The inaugural Midget World Championship will get underway on Boxing Day in New Zealand with a stellar cast of drivers from Australia, New Zealand and the USA set to compete across the three countries under the sanction of American organisation, POWRi.
Drawing together the resources of some of the best promoters in world speedway competition – Bill Buckley (Western Springs, NZ), David Lander (formerly Sydney Speedway, now Lismore Speedway) and the POWRi operation (Performance Open Wheel Racing Inc) from the US, the Lucas Oils Midget World Championship will traverse the globe taking in 16 events.
After Western Springs’ hosts the first four rounds, Australia will play host to three rounds over the Australia Day weekend – two nights at Supercheap Auto Archerfield Speedway (January 25-26), then two nights at Lismore Speedway on January 30 and February 1.
Then it fires back into life come May for a quickfire two week American swing that will take in many well known Midget haunts.
The driver line-up for the events is fitting for a World Championship, with ‘Team Australia’ being led by Adam Clarke. Sydney Speedway’s defending track champion, former karting star Matthew Jackson and former Australian Champion, Nathan Smee have all nominated.
The Kiwis have Michael Pickens leading their charge, whilst if it was a team’s race, America would start undoubted favourites. Team USA features former Aussie Champs, Jerry Coons Jr and Davey Ray, midget specialists Darren Hagen and Bryan Clauson and Rico Abreu – who has piloted Sprintcars in Australia on a number of occasions.
Many more regulars from all three countries are expected to join the 16-round Championship.
The Championship gives an international, organised legitimacy to what can be seen as a somewhat fragmented category in the world of dirt track racing.
“We wouldn’t have been able to put this together without the support of our friends in New Zealand and Australia,” said POWRi founder, Kenny Brown. “Bill Buckley played a very important role in New Zealand and David Lander stepped in to bring Australia into the Championship. John Godfrey’s international contacts through his ownership of the Spike chassis also were vital. He brought respect to the project.”
POWRi Lucas Oil World Midget Championship Schedule
Dec. 26 Western Springs Speedway New Zealand
Dec. 28 Western Springs Speedway New Zealand
Jan. 1 Western Springs Speedway New Zealand
Jan. 4 Western Springs Speedway New Zealand
Jan. 25-26 Brisbane Int’l Speedway Australia
Jan. 31 Lismore Speedway Australia
Feb. 1 Lismore Speedway Australia
May 24-25 Angell Park Speedway Sun Prairie, Wis.
May 30 Bloomington Speedway Bloomington, Ind.
May 31 Brownstown Speedway Brownstown, Ind.
June 5 Jacksonville Speedway Jacksonville, Ill.
June 6 Lincoln Speedway Lincoln, Ill.
June 7 Macon Speedway Macon, Ill.
June 8 Belle-Clair Speedway Belleville, Ill.