Christchurch karter Jacob Mitchell was a worthy winner of the Jason Richards Memorial Trophy after a dominant two days competing in the Rotax Max 125cc Light class at this year’s Mike Greer Homes-sponsored Jason Richards GP kart race meeting in Nelson over the weekend.
The meeting was the fourth organised by the KartSport Nelson club in honour of former club member, Nelson-born V8 Supercar racer Jason Richards, who died of a rare form of cancer in 2011.
This year’s two-day meeting format saw each of the seven Jason Richards GP classes get a qualifying session and three 12-lap heats on Saturday, a fourth – this time 15-lap reverse grid – heat on Sunday morning, then a Top 6 Shootout and 40-lap Grand Prix Final.
As well as trophies for first, second and third in each of the classes, there were also cash prizes courtesy of event naming rights sponsor Mike Greer Homes and the overall Jason Richards Memorial Trophy donated by Tony Dyer, a karting contemporary of the late driver, and presented by Jason’s parents Dave and Pauline Richards, together with Tony Dyer.
Jacob Mitchell earned the class and overall trophies by winning three of the four heats on Saturday then claimed a second in the fifth heat on Sunday morning before topping the time sheets in the Rotax Light class Top Six Shootout then winning the stand-alone 40-lap 125cc Rotax Max Grand Prix race from Jack McLaren, Cameron Hay and Andrew Broughton.
Other drivers to complete the class/shootout/GP trifecta included cub president Kevin Barker (125cc Rotax Max Heavy), Tony Dyer (Light) and Jason Richards (no relation) (Heavy) in ClubSport LO206, and William Exton in 125cc Rotax Max Junior, the latter from Chrischurch driver Jacob Douglas, and local pair Bo Hill and Louise Gridley.
In the other classes the spoils were shared. In Vortex Mini ROK Logan Mason from the Manawatu won four of the class heats and finished second in the other to claim the overall class win. He also won the 40-lap class Grand Prix race but was beaten to the top spot in the class shootout by a very determined local driver, Oliver (Ollie) Workman.
Young Christchurch ace Izaak Fletcher ended up in a similar position, taking out the Cadet ROK class title with three wins and two second places in the heats, and winning the 40-lap class Grand Prix race. It was a top local driver, Lochiel McGregor, who topped the time sheets in the class Top Six Shootout, however, with Blenheim’s Arthur Broughan second and Izaak Fletcher third.