Auckland speedway driver Brad Mosen expects a tough battle in defending his New Zealand Midget Championship title at WXC Speedway – Western Springs tonight.
The 28-year-old won the right to wear the prestigious 1NZ in Christchurch last year, but with fellow Aucklander Michael Pickens in top form, he admits retaining it tonight would be even more special.
“Winning last year’s title was ten years in the making but, to be honest, we were really on form and I kind of expected to win it, so doing so was more of a relief than pure adrenaline fuelled celebration,” said Mosen.
“This year we are not coming in as the favourite to win so if we did, it would cement our place as the best team out there.”
Mosen has a number of esteemed trophies in his collection, including the World 50-lap Classic and International Midget Series, however, he is not driven by wall pieces.
“My natural competitiveness has always been the sole reason I want to win; titles are awesome but to be totally honest, I just want to win when the bragging rights are on the line,” he said.
“We haven’t been at our best lately but we’ve made some changes to the car and gone back to what seems to work for us so I’m just ready to go at it with Pickens tonight.”
Pickens is a six-time New Zealand champion and goes into tonight’s race as the overwhelming TAB favourite at $1.80.
Having won the Australian [Midget] Championship in Sydney last week, he is also hoping to make history by becoming the first driver to win both Trans-Tasman titles in one year.
“It still hasn’t really sunk in that I’m the first Kiwi to win the Australian title, so to win the New Zealand title on top of that would be a dream come true,” said the 33-year-old.
“Each win gets more exciting with the opportunity to better the iconic Ted Tracey’s record of six national titles.
“Anyone can go buy a car and race but the feeling of having 10,000 people on their feet is something money can’t buy.”
Also on show at Western Springs tonight will be sprint cars, TQ midgets, F2 midgets and Kiwi Kidz. Gates open at 4pm with the first race from 6.15pm.