Newly-crowned Hunnibell focused on fiercely competitive classic

By Taylor Mosen

Peter Hunnibell won the NZ midget championship at Western Springs last weekend.
Peter Hunnibell won the NZ midget championship at Western Springs last weekend.

Newly crowned national midget champion Peter Hunnibell is not getting carried away ahead of tonight's Barry Butterworth Classic at WXC Speedway - Western Springs, despite winning the biggest race of his life last weekend.

Hunnibell, 22, will debut the coveted 1NZ racing number on his car after winning the title at the same venue last Saturday night.

"That was an event I've wanted to win since childhood, I still feel it hasn't sunk in yet but I'm sure once we get back down to the track tonight with the number one on the car it will all become real," he said. "It's been great to finally get a win after chasing one at 'The Springs' for four years now, and for it to be on the night of the New Zealand Championships is even sweeter. Getting that monkey off my back is one thing but there will still be 19 other fierce competitors on the track tonight so in a way it's just business as usual."

Hunnibell will not be able to hide tonight as drivers self-select their grid positions for the 40-lap main event, with the fastest drivers expected to have to come from the back to win.

"I don't believe our win last weekend will give us any more speed or power but it may open eyes to our little quiet-achieving team and what we are capable of," said the Aucklander. "The longer races do seem to suit me and my car so irrespective of where we start, it's only the last lap that counts and 40-laps is a long way for man and machine.

"To even compete in a race that honours the best speedway driver ever to come out of New Zealand is a privilege but to win it would be a special moment for anyone."

Sprint cars, TQ midgets, F2 midgets and Kiwi Kidz will also be in action at Western Springs tonight, along with round three of the Bill Buckley sidecar series.

Gates open at 4pm for a 6.15pm start; for more information, visit

- NZ Herald

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