Sport

Kiwi flies after title

Current New Zealand Speedcar champion Michael Pickens will be one of the quality drivers track at Maryborough Speedway this weekend.
Current New Zealand Speedcar champion Michael Pickens will be one of the quality drivers track at Maryborough Speedway this weekend. Contributed

KIWIS are famously known for not being able to fly.

Well, those of the feathered variety who call New Zealand home, can't.

However, one particular Kiwi can really fly and you will be able to see for yourself in Maryborough this weekend - he'll be flying around a 360m track in less than 12 secs.

Maryborough Speedway in Tinana is hosting the 2012 Australian Speedcar Championship for the first time and the two-day meeting has attracted most of the best drivers in the business.

One of them is reigning New Zealand champion Michael Pickens and he's keen to drive his way into the history books.

He wants to be the first Kiwi to win the Australian title and he has some unfinished business to attend to after what happened in the event 12 months ago.

The Aucklander was leading the charge to the title when a tyre popped on the final lap and Pickens dropped from first to third.

It won't only be Pickens hoping to break a long drought.

It has been 27 years since a Queensland driver has won the title and Queenslanders Todd Wanless, Brock Dean, Jeremy Hassell, Sid Whittaker, Brendan Palmer and Grant Draney will be on track to change that statistic.

Another contingent of drivers determined to make the trip to Maryborough worthwhile will Scott Glazebrook, Neville Lance and Dene McAllan.

The trio have made the long trip from West Australia by road with their race cars in tow and by the time they return home to Perth they will have travelled almost 10,000km.

One driver who won't get the green light to entertain will be defending champion Davey Ray as he's back home in America preparing for a season.

Maryborough Sporting Car Club is hosting the meeting and spokesman Paul Redman said it was a meeting not to be missed.

"To get the chance to host such a prestigious event is fantastic for the region," he said.

"It's an unbelievable chance to see the best of the best in action and in our own backyard - it doesn't get any better than that."

Three rounds of qualifying heats will be held tonight before the final round of heats and 40-lap final are contested tomorrow.

Need for Speed

Today

Gates open at 3pm with racing from 5pm

Tomorrow

Gates open at 1pm with racing from 4pm

Admission is adult $25, pensioner $20, students aged 13-17 $15 and kids under 12 are free.

Topics:  fraser coast, maryborough, new zealand, speedway


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