For school-age karters from all over the country, KartSport New Zealand’s annual National Schools’ Championships meeting offers the ultimate opportunity to claim bragging rights for themselves and their schools alike.
This year the 17th annual event is being hosted by the KartSport Wellington club in conjunction with Hutt International Boys School at the club’s track, George Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Raceway tomorrow (Friday July 12) and Saturday (July 13).
Always one of the most popular and well supported ‘National’ events on the sport’s calendar, it has attracted 76 entries across five different classes representing schools from Whangarei in the north to Invercargill in the south.
A special feature of the annual Schools’ event are the Bruce McLaren KartSport Awards presented in association with the Bruce McLaren Trust.
Each year two awards are presented – but only after the two drivers concerned produce and present a project at their school on the career, achievements and values demonstrated by the driver the award honours, New Zealand motor racing great, Bruce McLaren.
This year the annual schools’ event is again also hosting the final round of the ROK Cup New Zealand series.
ROK Cup New Zealand is a multi-round series for drivers contesting classes which use Italian-made Vortex engines; Cadet ROK (for 6-10 year-olds), Vortex Mini ROK (for those 9-12 yrs) and Vortex ROK DVS Junior (for 12-15 year-olds) and Senior.
This year the Vortex Mini ROK class has received the most entries (22) at the National Schools’s meeting followed by Rotax Max Junior (21), Cadet ROK (13), Vortex ROK DVS Junior (11) and Rotax Max Light Snr (9).
Names to watch out for in Vortex Mini ROK include 2019 ROK Cup New Zealand series class points leader Louis Sharp from Christchurch and last year’s series’ class winner and current series’ points runner-up Tom Bewley from Havelock North.
Though several drivers are running in both the Rotax Max Junior and Vortex ROK DVS Junior classes it is hard to look beyond Christchurch-based international Jacob Douglas in either class.
Nelson ace Bo Hill crosses Cook Strait on a high, however, after claiming an impressive Rotax Max Junior class win at the recent two-day/two-track Sunbelts meeting in Nelson and Blenheim.
Auckland’s Dylan Grant and Hamilton ace Clay Osborne are also expected to challenge for class victory in Rotax Max Junior, while Wellington’s Ben Stewart and Aucklanders Nathan Crang and Mason Potter are definite podium prospects in Vortex ROK DVS Junior.
In Cadet ROK Tauranga’s Mitchell Corin – the current NZ#1 – has a two-point class series’ lead over Arthur Broughan from Blenheim with Izaak Fletcher from Christchurch a single point back in third.
Current NZ#1 Fynn Osborne heads the favourites list, meanwhile, in the Rotax Max Light senior class.
Friday is practise day with karts on track at George Refrigeration & Air Conditioning Raceway from 9.00am. Saturday is race day with tuning runs set to start at 9.00am and racing from 9.43am until 4.20pm.
KARTSPORT NZ NATIONAL SCHOOLS’ CHAMPIONSHIPS
SECONDARY SCHOOL HONOURS BOARD
2003 Rangitoto College, Auckland
2004 St Kentigern College, Auckland
2005 Palmerston North Boys’ High, Palmerston North
2006 Waimea College, Nelson
2007 St Kentigern College, Auckland
2008 St Andrews College, Christchurch
2009 St Andrews College, Christchurch
2010 Palmerston North Boys’ High, Palmerston North
2011 Auckland Grammar School, Auckland
2012 Palmerston North Boys’ High, Palmerston North
2013 Burnside High School, Christchurch
2014 Palmerston North Boys’ High School, Palmerston North
2015 St Thomas of Canterbury College, Christchurch
2016 Palmerston North Boys’ High School, Palmerston North
2017 Palmerston North Boys’ High School, Palmerston North
2018 Westlake Boys High School, Auckland
PRIMARY/INTERMEDIATE SCHOOL HONOURS BOARD
2003 Rangeview Intermediate, Auckland
2004 Waimea Intermediate, Nelson
2005 Marina View School, Auckland
2006 Russley Primary, Christchurch & St Kentigern Intermediate, Auckland
2007 Albany Primary, Auckland
2008 Waikari School and Kaikorai Valley College, Dunedin
2009 Newbury School, Palmerston North
2010 Taradale Intermediate, Napier
2011 Windsor Primary/Chisnell Wood Intermediate, Christchurch
2012 College Street Normal School, Palmerston North
2013 Medbury School, Christchurch
2014 Palmerston North Normal Intermediate/Newbury Primary School, Palmerston North
2015 Balmacewen Intermediate, Dunedin
2016 Palmerston North Normal Intermediate, Palmerston North
2017 Te Mata School/Havelock North Intermediate, Havelock North
2018 Palmerston North Intermediate Normal School/Winchester Primary School, Palmerston North