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Preview: New Zealand Nationals

press release 21 March 2013


A strong entry bodes well for this year's GoPro-backed KartSport New Zealand National Sprint Championships to be contested at Wynn’s Raceway, Kaitoke, Upper Hutt over the Easter weekend. 

Host club KartSport Wellington has received 177 entries for the three-day - Easter Friday, Saturday, Sunday - meeting, a particularly good figure considering the equivalent meeting in Australia over the same weekend has attracted just over 220.

Above: Likely contender in NZ this weekend - Aarron Cunningham (#72) from Auckland in 125cc Rotax Max Heavy
pic - Fast Company/Graham Hughes

"It certainly shows that our sport is in very good heart, " says governing body KartSport New Zealand's President, Lance Hickey.

Ten class titles will be up for grabs at the Wellington meeting with 106 drivers contesting the six Senior (16 years and over) classes and 71 contesting the four Junior ones.

The most popular classes are the Pacific Kartsport-sponsored 125cc Rotax Light (Senior) and Junior 100cc Yamaha (Junior) ones with 27 entries each followed by MG Tires 100cc Yamaha Light (23), MG Tires Cadet (21), Manawatu Toyota 125cc Rotax Max Heavy (20), Mi Sedaap KZ2 (14), NZed Motorsport 100cc Yamaha Heavy (13), Armstrong Motor Group KF3 (10) and Right Karts Open (9). 

In the Senior classes drivers to look out for include Auckland-based international Daniel Bray (in both KZ2 and Open), brothers Daniel and Mathew Kinsman from Auckland and long-time sparring partner Daniel Connor from Helensville in 125cc Rotax Max Light, defending class title holder Simon Hunter from Christchurch and visiting Australian drivers Lane Moore and Michael Saller  in 125cc Rotax Max Heavy, and defending title holder James Penrose from Loburn in north-Canterbury in 100cc Yamaha Light.

Above: Likely contenders in NZ this weekend - Daniel (#31) and Mathew (#30) Kinsman and Daniel Connor, rotax MAX Light
pic - Fast Company/Graham Hughes

There will also be a lot of interest in the return after a break from the sport of former front-runner Phillip Watkins from Wellington, as there will be in the return to sprint class competition of another Wellingtonian, three-time New Zealand Superkart champion Karl Wilson who will compete in the 100cc Yamaha Heavy and 125cc Rotax Max Light classes.

Several drivers are taking the opportunity to contest more than one class, but only one - Chris Cox from Rangiora - will attempt three, 125cc Rotax Max Light, 100cc Yamaha Light and KZ2!

With all four 2012 Junior class title holders moving up a class in the past year it's harder to pick a likely winner in Cadet, Junior Restricted 100cc Yamaha, KF3 and Junior 100cc Yamaha.

However in the Cadet class Callum Hedge from the Bay of Plenty is the reigning North Island champion, and he can expect competition from Aucklander Joshua Parkinson, Thomas Boniface from New Plymouth and Tom Greig from Palmerston North.  

Above: Likely contender in NZ this weekend - Chris Cox (#SI) is contesting three different classes over the Easter weekend
pic - Fast Company/Graham Hughes

Recent success at home in Christchurch, meanwhile, makes young second-generation Rangiora racer Caleb Cross the obvious favourite in Junior Restricted 100cc Yamaha, while fellow Mainlanders Jordan McDonnell and Marcus Armstrong are set to go up against last year's Junior Restricted title winner Jacob Cranston from Palmerston North and top Hawke's Bay drivers Mitchell Turner and Maddie Wise in Junior 100cc Yamaha.

Cranston, Turner, Wise and another impressive Manawatu youngster, Dylan Drysdale, also look like the drivers who be at the sharp end of the field in the KF3 class. 

At least three class titles will be contested each day over the three days with  Cadet, Junior Restricted 100cc Yamaha and KZ2 on Friday, Junior 100cc Yamaha, 100cc Yamaha Heavy and 100cc Yamaha Light on Saturday and KF3, Open, 125cc Rotax Max Light and 125cc Rotax Max Heavy on Sunday.

Above: Likely contenders in NZ this weekend - reigning North Island champion Mitchell Turner (#NI) and Auckland's Aaran Crighton (#33), Junior KF3
pic - Fast Company/Graham Hughes

KartSport Wellington’s Wynn’s Raceway is located off the road to Pakuratahi Forest, State Highway 2, Kaitoke. On Friday  For more information about the club and details on further up and coming events see  For more specific information about the Nationals event please see





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