Rico Rules World Midget Championship
BRISBANE, Australia (January 21, 2017) – It was the international stars who dominated the World Midget Championship finale at Ausdeck Patios Archerfield Speedway on Saturday night (January 21), with two-time Chili Bowl champion Rico Abreu racing to victory in a terrific 40-lap feature event. Abreu qualified on pole position and took command of the race from the outset, seeing off an initial challenge from Zach Daum and then withstanding a late race surge from fellow statesider Brady Bacon to secure victory. An American trifecta looked to be on the cards until Daum exited on lap 28, enabling preliminary feature winner Nathan Smee to snare the final spot on the podium.
In a remarkable run through the field, Scott Farmer somehow secured fourth ahead of New Zealander Chris Gwilliam and Brock Dean, with Reid Mackay, Jason Bell, Kaiden Brown and Rodney Harders rounding out the top ten. Having moved ahead of Smee on lap 28, Troy Jenkins looked set to repeat his podium result from Friday night until he slowed and exited just five laps later, joining Daum, Matt Smith, Chris Singleton, Scott Doyle, Brad Young and Brendan Palmer on the infield.
Having finished the opening night as top poinstcorer, Daum consolidated his position in the opening heat of the night when he downed Chris Singleton and Dallas Sharp.
Heat eleven saw the locals prevail with Rodney Harders leading home Brad Young and Brock Dean, while the final heat proved an emphatic win for Abreu over Redi Mackay and Gwilliam.
In the pole shootout, Abreu advanced from the bronze round and then took out the silver showdown before completing his climb up the order when he outpaced Daum in the gold shootout to secure pole position, the two Americans outpacing Smee and Jenkins by half a second.
At the drop of the green to get the feature underway, Abreu shot to the front ahead of Smee, who had slipped ahead of Daum. The two highest qualifiers amongst the locals had their race end after just one lap when Scott Doyle and Brad Young tangled in turn four, with Brendan Palmer also exiting at this stage. Back underway, Daum pounced to usurp Smee and set off in pursuit of Abreu while, back in the pack, Bacon was riding the cushion to the front rounding up the likes of Matt Smith and Gwilliam on his surge to the front. Bacon deposed Smee on lap 12 and then relegated Daum on lap 25, only for the latter to reclaim the position momentarily before grinding to a halt in turn two and retiring. Further back, Jenkins found a way past Smee to secure what would have been third until he too headed infield, leaving it to Smee to try and contain the overseas stars. Bacon made significant inroads on Abreu, but was unable to wrest the lead, while Smee was again the best of the Aussies in third.