Karters turn up the heat to ensure first post-Covid-19 meeting is a blast

KartSport was one of a number of community-based sports around the country able to resume over the weekend without any major restriction on members or movement after close to two months of COVID-19-enforced inactivity, with 271 drivers aged between 7 and 70 back on track at five different locations around the country.

For a number of competitors this was their first ever KartSport event following a flurry of new Competition Licence applications received during the COVID-19 shut down.

The weather remained cool but largely fine for the meetings in Auckland, Rotorua, Palmerston North, Christchurch and Dunedin. However.  the large high pressure zone responsible for the settled weather also produced frost – so severe in the case of the KartSport Dunedin club’s track at Silverstream near Mosgiel that the club had to take some extraordinary measures just to make sure the meeting went ahead as planned on Sunday.

‘That’s right,” says KartSport Dunedin committee member Daniel Harvey on Monday morning; ‘turning up at the track at 6.00am on Sunday morning to a minus 5 degree frost it looked, initially, like racing wouldn’t be happening.

“However the wrapping of the parts of the track we knew from past winters would be worst affected in the event of a heavy frost proved effective which just left a few uncovered metres white which we were able – in turn – to sort out with heat and fans and racing went ahead as planned and on time.”

“We had over 30 entries which is good for a KartSport Dunedin club day at this time of year, and the perfect way to say thanks to all the members who put in time during the week prior to get the track and surrounds looking so good.”

Marissa Ahlfeld competing in one of the Rotax Max Junior races

With KartSport New Zealand cleared to permit actual club race meetings on affiliated kart club tracks from the weekend just passed (Saturday June 13/14) all eyes now return to the popular Group E Series events which have become such a key part of the local competition calendar. 

The first of these – Round 3 of the 60th annual Manawatu & TRC Toyota-backed WPKA Goldstar series which also incorporates Rnd 2 of the annual ROK Cup NZL series – will be hosted by the KartSport Hawke’s Bay club over the July 11/12 weekend.

The KartSport Manawatu club then hosts the annual Manawatu & TRC Toyota-backed WPKA Championships (with ROK Cup NZL Round 3) at its Palmerston North track over the first weekend in August (Aug 1-2) while the KZ2-based ProKart Series is set to burst back into life at the KartSport Tokoroa club’s Stihl Shop Tokoroa Raceway a weekend later (Aug 8-9).

Ross MacKay

Ross MacKay is an award-winning journalist, author and publicist with first-hand experience of motorsport from a lifetime competing on two and four wheels. He currently combines a day job editing NZ4WD magazine with contract media work, weekend Mountain Bike missions and towing his 1989 Nissan Skyline drifter to grassroots meetings around the North Island.

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