North & South Island Kartsport title time again

| Photographer Credit: Graham Hughes

It’s KartSport New Zealand North and South Island Sprint Kart Championships title time again with events at Te Puke and Blenheim over Labour Weekend.

The Visi Line KartSport NZ North Island Sprint title meeting is being run by the KartSport Bay of Plenty club at its Te Puke Auto Electric Raceway near Te Puke and the Wadsco Motor World South Island Sprint meeting in being hosted by the KartSport Marlborough Club at its Cresswell Electrical Kart Raceway in Blenheim.

Both meetings have attracted strong entries with over 90 across six classes for the North Island meeting and over 80 across eight classes for the South Island one.

Each meeting will be run over three days from Friday to Sunday with practice and qualifying for all classes on Friday and racing on Saturday and Sunday at the North Island meeting and practice on Friday and both qualifying and racing for each class being contested on Saturday and Sunday at the South Island one.

Key interest at the North Island event will be in the classes with the biggest entries, Rotax Max Junior with 25, Vortex Mini ROK with 20 and 125cc Rotax Light with 19.

Vortex Mini ROK sees the return – from Italy and Australia respectively – of Billy Frazer from Pukekohe and Connor Davison from Hamilton.

For the past two weekends Frazer raced wheel to wheel with the best Mini ROK class drivers in the world at the Bridgestone Cup and ROK Cup International meetings in Italy, while Davison finished a close second in the KA 12 class at the big Race of Stars kart meeting on Queensland’s Gold Coast on Saturday.

Joining them in chasing North Island honours in the Vortex Mini ROK class are two-time class NZ Schools’ champion Ryan Wood from Wellington and Hamilton brothers Fynn and Clay Osborne.

Having ended their Junior careers with class titles, reigning New Zealand Junior Rotax champion Jacob Cranston and 2014 North Island Junior Rotax and Junior Yamaha champion Caleb Huston step up to the Senior classes this weekend in 125cc Rotax Max Light and 100cc Yamaha Light.

In Rotax Light the pair will come up against multi-time NZ and Island class champion Ryan Urban (who won both the Rotax and Yamaha Heavy class titles at the North Island’s last year), Rhys Tinney and Campbell Joyes from Hamilton, and top local drivers Corey Green and Taylor Harte.

One of the key storylines at the South Island title meeting in Blenheim, meanwhile, will be if multi-time South Island class champion Chris Cox from Rangiora can repeat his three-class title haul from the 2014 meeting in Dunedin.

While a number of drivers contest two classes, Cox is one of the only ones to attempt three at the one meeting, yet last year he not only did it, he also won each class – KZ2, 100cc Yamaha Light and 125cc Rotax Max Light – he contested.

He’s not the only driver at the South Islands this year to attempt three classes either, fellow Cantabrian Matthew Hamilton has also entered the KZ2 and Rotax and Yamaha Light classes.

Another interesting fact is that the South Island title meeting has again attracted a number of entries from the North Island.

Traditionally, most drivers stick to their ‘Island of Origin’ but there is no rule which states you have to so each year one or two karters swap Islands.

Last year Callum Hedge from Mt Maunganui made the trip south worthwhile by winning the South Island Junior Restricted 100cc Yamaha title in Dunedin.

This year there are at least five drivers from the North Island contesting the South Island event including sisters Ashleigh and Madeline Stewart from Wellington and Jackson Rooney from Palmerston North.

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