Speedway: Renovation work gets thumbs up from drivers
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Drivers have given the new surface at Springs Speedway the big thumbs up and they will be heading along to Saturday night's second major meeting of the season confident in what is underneath their rubber.
The venue underwent major work over the winter to improve the quality of the surface and to remove an issue of dust that affected spectators.
Drivers got their first competitive taste of the new surface earlier this month and were pleased with the outcome.
"The surface was pretty good," sprint car driver Daniel Eggleton tells herald.co.nz.
"We got caught out a bit because we had been there during practice where it was really dry and it chewed through our tyres a bit. We were a little bit worried coming into the season.
"The track was a complete opposite to practice - there was a little sprinkle of rain that night so it was very fast.
"I think it will be very good once they figure out how much water to put on it.
"It is definitely going to be really fast - I guess we are a little worried if it dries out around just how harsh it will be on tyres."
Eggleton, who will line-up in the large sprint car field, believes the reshaping of the track will definitely lead to a better spectacle for everyone.
"The shape is quite different to last year," he says. "The banking angles up from the middle of the track up to the walls so the bottom is quite flat which will hopefully make the surface a bit slower there and then with the banking up high it should make for good side-by-side racing."
Eggleton says the dust problem has been solved with the work.
"Even on practice when it was really dry there wasn't a lot of dust and then on race night there wasn't one bit of dust.
"Dust was a big issue last year but I think that has been resolved which is great for spectators and for people living around the area."
The feature sprint car race was canceled on opening night after rain set in but Eggleton says in a way that helped his cause as they hadn't got the set-up of their car right with the track changes.
"For us it certainly helped. No one wants a rained-out feature but we got caught out not having small enough left rears. There were other cars that got caught out too though.
"Certainly we'll be taking some smaller tyres along to this weekend."
Full fields of sprint cars, open class midgets, F2 midgets, quarter midgets and TQs will be on show while the best 24 mini sprints from around New Zealand will race for the very first time at Western Springs. They will be racing for the biggest purse of the season, which is just over $6,000.