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Midgets

Midget Car racing began in June, 1933, in California, and quickly spread across the USA. Midget racing was extremely popular, as fans thronged to see the small, fast cars on 1/8 or 1/4 mile tracks, primarily dirt or wooden boards. Midget racing reached the height of its popularity following WWII, when a war weary public would pack some of the largest stadiums in the USA to see the midgets run. Crowds in excess of 75,000 people were not unusual at venues such as the Rose Bowl, and popular wood tracks sprung up around the country.

Midgets spread quickly to NZ and the first cars ran on Western Springs in 1937 and ran in Taranaki initially at Lepperton in 1949/50 and then the Waiwhakaiho Track in Jan 1951. The NZ Championship was run twice at Waiwhakaiho, in 1953/4 when it was won by Ross Goonan and then again in 1959/60 when Ian Holden won. Unfortunately Midgets were lost to Taranaki when Waiwhakaiho closed, and it wasn’t until a few enthusiasts ran them in 1996 at Ferndene that Midgets were seen again on the tracks around Taranaki. The class has since moved to Stratford and is growing in both car numbers and popularity.

While the cars have changed significantly over the years, the basic solid axle, rear drive and the classic teardrop fuel tank have remained. The current cars have a selection of power plants with the top cars sporting purpose built race engines such as Esslinger, Ford or Mopar engines with as much as 300kW on tap. Weighing in at a minimum of 410kg these cars are lively and difficult to drive fast. The cars have no clutch and no gearbox, hence they are push started.

The official one lap record time for Midget Cars on Stratford Speedway is 14.2187 seconds set during the 2016/2017 season by Greg Jones.

 

 

 

Taranaki Champions
2015/16Duane Hickman
2014/15Duane Hickman
2013/14Greg Jones
2012/13Duane Hickman
2011/12Lydia Dickinson
2010/11Lydia Dickinson
2009/10Duane Hickman
2008/09Lydia Dickinson
2007/08Duan Hickman
2006/07Eric Beardmore
2005/06Jim Dodunski
2004/05Gavin Quin
2003/04Ian Laird
2002/03Greg Jones
2001/02Greg Jones
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
 
2016/2017 Competitors
4sAngus McLeod
6sNeville Thompson
9sJamie Goodlass
11sRicky Paul
15sDaryl Hughes
24sMark Willans
27sJames Greenough
42sGreg Jones
57sAlistair Wicksteed
68sChris Bagrie
95sDuane Hickman
97sCampbell Stewart
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  

 

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