Record numbers to celebrate 60th anniversary of KartSport series in HB this weekend

| Photographer Credit: Vicky Jack

This weekend, July 11th and 12th, we will see over 175 drivers from all over New Zealand meet at the KartSport Hawke’s Bay club’s Carter’s Tyre Service Raceway at Roys Hill on the outskirts of Hastings for the third round of the 60th anniversary Manawatu and TRC Toyota Goldstar Series.

The event is also Round 2 of the ROK Cup NZL Series which includes the Cadet ROK, Vortex Mini ROK, Vortex ROK DVS Junior and Vortex ROK DVS classes, chasing eight seats to the 2020 ROK Cup Superfinal in Italy in October (and a new engine for the Cadet ROK class).

Located in the heart of the region’s grape-growing industry the club’s track is one of the most picturesque in the country and with the weather forecast for the weekend predicting clear skies and crisp days the meeting – the first major inter-regional one on the re-drawn KartSport New Zealand competition calendar since the COVID-19 travel and gathering-size restrictions were lifted – is expected to be a celebration of everything that is good about the sport in this country.

With a change in event format – with racing now spread over the two days rather than just on the Sunday – competitors across the 10 classes being contested will all be able to get in more track time whilst being able to leave early to travel home on the Sunday afternoon.

The new format will allow for two heat races on Saturday followed by three heat races and a Grand Prix on Sunday. 

The WPKA Goldstar Committee is extremely proud to have been able to continue with the remainder of the series after all of the recent COVID-19 restrictions. This weekend’s event will certainly be one for the record books as top drivers from across the country join with Manawatu & TRC Toyota Goldstar Series regulars, and all the action on track livestreamed by The Pits Media for those who can’t make to the meeting in person. 

Class by class

The youngest of the competitors will be amongst the 15 entries in the Cadet ROK class, where Christchurch driver Zach Tucker will be one to watch during the event currently sitting on the top of the podium for the outright series. Not far behind Tucker stand Jackson Culver and Jacob Pye. 

Supreme Kart Supplies-sponsored Vortex Mini ROK, meanwhile, sees the current top five covered by just six points for the outright series title, with Blake Dowdall leading the charge from fellow Palmerston North driver Judd Christiansen. However for round three there are many drivers who have stepped up from Cadet ROK into Vortex Mini ROK and will be looking to stamp their mark in the class, Hamilton driver Carson Daly, and Auckland-based competitors Maxim Kirwan and Jamie Thompson, amongst them.

One of the biggest classes for the weekend, Junior Rotax, sponsored by Firth Concrete, will see 30 teenagers take to the grid. The current standings see Manawatu local Jenson Bate tied with Kartzone driver Ryan Bell, followed by female competitor Louise Rawson. New additions to the class for Round 3 include the likes of Emerson Vincent, Sebastian Manson, Liam Sceats and Luke Thompson, all youngsters who have made the step up from Vortex Mini ROK and are more than ready to take the battle to the top Rotax Junior drivers. 

The other well-subscribed Junior class, Vortex ROK DVS Junior, is currently led by Wellington driver Ben Stewart, followed by Ayrton Williams from Cambridge and Hawke’s Bay local Tom Bewley who are currently tied on points. Joining the ROK DVS Junior class this weekend, however, are internationally-experienced young up-and-comers Louis Sharp from Christchurch, Jay Urwin from Tauranga and Sebastian Manson from Auckland, 

The Bayswater Group-sponsored 125cc Rotax Max Light is another class that will see 30 competitors…. all aiming for the top step of the podium.

Currently Fynn Osborne from Hamilton has a seven point lead over Palmerston North’s Fraser Hart with Rotorua’s Bradley Hewson third. Joining the Rotax Light field this weekend however are a host of competitors more usually associated with the KZ2 class including Daniel Bray, Sam Wright and Michael Adolph from Auckland and international Ryan Wood from Wellington; meaning picking a likely class winner before the weekend is virtually impossible.

Another tightly contested class for the series is 125cc Rotax Max Heavy where young Bay of Plenty driver Adam Bell holds a narrow three point lead over Marco Giltrap from Auckland and Ashley Higgins from Palmerston North. Joining the category for the round are class acts Caleb Hartley and Darren Walker and former 2x National class Champion Zach Zaloum from Hawkes Bay, who will be sure to join all the action. 

Silvester Clark Engineering sponsored Open class is currently led by Palmerston North driver Riley Jack with a one point gap over Brendon Jury, with John Wallace currently in third. This weekend Open sees the addition of competitors from both the KZ2 and Rotax DD2 ranks. Auckland’s Mat Kinsman will be the one to beat in the KZ2 category, while adding interest in Open are young guns Jackson Rooney from Palmerston North, and Clay Osborne from Hamilton plus top Tauranga-based karter and Speedway Saloon class front-runner Sam Waddell.

Eleven competitors, including international Porsche Carrera Cup Asia competitor Chris Van der Drift are contesting the Vortex ROK DVS class. Current series points leader is Arie Hutton from Palmerston North, closely followed by Hawkes Bay’s James Van Den Berk, Taranaki’s Brad Still with Van Der Drift fourth.

Category stalwart Stephen Muggeridge currently leads the Briggs Supply Company-sponsored 2-stroke Clubsport 120 class over Scott Daley while joining the class this weekend for the Goldstar Series is Auckland driver Carlos Stone.

Meanwhile Ian Smith currently sits at the top of the 4-stroke Briggs & Stratton-powered LO206 category with just a single point separating fellow Wellingtonians Brent Melhop and Shaun Hibbs in second and third places in what will be a 9-strong Briggs LO206 field this weekend. 

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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