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McGregor Takes First New Zealand Championship

McGregor Takes First New Zealand Championship

Auckland TQ Midget driver Dylan McGregor has won his first New Zealand championship in a thrilling race that was not decided until the very last corner.

In what was a dramatic night of racing, two of the favourites for the title failed to even make the final championship race, with Ryan Baker suffering a roll-over and Jared Taylor retiring early in the night with mechanical problems, while several other top contenders suffered problems and were forced to start the feature race towards the back of the 24-car field.

Speedway veteran Tony Josephs headed the line-up for the feature race with his team-mate Steve Smith alongside, but contact between Scott Baker and Smith put the pair both out of the race in the first turn. The second attempt to start the race saw Josephs move into the lead with McGregor second and former champion Paul le Cren, who came out of retirement only half way through the season, moved held third.

While McGregor, who started the race under a question mark with an overheating engine, held out le Cren, Josephs moved away and despite several caution periods, was effectively unchallenged across the opening 18 of 20 laps, but a heart breaking tyre blow out for Josephs left him so close but yet so far.

That left a two-lap sprint to the flag and despite his best efforts, le Cren was unable to get through and McGregor held on for his first New Zealand Championship win ahead of le Cren and Deon Ansty, who held off a massive late race challenge from Duane and Craig Todd, the outgoing 2NZ and 1NZ respectively.

North Island Midget Championship action was also drama filled with two of the best local drivers of the modern era, Michael Pickens and Graham Standring, suffering problems that meant they were forced to come from the back of the feature race. There were no such dramas for American driver Jerry Coons Jr., who took out the win ahead of Hayden Williams and Brock Maskovich.

Next weekend sees the Midget drivers pay tribute to one of the greats of New Zealand Speedway, Barry Butterworth, with the Barry Butterworth Classic.

Race day sees gates open at 5pm with the first race getting underway at 6.30. Adults are $30 with kids under the age of 16 free with a paying adult. For more information, check out


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