Motorsport: Schatz puts on master class

By Taylor Mosen

Christchurch's Jamie Duff finished second ahead of another American in Sammy Swindell, above.
Christchurch's Jamie Duff finished second ahead of another American in Sammy Swindell, above.

American Donny Schatz was untouchable at WXC Speedway-Western Springs on Sunday night, as USA swept the overall series podium.

Rain on Saturday forced a 24-hour postponement of the meeting but did not stop five-time World of Outlaws sprintcar champion Schatz from putting on a driving master class, winning both heats and the feature.

"Once we got in the clear out front [of the feature] I just tried to drive smart and keep my tyres beneath me," said the North Dakota-based professional.

"The car just kept getting better as the race went on. It's great to get a win here in New Zealand. It was a fun race."

The track provided two distinct racing lines with half of the field nursing around the pole line on the bottom, while the other half, Schatz included, searched for traction right out wide near the wall.

"My car could have gone anywhere. It probably could have been great on the bottom of the racetrack too but you've got to do what you feel most comfortable with and I felt great up there [out wide].

It was actually a really fun racetrack for me," said 36-year-old Schatz.

"I love coming here and I've met so many great people around the world through sprintcar racing. I've only been coming to New Zealand for a couple of years but it's been such a privilege to race at this great facility and hopefully this won't be the last time for me."

Christchurch's Jamie Duff finished second ahead of another American in Sammy Swindell, who clinched the Porter Hire International Sprintcar Series title.

"We came down here to win the series and we've accomplished that so we can go home happy now," said Swindell.

Schatz was second overall in the series, with Californian Jonathan Allard completing the USA clean sweep.

Attention turns to the midget division now with the New Zealand Championship coming to WXC Speedway-Western Springs this Saturday night.

- NZ Herald

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