Young guns Rianna O’Meara-Hunt and Ryan Wood from Wellington and Clay Osborne from Hamilton impressed on their way to junior category class wins at the latest round of the 2015 CRC Speedshow-backed Top Half kart series in Hamilton over the weekend.
In the best supported – with a 100+ entry across seven classes – and most competitive series’ round to date, karters came from all over the North Island to compete in warm and largely dry conditions.
While there was also plenty of action in the senior classes, it was in the junior ones where some of the best and closest racing was seen.
Best supported class was Vortex Mini ROK, which was oversubscribed with 25 entries requiring an extra heat.
The closest round finish points-wise was in the Cadet ROK class where NZ#1 Clay Osborne and young second-generation racer Liam Sceats ended up tied on 240 points with the result – which went Osborne’s way – having to go to countback with a consistent Mason Potter only one point back in third.
It was also close in Vortex Mini ROK where reigning class National Schools’ champion Ryan Wood from Wellington claimed the top spot on the podium by a margin of just two points over Clay Osborne’s older brother Fynn.
Each heat was won by a different driver, with Wood’s advantage over Osborne coming from his second place finishes in three of the other heats.
After an average result at the second round of the CRC Speedshow series in Whangarei last month, another Wellington karter, top emerging female driver Rianna O’Meara-Hunt, stormed back into contention at Hamilton to claim round honours in the Formula Junior class.
Like Vortex Mini ROK, Formula Junior had five different heat winners, O’Meara-Hunt amongst them, with Alex Newlove from Tauranga second and Taylor Hurst from Auckland third
In the senior classes another youngster, recent Junior category graduate Taylor Harte from Mount Maunganui, followed up his breakthrough DD2 class win at the recent Logitech Rotax Max Challenge round at Te Puke with a win in the 125cc Rotax Max Light class at Hamilton.
Harte, in only his third big meeting out of the Junior ranks, won three of the five heats to top score for the day with top local driver Rhys Tinney second and Sam Carpenter from Auckland third.
The ClubSport 120 class was as competitive as ever, with Stephen Muggeridge from the Eastern Bay of Plenty club and Dean Oliver from Whangarei winning two heats apiece but Muggeridge getting the round win, albeit by just one point. Consistency earned Rob Norman third place with heat one winner Brendon White fourth.
In stark contrast, Caleb Hartley from Auckland was a clear winner in 125cc Rotax Max Heavy with four heat wins from long-time class supporter Darren Aislabie (the other heat winner) from Rotorua and Darren Walker from the Bay of Plenty,
Also claiming four heat wins out a five for a class round win was Mathew Kinsman from Auckland in Open. Mitch Beach from the Bay of Plenty ended up second from round one class winner Jonathan Buxeda from Tuakau with the other heat winner, Auckland’s Mark Elder, fourth.
1. Matthew Kinsman; 2. Mitchell Beach; 3. Jonathon Buxeda; 4. Mark Elder; 5. Graeme Lambert; 6. 72 Aaron Cunningham
Rotax Light sponsored by Pacific Kartsport
1. Taylor Harte; 2. Rhys Tinney; 3. Samuel Carpenter; 4. Caleb Huston; 5. Campbell Joyes; 6. Suvarn Naidoo
125cc Rotax Max Heavy sponsored by Right Karts
1. Caleb Hartley; 2. Darren Aislabie; 3. Darren Walker; 4. Ashton Baird; 5. Rohan Knowles
Racket 120 sponsored by WRB Karting Supplies
1. 51 Stephen Muggeridge; 2. Dean Oliver; 3. Rob Norman; 4. Brendon White; 5. Steve Carter; 6. Martin Gleeson
Formula Junior sponsored by Lascom Motorsport
1. Rianna O’Meara-Hunt ; 2. Alex Newlove; 3. Taylor Hurst; 4. Ashton Grant; 5. Bayley Walker; 6. Hunter Cheetham
Vortex Mini ROK sponsored by Spartan 4 Toyota
1. Ryan Wood; 2. Fynn Osborne; 3. Connor Davison; 4. Thomas Boniface; 5. Louis Redshaw; 6. Blake Austin.
Vortex Cadet ROK sponsored by Jeff Oliver Print Ltd
1. Clay Osborne; 2. Liam Sceats; 3. Mason Potter; 4. Ryan Hancock; 5. Luke Thompson; 6. Logan Evans