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NZ MIDGET TITLE NIGHT 1



A sparse crowd filed through the turnstiles for night 1 of the New Zealand Midget Title. Format for the night saw Midgets contest a whopping two heats. The Ministocks had more races! Despite the poor crowd they had sold out of programmes by 6:30pm. Unbelievable. Track conditions were interesting. At the start of the night the track was like the Mohali desert. A last minute drenching wasn't enough to save the first round of heats on a dry and lifeless surface. But the track crew kept at it and once the sun went down the outer line did come in. Albeit it was tricky. Turns 1&2 would come in for a race, then it would go away and 3&4 was the place to go high. Eventually both turns came in as the Midgets completed their racing for the night.

Group 1
The inspirationally named "group 1" featured a number of genuine championship contenders. Race 1 was full of biff and barge as the track limited the action. 81s Michael Kendall was quickly into the lead and was never headed. 9usa Zach Daum eased his way into the second spot from row two. But the big benefactor was 41a Ricky McGough who drive sensibly as others faulted around him. 96a Chris McCutcheon also made a big move whilst the likes of 1nz Michael Pickens and 11a Shayne Alach failed to make meaningful advances. The second heat was the race of the night. Pickens led away from grid two, leaving a gaggle of drivers to put on a show.

71a Breyton Davison, 58a Joe Malone, 11a Shayne Alach, 96a Chris McCutcheon and 9usa Zach Daum were in the thick of the action. Alach would suddenly pull to the infield mid-race. Kendall was good from the back, picking off a number of slightly slower cars before rounding McCutcheon. I think we're looking for five from the group and the points situation as I have it is 9usa Zach Daum - 21 pts (grid 6), 71a Breyton Davison - 21 pts (grid 11), 81s Michael Kendall - 20 pts (grid 4), 1nz Michael Pickens - 19 pts (grid 9), 96a Chris McCutcheon - 15 pts (grid 1), 41a Ricky McGough - 14 pts (grid 3), 58a Joe Malone - 13 pts (grid 7), 36c Glen Durie - 11 pts (grid 10)



Group 2
The favourites came to the fore in this group. 63a Jayden Worthington led away from 31a Daniel Thomas. The track was possibly at it's worst, drivers seemingly having to just about stop halfway through turns 1&2. Those who looked for alternate lines would be rewarded as a couple of drivers found something up high through 1&2. It was a line that required a lot of skill as drivers had to hit the right spot and get the right angle on exit to make it work. 88c Jeremy Webb did just that, building on the reputation he established during the international series. 2nz Brad Mosen was another to make this unique line pay dividends. Mosen would pass Webb late in the piece, turning grid 10 into a 3rd place finish. Worthington spun out of the lead handing Thomas a race win from 95s Duane Hickman.

Webb led away from the front row in the second race. It would be the last his fellow combatants would see of him. Mosen assumed the second spot, seemingly intent on using the high line. That left the door open for Thomas who made a run from his mid-pack grid, slipping up the inside of the 2nz to take second place. The unassuming 98a Caleb Antonio-Rooney slipped up through the field from his back grid. As I have it 31a Daniel Thomas - 23 pts (grid 12), 88c Jeremy Webb - 21 pts (grid 11), 2nz Brad Mosen - 20 pts (grid 5), 95s Duane Hickman - 16 pts (grid 6), 98a Caleb Antonio-Rooney - 16 pts (grid 4), 63a Jayden Worthington - 11 pts (grid 10), 12v Brent Huijs - 11 pts (grid 8), 79a Max Guilford - 11 pts (grid 2)



Group 3
After running 97usa all season it was great to see a big 3nz on the Spencer Bayston car. 91a Hayden Guptill led away in the opening heat but when Bayston came through from his mid-pack grid this got very tough very quickly for the 91a. Bayston ate away at Guptill, using whatever was there on the outside of the track to edge his way into the lead. The other driver making progress was 27a Hayden Williams. The luckless kiwi turning a 9th place start into a third place finish. A number of drivers down the back failed to make an impression. 5a Brock Maskovich, 9h Michael Brunt and 99c Dave Kerr all failing to do anything of note.

The second heat was a foregone conclusion with Bayston on pole. While Bayston circulated up high the rest of the field duked it out for the minor placings. The race grid was like a fastest to the front race but there was some good action. Williams and Maskovich were able to go by Hunnibell. Brunt was improved but the same couldn't be said for Kerr who looked strangely out of form. Bayston would be the only driver to go perfect through two heats. An ominous sign that the national championship may be heading overseas. 3nz Spencer Bayston - 24 pts (grid 11), 27a Hayden Williams - 20 pts (grid 7), 91a Hayden Guptill - 18 pts (grid 8), 5a Brock Maskovich - 17 pts (grid 5), 39a Peter Hunnibell - 16 pts (grid 9), 33a James Cossey - 14 pts (grid 2), 24s Mark Williams - 13 pts (grid 4), 9h Michael Brunt - 13 pts (grid 3).