stages was having to throw the car
more sideways than Daum behind him.
Around six laps in 81s Michael Kendall and 24s Mark Williams retired to the infield with mechanical issues. A few laps later 6a
Steve Edwards found himself upside down in turn 1. I'm not sure if he was part of or was trying to avoid
the crash but 69a Mark Ensom attempted a wall of death style stunt, driving with two wheels on the track
and two on top of the wall!! Though spectacular it proved a sub-optimal technique to navigate the track
and Ensom retired to what was becoming a crowded infield. The remaining laps would run caution free.
Once again McCutcheon led away from Daum. There was a little bit of action behind them as Hickman dropped
a couple of spots to Worboys and Brunt. A little further back the King of Levin 68s Chris Bagrie was
showing impressive speed whilst even further back 39a Peter Hunnibell was making forward progress amongst
the slightly slower competitors. Back to the front and on around the 18th circuit McCutcheon abruptly pulled
to the infield entering turn one, handing the lead to Daum.
The second half of the race boiled down to two battles. Worboys holding off Brunt for second and Hickman, Bagrie
and Hunnibell battling for fourth. Hickman would be the first to slip up, drifting high in turns 3/4 allowing
Bagrie and Hunnibell to slip up the inside. A couple of laps later Hunnibell would slip up the inside of
Bagrie to vault himself into fourth. All that was left was to settle second place. Worboys seemed to be
struggling the further the race went on and coming out of turn 4 for the final time Brunt slipped up
the inside and got his nose in front of Worboys across the line to steal second. Daum taking a commanding
win from Brunt, Worboys, Hunnibell, Bagrie and Hickman.