Pickens to terrorise with Toyota in Sydney 50-lap Classic
Superstar Michael Pickens might have detonated the Esslinger motor in his King Chassis during last Saturday night’s hectic Speedcar Super Series finale at Valvoline Raceway but Sydney car owner Brett Morris is quick to allay any fears that the Kiwi is down and out.
Far from it.
Morris has bolted a brand new Toyota engine into the King and “Slim” is good to go.
“We’d always planned to put the Toyota in for the 50-lapper anyway,” says Morris, “I would have just preferred to be able to sell the Esslinger.”
The Esslinger kicked a rod out of the motor as Pickens was beginning to move forward in the 30-lap A-Main.
“I told Smith and Ohlback (last Saturday’s main event winner Matt Smith and car owner Gavin Ohlback) that they can strut around all they like, they did a good job. But we aren’t dead, we’re only just getting started. Michael owns this race and we’re not about to lie down without defending it.”
Pickens is the five times and defending champion of the grueling Sydney 50-Lap Classic and dominated the event between 2009-2011 where he won a hat-trick.
“Our build up wasn’t ideal last Saturday night,” Morris concedes, “naturally nobody wants to or can afford to hurt a motor, but we did set the fastest Speedcar lap ever recorded in Sydney that night too. If anything Michael’s even more hungry now.”
Morris does offer congratulations to last weekend’s winner Matt Smith. “Look Matt did a good job, he’s a very good driver in a very good car.
There’s no argument with that. Him and Gavin were strutting around like peacocks on Sunday though and that’s what you have the right to do when you win. I’m just saying that they might not be smiling so much this Sunday morning.”
In a field literally bursting at the seams with Australians and fifteen New Zealand stars plus now American duo Alex Bright (Graham Jones Racing) and Zach Daum (Graham Racing Developments) anyone who wins the 50-lap marathon this Saturday night will have earned it.
There’s also the inclusion of West Aussie superstar Dayne Kingshott to add even more spice to the pot.
“Michael’s got five 50-lap victories so far, we’d like to make that an even half dozen before the weekend’s over,” Morris states.
New Zealand vs Australia in the SSS A-Main may not reflect this Saturday night’s A-Main but it’s interesting to look back:
13 Aussies made the A-Main. 11 Kiwis made the A-Main.
6 Aussies made the top ten. 4 Kiwis made the top ten.
1. Matt Smith AUS 2. Hayden Williams NZ 3. Matt Jackson AUS 4. Michael Stewart AUS 5. Hayden Guptill NZ 6. Jeremy Webb NZ 7. Jaimie McKinlay AUS 8. Troy Ware AUS 9. Brad Mosen NZ 10. Darren Jenkins AUS 11. Chris McCutcheon NZ 12. Travis Mills AUS 13. Shayne Alach NZ 14. Marcus Dumesny AUS 15. Troy Jenkins AUS 16. Kaidon Brown AUS 17. Reagan Angel AUS 18. Breyton Davison NZ 19. Scott Doyle AUS 20. Taylor Clarke NZ 21. Jason Bell AUS 22. Jayden Dodge NZ 23. Michael Pickens NZ (DNF) 24. Carl Worboys NZ (DNF)
PREVIOUS WINNERS OF THE SYDNEY 50-LAPPER
2005 - Michael Pickens (NZ) 2006 - Nathan Smee 2007 - WASHED OUT 2008 - Nathan Smee 2009 - Michael Pickens (NZ) 2010 - Michael Pickens (NZ) 2011 - Michael Pickens (NZ) 2012 - Nathan Smee 2013 - Mark Brown 2014 - Nathan Smee 2015 - Nathan Smee 2016 - Adam Clarke 2017 - Michael Pickens (NZ)
Gates open 2pm. Action starts from 4.20pm. Also on the program are Late Model Sedans, Formula 500’s, Fender Benders and the Caravan Boat and Dunny Derby. Valvoline Raceway is located at 21 Wentworth Street in Clyde. (02) 9637 0411.
Adults $30 Pension $20 Juniors (13-15yrs) $15 Family Pass (2 adults & 2 Juniors) $70 KIDS 12 AND UNDER FREE www.valvolineraceway.com.au Visit Valvoline Raceway on Facebook
21 Wentworth St, Granville, SW Sydney Australia