Stars Shine at Heritage Shield

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In spite of 40 days without rain in Auckland, track staff prepared an excellent surface for the Heritage Shield. Drivers responded by putting on a show that was punctuated by the best Midget feature of the season. Hayden Williams led away in a long opening stanza, repelling an early charge from Hayden Guptill. Guptill fell into the clutches of initially Zach Daum and then Michael Pickens before solidifying in the fourth running spot.

The lead trio condensed with Daum able to fend off an advance from Pickens. The only caution of the race on lap 19 brought the field together, Peter Hunnibell unable to avoid a spun car and flipping in the same spot he’d flipped his TQ earlier in the night. The last 6 laps is why fans pay their money to watch racing. Williams and Daum went hammer and tong, swapping the lead on consecutive laps. Whilst they focussed on each other, Pickens utilised the preferred high line, cutting back to slip up the inside of both combatants to take the lead.

Williams responded with a slider which saw Pickens cut back up the inside. They were wheel to wheel, elbow to elbow. On the very edge of the available grip and racing room. Pickens would prevail to take a memorable win with Daum nabbing Williams on the final corner to take second place. Mention should be made of Ryan Baker, an outstanding fifth on debut in the Shayne Alach entry. Alach announced his retirement earlier in the night. The fan favourite receiving rapturous applause in recognition of his career.

Dean Brindle was a popular winner in the Sprintcar feature. Luck fell his way when race leader Jamie Larsen couldn’t avoid a spinning car, Brian Edwards also caught up in the incident. Whilst Brindle raced unopposed at the front, Matthew Leversedge and James Dahm put on a multi-lap edge of your seat war for second. Leversedge around the pole and Dahm right up high on the tack, spraying the wall with dirt. At one stage they swapped positions on four consecutive laps but it was Leversedge who prevailed.

Corbin Anderson survived race long pressure from Adam Davis to prevail in the F2 Midget feature. James Earl, making a start in the Cometti team car, a clear third. Ben Morrison sat on the pole for the TQ feature but couldn’t capitalise. A horror first lap saw him drop to eighth. Scott Baker took advantage to lead for the duration ahead of Jakeb Le Cren and Cole Morrison.

Sidecars added variety to the show, becoming more competitive as the night continued. Hammill/Bradley were on track to cause a boil over in the feature but pulled to the infield whilst leading. That allowed the New Zealand champions Gannon/Pearce to take the spoils ahead of Boaler/Wealleans. The absence of Emerson Vincent failed to dampen Quarter Midget action. A field well into the 20’s racing magnificently. Bryce Pennington was the star of the show, on the podium all night and fittingly winning the feature ahead of Keiano Weir and Dakota Scott.

MIDGETS
Heat One – Michael Pickens, Brock Maskovich, Ryan Baker, Jayden Dodge, Peter Hunnibell
Heat Two – Zach Daum, Hayden Guptill, Hayden Williams, Ryan O’Connor, Travis Buckley
Heat Three – Hayden Williams, Max Guilford, Brock Maskovich, Caleb Antonio-Rooney, Caleb Hanham
Heat Four – Aaron Hodgson, Peter Hunnibell, Hayden Guptill, Zach Daum, Michael Pickens
Semi Main – Ben Cometti, Kayne Buck, Matthew McCutcheon, Morgan McHugh
Feature – Michael Pickens, Zach Daum, Hayden Williams, Hayden Guptill, Ryan Baker

SPRINTCARS
Heat One – Dion Kendall, Michael Pickens, Dean Brindle, Kerry Brocas, Jamie Larsen
Heat Two – Dean Cooper, Matthew Leversedge, Brian Edwards, Daniel Rogers, Rodney Wood
Heat Three – James Dahm, Jamie Larsen, Daniel Eggleton, Dean Shadbolt, Keaton Dahm
Feature – Dean Brindle, Matthew Leversedge, James Dahm, Daniel Rogers, Dean Cooper

F2 MIDGETS
Heat One – Corbin Anderson, Steven Jeffries, Adam Davis, Ben Matthews, Brad Robertson
Heat Two – Mike Driver, Corbin Anderson, James Earl, Jordan McDonnell, Adam Davis
Heat Three – Tim Fergusson, Mitch Osborne, Lindsay Gate, James Earl, Ben Matthews
Feature – Corbin Anderson, Adam Davis, James Earl, Mitch Osborne, Tim Fergusson

TQ’s
Heat One – Peter Hunnibell, Harrison Martens, Scott Baker, Dayna Lowry, Ryan Barry
Heat Two – Lawrence Baker, Cole Morrison, Shayne Minchington, Troy Pennington, Ben Morrison
Heat Three – Jakeb Le Cren, Ben Morrison, Ryan Barry, Scott Baker, Gina Harris
Feature – Scott Baker, Jakeb Le Cren, Cole Morrison, Ryan Barry, Harrison Martens

SIDECARS
Heat One – Gannon/Pearce, Edmonds/Innes, Hammill/Bradley
Heat Two – Edmonds/Innes, Hammill/Bradley, Gannon/Pearce
Feature – Gannon/Pearce, Boaler/Weallens, 10a (not listed)

QUARTER MIDGETS
Heat One – Keiano Weir, Bryce Pennington, Alec Insley, Jack Groenewald, Dakota Scott
Heat Two – Reagan Edwards, Shayden Austin, Bryce Pennington, Dakota Scott, Cole Robertson
Feature – Bryce Pennington, Keiano Weir, Dakota Scott, Alec Insley, Reagan Edwards