The 2017/18 Manawatu & TRC Toyota WPKA Goldstar KartSport Series roars back into life in Wellington this weekend after a cracking start in Taranaki late last year.
No fewer than six previous class lap records were smashed as over 100 drivers battled it out in perfect racing conditions at that meeting, at host club, KartSport Taranaki’s Todd Energy Raceway on Sunday November 19, and WPKA President Chris Rooney from the KartSport Manawatu club in Palmerton North, says that after a long high-summer break everyone involved is itching to get back into it.
“Our second round is definitely looking like another big weekend, with entry numbers set to top the 100 mark for a second round in a row,” he said this week.
Cadet ROK looks like it will have at least 18 competitors, with KartSport Manawatu club member Kiahn Burt leading after the first round but clubmates Hugo Neal, Judd Christianson and Blake Dowdall lined up and ready to take the battle to him.
Tom Bewley is the leader after Round 1 in Vortex Mini ROK and has competed well at recent Top Half and KartSport Wellington club day events. With over 20 entries competition for him will come from the likes of Louis Sharp from Christchurch, Hayden Bakkerus and Mason Potter from Auckland, and emerging local talent, Ben Stewart.
Vortex Mini ROK regularly produces some of the closest and most exciting racing and this weekend’s action will be no different.
Junior Rotax is another class with over 20 entries and with brothers Fynn and Clay Osborne from Hamilton, top local international Ryan Wood, William Exton from Picton and Jackson Rooney from Palmerston North all set to fight it out each and every lap which one gets to stand on the top step of the podium at the end of the day is anyone’s guess.
Round 1 winner Michael McCulloch from the Kapiti Coast and Wellington-based international Rianna O’Meara-Hunt look set to be at the front of the 14-strong Rotax Max Light pack, while current 3NZ Ashley Higgins from Palmerston North will fight it out with Hawke’s Bay’s Zac Zaloum for the honours amongst the Heavies.
The Open class also has another strong field with 10 karts, with KartSport Manawatu club member and Round 1 class and Senior GP winner Jacob Cranston again the one to beat, though Rianna O’Meara Hunt who is also again competing in Open this weekend, will no doubt push him all day.
Finally, the host club, KartSport Wellington, has got right behind the new Briggs & Stratton LO206 4-sgroke class, the likes of local ‘Briggs Brothers’ Brent Melhop and Hadleigh Coffey keen to show visiting ClubSport 120 class stalwarts Derek Lawrence and William Pearson who the “King of Kaitoki” really is.
Back as major prize pool sponsors for the 2017/18 Manawatu & TRC Toyota WPKA Goldstar KartSport Series are Supreme Kart Supplies and Engines from New Plymouth and this time the company which imports and distributes Vortex kart engines and Tony Karts from Italy, has upped the ante even further.
With Palmerston North-based Gary Douglas Engineers’ support there are now three trips to a premium karting event in Australia with the use of a Tony Kart and Vortex engine up for grabs, two in the Vortex Mini ROK class, and one for Cadet ROK. Supreme Kart Supplies and Engines has also put up a Tony Kart chassis as a prize incentive for drivers across the Senior classes who compete at all four rounds.
Other incentives include a free entry to the annual SpeedSport motorsport scholarship programme, plus a test weekend with top Formula First team Sabre Motorsport at Manfeild for the winner of the Junior Rotax class.
Trophies down to sixth place in each Junior class and third place in each Senior one plus for the first Masters category competitor home in each relevant class are awarded at each round. Other prizes include six Stilo helmets supplied by NZ importer Neil Allport Motorsport, sets of tyres supplied by NZ Dunlop kart tyre importer and distributor Lascom Motorsport, and various other merchandise to be distributed at each round.
Practice for this weekend’s Goldstar round starts at 11.00am on Saturday with racing on Sunday It’s not too late to enter this round or the rest of the series for that matter, with entries taken on the day if necessary.
2017/18 Manawatu & TRC Toyota WPKA Goldstar Series
Points after Rnd 1
1. Kiahn Burt 60 points; 2. Hugo Neale 58; 3. Blake Dowdall 57; 4. Judd Christiansen 56; 5. Kerr Botha 55; 6. Blake Corin 54.
Vortex Mini ROK
1. Tom Bewley 60 points; 2. Hayden Bakkerus 58; 3. Logan Manson 57; 4. Mason Potter 56; 5. Louis Sharp 55; 6. Ben Stewart 54.
Rotax Max Junior
1. Fynn Osborne 60 points; 2. William Exton 58; 3. Clay Osborne 57; 4. Zac Christiansen 56; 5. Bradley Hewson 55; 6. Asten Addy 54.
Rotax Max Light
1. Michael McCulloch 60 points; Zach Zaloum 58; 3. Campbell Jamieson 57; 4. Rianna O’Meara-Hunt 56; 5. Ashton Grant 55; 6. James Higgins 54.
1. Derek Lawrence 60 points; 2. William Pearson 58; 3. Nathan Nolly 57; 4. Stephen Palmer 56; 5. Stuart Frew 55; 6. Brent Hickmott 54.
1=. Hadley Coffey & Brent Melhop 60 points; 3. Shaun Hibbs 57; 4. Shane Sayer 56; 5. Shaun Croskery 55; 6. Glen Dodd 54.
1. Jacob Cranston 60 points; 2. Clint Beaumont 58; 3. Brendon Jury 57; 4. Rianna O’Meara-Hunt 56.
Cadet ROK GP
1. Hugo Neale 50 points; 2. Kiahn Burt 48; 3. Judd Christiansen 47; 4. Blake Dowdall 46; 5. Blake Corin 45; 6. Kerr Botha 44.
Vortex Mini ROK GP
1. Louis Sharp 50 points; 2. Ryan Bell 48; 3. Mason Potter 47; 4. Tom Bewley 46; 5. Logan Manson 45; 6. Hayden Bakkerus 44.
Rotax Junior GP
1. Fynn Osborne 50 points; 2. Clay Osborne 48; 3. Jackson Rooney 47; 4. Bradley Hewson 46; 5. Asten Addy 45; 6. Ryan Wood 44.
1. Jacob Cranston 50 points; 2. Clint Beaumont 48; 3. Brendon Jury 47; 4. Mark Burling 46; 5. Ashton Grant 45; 6. James Higgins 44
ClubSport 120 GP
1. Derek Lawrence 50 points; 2. Stephen Palmer 48; 3. William Pearson 47; 4. Chris Parkinson 46; 5. Nathan Nolly 45; 6. Brent Melhop 44