Pickens and Dahm win at Western Springs


Auckland midget driver Michael Pickens won his second Barry Butterworth Classic at WXC Speedway – Western Springs on Saturday night, while Tokoroa’s Keaton Dahm upset the sprint car locals. 

Having started near the back of the field, Pickens was methodical in passing cars throughout the first half of the 40-lap race, before going on to win comfortably ahead of Leon Burgess and Shayne Alach. 

“Each win seems to get more exciting,” said the 33-year-old. “We have got an awesome car which makes my job that much easier. 

Pickens was on double-duty on Saturday night, getting out of his midget and climbing straight into a sprint car for their main event 

However, it was visiting driver Dahm who showed the Aucklanders how to race at their home track, winning his first sprint car feature at Western Springs ahead of Jamie Larson and Dion Kendall. 

“I’m absolutely rapt, it’s taken a long time for someone without an ‘A’ on their car to win up here so I’m stoked to have done it,” said the 25-year-old. 

“I thought it was all going to be raced up on the cushion [at the top of the race track] but we managed to find something on the bottom that worked, which is a credit to the guys who set the car up.” 

In the TQ midgets, Christchurch’s Rachel Melrose became the first female to win a feature race in the class’ history at Western Springs, beating Richard Eva and Jason Corbett. 

Also, Andrew Vincent won the F2 midget main event ahead of Eric Smith and Elizabeth Blackwell in third, while the Gisborne duo of Rob Miller and Kerwin Arnaboldi took out the sidecar final. 

Speedway concludes at Western Springs on March 5 with the Heritage Shield and North Island Midget Championship.