Rising midget car star Aaron Hodgson scored a home success at Baypark Speedway, extending a recent winning streak.
Hodgson took victory in the 20-lap Seamount Jamboree Classic on Saturday night, recording his second win in a fortnight after a win at Western Springs that gave his season momentum.
“We built a new car for this season and it took us a bit of time to get the hang of it,” Hodgson said.
“And with so many races canceled or postponed, it took a little longer than usual.
“The team gave me a very good car tonight and the driver did his job.”
Hodgson scored second and fourth in his heat races to earn a front-row starting position alongside former New Zealand champion Brad Mosen.
He led the first half of the race but was passed after a mid-race caution by nine-time New Zealand champion Michael Pickens.
Pickens led for six laps but ran over debris from another car and cut his right rear tire. In the four-lap sprint to the finish, Hodgson led home Peter Hunnibell and Jayden Worthington.
It was Baypark’s second meeting run on a new track surface prepared by a crew led by Tauranga sprint car racer Rodney Wood.
“It’s the best track we’ve raced here in a long time. It was cool to race,” says Hodgson.
Pickens made up for some of his disappointment by switching to his sprint car and winning a 20-lap feature chased by former New Zealand champions Wood, Hamilton’s Dean Brindle and Jamie Duff (Christchurch), who weren’t covered by only 0.7 seconds at the checkered flag. .
It was 199and characteristic of Pickens’ career racing victory on the speedway.
Michael Pickens (1) battles for the lead with Rodney Wood during a fast Sprint Car race.
“The track was great tonight. Hats off to Rodney Wood and his team who worked so hard on it,” Pickens said.
The Super Saloon competition saw Tauranga’s Chris Cowling become the first driver to claim three race wins at Baypark this summer.
Cowling passed Sam Waddell with five laps to go, shortly before Waddell slowed with a broken rear suspension mount.
Scott Hayward came in second ahead of Steve Cowling.
Corbin Anderson made it easy for the F2 Midget feature with a 15-lap turn around.
Hawke’s Bay teenager Jeremy Browne enjoyed another successful visit to Baypark, winning twice in one night for the second time this season.
This weekend, Baypark Speedway is hosting the inaugural 30-lap Bay Piston Cup Sprint Car race with limited crowds and live coverage.