Auckland karters free to travel around the country again have provided the organisers of the third round of the 2020/21 Manawatu & TRC Toyota-backed Wellington Provincial Karting Association’s (WPKA) Goldstar Series at the KartSport Hawke’s Bay club’s Carter’s Tyres Raceway at Fernhill near Hastings this weekend with an entry bonus – at last count 129 karters have signed on to compete, making the meeting one of the biggest the club has run in recent times.
Because of the country’s last snap COVID-19 Lockdown Aucklanders were unable to travel to the second round of this season’s Goldstar Series – held in Wellington in early March.
However, to compensate, the series rules have been modified to allow all competitors to include points from the WPKA Championships meeting in Palmerston North in early June and then drop their worst round points (ie best three rounds points count).
Such is the strength of KartSport all over New Zealand at the moment, however, that top Auckland-area karters like the Manson brothers, Sebastian and Marco, fellow Junior Emerson Vincent, and Senior Nathan Crang, can no longer turn up at a round of a regional series like the central & lower North Island WPKA Goldstar one and expect a spot on a class podium.
This weekend, for instance, in 125cc Rotax Max Junior (with 20 entries) Sebastian Manson and Emerson Vincent will be up against recent Giltrap Group ProKart Series Rotorua round class winner, Kiahn Burt from Marton, Wellington Goldstar round winner Jenson Bate from Palmerston North, and top South Islanders Arthur Broughan and Ollie Workman.
Sebastian Manson’s younger brother Marco will have it no easier in the Vortex Mini ROK class (which has also attracted a 20-storng entry) as he goes up against recently-crowned class #1NZ Zach Tucker, fellow Christchurch karter Izaak Fletcher, and Judd Christiansen from Palmerston North.
In the Senior classes, meanwhile, Nathan Crang will definitely need to bring his ‘A’ game to the Vortex ROK DVS class which has attracted a meeting-high 21 entries, including those of 2020/21 series class Rnd 2 winner Brad Still from New Plymouth and former NZ Kart and international single-seater and Porsche Carrera Cup Asia race and series winner Chris van der Drift from Hamilton.
In terms of local talent the interest at the meeting will come in the 125cc Rotax Light class (with 17 entries) as Havelock North driver Zac Stichbury goes up against newly crowned class #1NZ William Exton from Blenheim and the top Hamilton trio of brothers Clay & Fynn Osborne, and Campbell Joyes.
Top local Juniors Tom Bewley and Daniel McMillian should also feature in the Vortex ROK DVS Junior class where they will come up against Rnd 2 class winner Jacob Bellamy from New Plymouth and Jay Urwin from Matamata.
Longer, standalone ‘GP’ races are also a unique part of both the appeal and indeed the folklore that has grown up around the Goldstar Series in the 61-years it has been going.
At the second 2020/21 Goldstar series round in Wellington in March six drivers were able to win their class AND class GP race.
Those six were Steve Muggeridge (ClubSport 120) and Jacob Bellamy (Vortex ROK DVS Junior) on Saturday, and Riley Jack (Open), Jackson Rooney (KZ2), William Exton (125cc Rotax Max Light) and Ashley Higgins (125c Rotax Max Heavy) on Sunday.