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Egmont Village - International Midget Series - Tuesday 18 January 2005
Report and pictures by Mike Pollard

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Egmont Village - International Midget Series - Tuesday 18 January 2005

Report and pictures by Mike Pollard


When Worlds Collide, they do so at Ferndene Park Raceway, Egmont Village, Taranaki, New Zealand!

Well its tuesday night, and I'm as surprised as anyone to find myself in Egmont Village!

The noise restriction problems encountered at Springs Speedway in Auckland, meant that the promotion transferred the event at short notice to Ferndene, a pirate/black track some 5 hours south of Auckland.

Up a dirt road and past the car park, the marshalls guided me through field after field of parked cars. "this is gonna be fun getting out" I thought to myself.

A hike back to the track, where a record crowd of 4,400 had gathered to witness some of the Worlds best Midget drivers, including the likes of Cory Kreusman from the U.S.A. show their skills.

Facilities could best be described as basic, but the track looked awesome. approaching 1/3rd of a mile in length, with sweeping bends that were highly banked, especially in turn 1.

It seemed like the whole Springs infrastructure had been shipped down, with a dozen or so support vehicles in attendance including the impressive safety and fire crews. And there it was, sat on the third turn ... the huge supergiant screen, which showed live action and instant replays throughout the evening. the Springs promotion do a proper job, and had 6 outside broadcast cameras covering the action for their own T.V. show; "The Dirt". When there was a short gap in proceedings "the dirt" presenter carried out live interviews from the pits that were shown on the giant screen, which was also used to convey the results to the crowd.....professional or what? The promoters even chartered an aircraft to fly down some of their more ardent fans!

As the evening wore on, the light levels dropped,and as modern T.V. cameras are so good, it actually became easier to follow the action on the screen than to watch the cars that were racing in front of you! Also, the "hip" commentary from the Springs guys was interspersed with the 2 local commentators, one of whom's style could best be described as extremely old fashioned, which only helped to add a surreal quality to the whole experience.

Going into tonights events the Americans held a 12 point advantage over the Kiwis in the Teams Series with the Australians in 3rd. Given the nature of the track, it was expected that the Americans would extend their lead. However, due to some great drives by #77NZ Shaun Insley and #1NZ Michael Kendall amongst others, the Kiwis managed to win on the night with the Australians taking out 2nd place and actually moved 13 points ahead of the Americans in the series. Maybe the culture shock was just too much for the Coca-Cola and Pepsi backed Americans!

In the individual 30 lap feature race, victory looked to be going to Michael Kendall until the last bout of waved yellows, which saw a shower of sparks eminate from his exhaust on the restart (never a good sign) relegating him to the back of the pack and handing the win to Shaun Insley with the Aussie #42AUS Mark Brown in 2nd, ahead of the American Scott Hatton #15USA in 3rd.

Cars racing:
Midgets 21
Quad Bikes 11 (demo)
Saloons 9
Ministox 9
Fender Benders 8 (6cyl Bangers)
Jalopys 5 (4 cyl Bangers)



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