Allard in victory lane at Western Springs Speedway
Search Driven for vehicles for sale
Californian-Kiwi Jonathan Allard dominated the opening round of the Porter Hire International Sprintcar Series at Vodafone Speedway - Western Springs on Saturday night.
Competing in his first race of the season, having missed the first two rounds as his car was being prepared, Allard showed no signs of rust as he outclassed the field, winning ahead of visiting professional Kraig Kinser from Indiana and Jamie Larson from Palmerston North, who passed another American Brad Loyet on the finish line.
"I'm fortunate enough to have a wonderful team who work their butts off; we had a bit of a shifting issue with the motor to not be here [at Western Springs] last week but it all turned out great," said current New Zealand champion Allard.
"The promoters have made a lot of improvements to the race track dirt-wise in the off season and you can't beat the fans at Western Springs."
Allard was forced to endure countless restarts to the race as cars behind him crashed into one another, but drove away every time.
"I could see Kraig coming up behind me and Brad's no slouch either so to keep giving those guys chances was not the right thing to do," said the 40-year-old.
"I was hoping to get a gap and put some lapped cars between us but every time the yellow lights came on I was like 'here we go again'."
In the midget class, Hayden Williams fought off a hard charging Taylor Clarke to win the main event, while Bryce McKenzie finished in third place.
Auckland's Mike Harrison celebrated his first career victory in the TQ midget category, beating Hayden Guptill, who dislocated his shoulder mid-race, and future star Brayton Davison; while Kane Buck won the F2 midget feature.
Racing returns to Vodafone Speedway - Western Springs on December 10 for the final round of the Porter Hire International Sprintcar Series.