Motorsport: Hunnibell snatches dramatic national title

By Taylor Mosen

Speedway cars in action during the World Midget Series at Western Springs Speedway. Photo / Getty Images
Speedway cars in action during the World Midget Series at Western Springs Speedway. Photo / Getty Images

Peter Hunnibell stunned the crowd at WXC Speedway Western Springs on Saturday night, winning one of the most dramatic New Zealand Midget Championships in history.

The 22-year-old Aucklander stole the lead from Hamilton's Dayne Maxwell on the final corner of the feature event, having seen all the pre-race favourites crash out ahead of him.

Defending champion Brad Mosen was the first to retire following a big flip moving through lapped traffic. On the following restart, six-time winner Michael Pickens' race ended with a spin before national series leader Hayden Williams limped off having hit the wall while in front.

Hunnibell emerged as the best of the rest to beat speedway veteran Lucas Scott ahead of Jared Wade in third. Maxwell was disqualified post-race for being underweight.

"This is unbelievable, we've gone through three cars this year and been at the lowest of lows but we've come back to win the New Zealand Championship and enter the history books," said Hunnibell.

"To win the race like that on the last lap, it could have been any of us, but we got lucky."

Californian-Kiwi Jonathan Allard won the sprint car main event after Palmerston North's Jamie Larson spun ahead of him. Jamie McDonald (Auckland) finished second and Dean Brindle, third.

The other victors on Saturday were Stephen Wilson in the F2 midgets and Napier's Duane Todd, who beat locals Shaun Cooke and Ryan Barry in the TQ midget feature.

Speedway returns to Western Springs on Saturday night for the fastest-from-the-back Barry Butterworth Classic. For more information, visit www.springsspeedway.com.

- NZ Herald

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