The Bayley’s WPKA Goldstar karting series fires back into life at Palmerston North’s Manawatu Toyota Kart Raceway this weekend.
At least 70 karters from all over the country will contest the meeting, the last major regional one on KartSport New Zealand’s 2015 calendar.
The Junior classes were where all the action was at the opening round of the 2015/16 series at Waitara in Taranaki last month and Junior class winners Rianna O’Meara-Hunt, Jackson Rooney and Louis Sharp can again expect some intense competition for the top spot again this weekend.
O’Meara-Hunt, from Wellington, was the dominant figure in the Formula Junior class, top-scoring overall with three wins from five starts in the heats and also winning the stand-alone class Grand Prix race.
Tom Greig from Palmerston North claimed second place for the round, winning the other two heats, while recently crowned class South Island champion Josh Bethune from Dunedin finished sixth overall and second to O’Meara-Hunt in the class Grand Prix race.
Adding extra spice will be the debut in the Formula Junior class of reigning North Island and two-time NZ Schools’ Vortex Mini ROK champion Ryan Wood from Wellington.
Jackson Rooney, from Palmerston North, also shone at Waitara, winning two of the five heats to claim top honours in the Vortex Mini ROK class from Hamilton driver Clay Osborne and class South Island champion William Exton from Picton, with New Plymouth’s Thomas Boniface the top local driver in fourth.
Completing the Junior trifecta was Louis Sharp from Christchurch. Sharp won three of the Cadet ROK class heats and the stand-alone class Grand Prix, with young Auckland ace Liam Sceats second in both and North Island class champion Mason Potter third overall and fifth in the Grand Prix race.
In the Senior ranks Daniel Rine from Palmerston North won the Open class (albeit on count-back after a points tie with Mike Jury) and the stand-alone Senior Grand Prix race from Henri Ham, Nick Isaac and Brad Still.
It was Still, however, who was first home in 125cc Rotax Max Light from Tauranga’s Taylor Harte, while Palmerston North driver Ashley Higgins came out on top in 125cc Rotax Max Heavy from Nelson driver Brendon Gridley.
After the second round this weekend the Bayleys WPKA Goldstar series resumes in Hawke’s Bay in March 2016 and Wellington in early May 2016. There will then be a final season-ending WPKA Championships event back at Waitara in Taranaki in June 2016.