Auckland’s Michael Pickens delighted the crowd at WXC Speedway – Western Springs on Sunday night with his sixth World 50-lap Classic victory.
Rain drizzled throughout the mammoth race as Pickens fought off American professionals Spencer Bayston and Bryan Clauson, then fellow Kiwi Hayden Williams to win the $10,000 prize and coveted 50-lap ring.
“Spencer started the race pretty well then I saw Hayden’s nose a few times while we were bouncing into turn three, obviously Clauson got up to second on a couple of restarts and I thought maybe he was coming for me as well,” said Pickens.
“It’s amazing, I really appreciate the fans sticking around in the rain, I know it’s not the most ideal situation to be watching but without the fans, there would be no racing.”
Williams capped off his impressive performance with second place ahead of Huntly’s Michael Brunt, who survived a battle of attrition to finish third.
“I tried to give Michael all I had, I knew I had to do something so on a couple of those restarts when he went low I went to the outside and got into a few bumps,” said Williams.
“In the end he was just that little bit better than us; I’m happy though, to finish second to Pickens in the 50-lapper is no mean feat.”
In winning this famous race, Pickens also secured the United Truck Parts International Midget Series.
“This car has been absolutely flawless this whole international series, we haven’t had one mechanical failure and it’s a huge credit to our team,” he said.
Californian-Kiwi Jonathan Allard won the sprint car feature ahead of Auckland’s Daniel Eggleton and Palmerton North’s Jamie Larson, while Jeremy Webb from Christchurch held off Scott Baker in the TQ midget division and Auckland’s Joe Malone took out the F2 midget main event.
Speedway returns to Western Springs on Saturday featuring the Super Saloons racing at the Auckland circuit for the first time in 23 years. Also in action will be Midgets, Sprint cars, F2 midgets and Kiwi Kidz.
Gates open at 4pm with racing from 6.15pm. For more information, including ticketing.