Four young Kiwi ROK class karters – Tom Bewley from the Hawke’s Bay, Jacob Douglas from Christchurch, Jackson Rooney from Palmerston North, and Ryan Wood from Wellington – have earned the right to travel to Italy in October this year to compete at the 2018 ROK Cup International meeting.
The annual ROK Cup International final meeting is one of the biggest manufacturer-based events on the global karting calendar. This year’s will be the 16th with close to 500 karters from at least 50 countries set to contest Vortex ROK category titles across five different classes.
This year’s event will also be the fifth at which New Zealand has been represented. Ryan Wood started the ball rolling in 2014, Billy Frazer from Pukekohe made the trip in 2015. In 2016 four drivers – Breanna Morris, Joshua Parkinson and Mason Potter from Auckland, and William Exton from Picton – contested the meeting, while last year three – Jacob Douglas, Logan Manson from Levin, and Kaden Probst from Auckland – flew the Kiwi flag at the Italian event.
Now in its third year ROK Cup New Zealand is a multi-round series for young drivers contesting the three classes which use Italian-made Vortex engines; Cadet ROK (for 6-11 year-olds), Vortex Mini ROK (for those 9 to 12) and the latest one, which made its national title debut at this year’s KartSport NZ Furnware National Schools’ Championships meeting in the Hawke’s Bay earlier this month, Vortex ROK DVS Junior (for 12-16 year-olds).
The annual National Schools’ event doubled as the final round of this year’s ROK Cup NZ series. By finishing second to Waiuku driver Mitchell Sparrow at the final round, local driver Tom Bewley won the series’ title in the Vortex Mini ROK class, earning him one of the four Kiwi spots at the International final in Italy in October.
Christchurch’s Jacob Douglas had already claimed his when he won the 2018 NZ Vortex Mini ROK title at the Giltrap Group KartSport NZ Sprint Championships title meeting in Rotorua over the Easter weekend. Meanwhile Wellington ace Ryan Wood booked himself a return trip by being the inaugural winner of the new Vortex ROK DVS Junior class at the NZ Schools event, and Palmerston North’s Jackson Rooney earned the fourth and final trip prize by claiming the runner-up spot in that class.
The 2018 Schools’ title, round and overall ROK Cup NZ series class winner in the Cadet ROK class, Judd Christiansen from Palmerston North, was also rewarded for his efforts, winning a brand new Vortex ROK engine.
And that, as it turns out, is only the beginning!
ROK CUP NZ ADDS SENIOR CLASS FOR 2019
2019 will see eight drivers win seats to the 2019 ROK Cup International Final. In addition to the two Vortex Mini ROK and two Vortex ROK DVS Junior seats, four senior Vortex ROK DVS seats will be up for grabs.
ROK Cup NZ promoter Maurice Frost comments; “As already demonstrated within the Junior DVS class racing at the recent NZ Schools Championships and in the CIK-FIA Academy class over the last 3 years, the excellent parity, simplicity and low maintenance requirements of the Vortex ROK DVS engine will now become a feature of local senior class competition in 2019.
“Competitors can invest in the comfort of knowing the performance related specifications of the engine are locked in for at least 10 years and that the engine can be used in both Junior and Senior classes with the identical specification. We look forward to the two DVS classes joining the Mini ROK classes for 2019 Series. Full prize pool details and Series Supplementary Rules will follow soon”.
A big incentive for 2019 will be the four senior seats, two allocated to the 2019 CIK Trophy of NZ event, one to the 2019 NZ Sprint Championships and one to the 2019 ROK Cup NZL Series (three rounds).
Also of note is that the three Junior classes will have a Round in the South Island in conjunction with the annual Sunbelts two-day event at Marlborough and Nelson.
The 2019 ROK Cup NZL Series will again run within existing events so as to ease pressure on competitor budgets, the event calendar and to support clubs already committed to running major events. The 2019 calendar will be as follows:
Rnd 1 Jan 19-20 CIK Trophy of NZ Hamilton (Cadet ROK, Vortex Mini ROK, Vortex ROK DVS Junior and Vortex ROK DVS)
Rnd 2 April 19-21 NZ Sprint Championships Hamilton (Cadet ROK, Vortex Mini ROK, Vortex ROK DVS Junior and Vortex ROK DVS)
Rnd 3 (NI) June 01-02 WPKA Championships Manawatu (Cadet ROK, Vortex Mini ROK, Vortex ROK DVS Junior and Vortex ROK DVS)
Rnd 3 (SI) June 01-02 Sunbelts Marlborough/Nelson (Cadet ROK, Vortex Mini ROK, Vortex ROK DVS Junior)
Rnd 4 July 13-14 NZ Schools Championships Wellington (Cadet ROK, Vortex Mini ROK, Vortex ROK DVS Junior)
2018 ROK Cup NZ
Final points after Rnd 4 of 4
Vortex Mini ROK
Tom Bewley – 184 points
Hayden Bakkerus & Mitchell Sparrow – 183
Mason Potter – 181
Logan Manson – 179
Stella Carter – 123
Kaden Probst & Bo Hill – 85
Kasey O’Donnell-Dawson – 79
Judd Christiansen – 187 points
Hugo Neal & Jay Urwin – 184
Kiahn Burt – 95
Ashton Phipps – 91
Maxim Kirwan – 85
2018 ROK Cup International Final
Oct 10-13 South Garda Circuit Lonato Italy.