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Sprint Car champ has a few hairy moments


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Fate played into the hands of Sprint Car ace Allan Wakeling in the opening feature race of the new season at Auckland’s Western Springs Speedway on Saturday night.

Hampered by a car that wasn’t working well on a full fuel load, Wakeling was running third behind runaway leaders Dean Brindle and Jamie McDonald when the dicing duo got stacked behind lapped traffic and tangled.

Both were out of the race, and at the restart, Wakeling surged into the lead and drove away from the opposition. There was an anxious moment in Town Bend when Wakeling had to take to the highline to squeeze past a spun-up car, but aside from that it was business as usual for the multiple champion.

Raymond Griffen ran second, ahead of a closing Hans Boere who eventually made the pass stick and drove to a second place finish. Griffen came home third, his best-ever Sprint Car feature race result at The Springs.

Wakeling said he had struggled with the heavy fuel load in the early laps but as the methanol burned and the tank got lighter, the car came into its own.

In earlier Sprint Car action, Mark Brown won heat one from Greg Pickerill with Brindle third in his Springs debut in the ex-Ricky Logan sprinter. Brindle is running his own programme this year after being a star of the multi-car Salter team in recent seasons.

Boere won the second heat, from Griffen and Wakeling. Brindle hit top form in the third qualifier, taking a strong win ahead of Ron Salter and Wakeling.
And in the fourth heat, former champion McDonald led home Tommy Rusher’s Ford-engined sprinter and reigning NZ champ, Carl Wilson.

Sprint Cars are back in action at Western Springs this Saturday night (November 8).

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