School-age karters prove their mettle as storm lashes titles venue

| Photographer Credit: Emilee Jane Photography

The county’s top school-age karters proved their mettle as torrential rain showers lashed the Tokoroa venue hosting this year’s KartSport New Zealand McFall Fuel National Schools’ Championship meeting on Saturday.

Braving what one long term observer of the sport described as ‘probably the worst conditions I have ever seen at a kart race meeting, with very high winds and horizontal rain for most of the day,’ the 103 karters who had entered this year’s event simply knuckled down and got on with representing their school.

At one stage racing was suspended until conditions improved, but bar the resulting time constraints forcing the organisers to cancel the fifth heats and call the results based on the results from the first four predetermined grid heats, the event went ahead as planned.

“For which everybody, from the drivers – especially our younger ones – to all the club volunteers and KartSport New Zealand officials, everyone deserves a big pat on the back for running such an important meeting as our Schools’ one in such extreme conditions,” said KartSport New Zealand President Graeme Moore.

After a COVID-19-enforced break last year, the 18th KartSport New Zealand National Schools’ Championship meeting was certainly well anticipated and supported on the KartSport national calendar this year.

Over 100 school-age karters from as far away as Dunedin and Mosgiel travelled to the Tokoroa club’s Stihl Shop Tokoroa Raceway for the McFall Fuel supported event, sanctioned by School Sport NZ, and hosted by the KartSport Tokoroa club in conjunction with Cambridge High School.

Clay Osborne (#3 Rotax Max Light)

Interestingly, the two sets of brothers who first earned the titles for their schools at Wellington in 2019 (Fynn and Clay Osborne from Cambridge, and Sebastian and Marco Manson from Auckland) repeated the exercise this year.

This time Clay led his older brother Fynn home for a 1-2 finish in the 125cc Rotax Max Light class and enough points to earn the college they both attend, St Peter’s School in Cambridge, the Secondary Schools’ title for a second time.

A win for Marco Manson in the Vortex Mini ROK class and second place for older brother Sebastian in Vortex ROK DVS Junior, meanwhile, earned the Primary/Intermediate title for school they attend, Auckland’s, St Kentigern School.

Marco Manson (#3 Vortex Mini ROK)

Winning the Vortex Mini ROK class also earned Marco Manson one of the two prizes of an entry to the 2021 ROK Cup Superfinal meeting in Italy in October plus $2,000 from the KartSport NZ/Lascom Motorsport/Dunlop International travel fund.

The other entry to the 2021 ROK Cup Superfinal meeting in Italy in October plus $2,000 from the KartSport NZ/Lascom Motorsport/Dunlop International travel fund prizes went to the biggest individual winner at this year’s meeting, Matamata ace Jay Urwin.

Jay Urwin (#3 Vortex ROK DVS Junior)

Urwin, the only driver at the meeting to win not one but two NZ Schools’ titles (in both the Vortex ROK DVS Junior and 125cc Rotax Max Junior classes) made light of the howling wind and driving rain at his home track to just pip Sebastian Manson (by a single point) in the Vortex ROK DVS Jnr class, and beat class North Island title holder Tom Bewley from the Hawke’s Bay to the 125cc Rotax Max Junior class title by five points.

The other two NZ School’s titles won at Tokoroa on Saturday went to William Exton from Blenheim (Vortex ROK DVS Senior) and Henry Fisher (main picture) from Christchurch (Cadet ROK).

Fisher, the reigning class NZ#1 made no race of adding the NZ Schools’ title to his CV, being the only driver to win all four heat races he started at the meeting.


Vortex ROK DVS Junior
1/ Jay Urwin, 2. Sebastian Manson; 3. Zak Surtees. 4. Tom Bewley; 5. William McDonald; 6. Dylan Jessop.

125cc Rotax Max Junior
1/ Jay Urwin ; 2. Tom Bewley; 3. Emerson Vincent; 4. Kiahn Burt; 5. Mitchell Sparrow; 6. Ashton Phipps.

Vortex Mini ROK
1/ Marco Manson; 2. Zach Tucker; 3. Miles Baker; 4. Maxim Kirwan; 5. Taylor Bryant; 6. Carson Daly.

Cadet ROK
1/ Henry Fisher; 2. Jack McGrath; 3. Jackson Culver; 4. Seth Comer; 5. Lucas Bell; 6. Zach Hemphill

Vortex ROK DVS Senior
1/ William Exton; 2. Nathan Crang; 3. Ayrton Williams; 4. Josh Richmond; 5. Harry Townshend; 6. Hamish MacKay

125cc Rotax Max Light
1/ Clay Osborne; 2. Fynn Osborne; 3. Roman Harker-Ferguson; 4. Ryan Bell; 5. Ryan Crombie; 6. Jack Neill.

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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