South Islanders desperate to end losing streak
South Island midget car drivers will have one thing on their minds when they take to the Ruapuna Speedway this weekend; breaking a 45-year win drought.
Christchurch's Edwin Murray was the last Mainlander to win the title - back in 1968 - and this weekend 13 South Island drivers will attempt to emulate him.
Four-time winner and defending champion Michael Perkins (Auckland) will be the title favourite and will have 18 of his North Island buddies trying to keep their southern counterparts from breaking the drought.
Christchurch Speedway Association president Andre Goldsmith was thrilled with the calibre of the field. "We only get the nationals here every fifth or sixth season, and with 19 frontrunners from the North Island and an American headed our way, we're in for a massive event," Goldsmith said.
Michael Pickens, fresh off a successful Christmas-New Year season in Auckland, also has international form and is rated by many as one of the best midget car racers in the world.
Cantabrians Nick Donaldson and David Kerr, alongside Nelson duo Nevil Basalaj and Nick Marquet, are the leading South Island hopes.