With defending and now multi-time champion Ryan Urban leading the way, KartSport New Zealand’s 2018 Superkart titles were run and won on Sunday – despite sometimes torrential rain which meant all but one of the races were run on a wet track.
Urban, who this year has also raced his Superkart in Australia, was comfortably the fastest of the six International class entrants in qualifying (in the rain) in the morning, then won the three (of four) heat races he started before running away with the feature Grand Prix race in the afternoon. Not a bad tally considering the 36-year-old was driving a borrowed kart.
‘That’s right,” he said on Monday. “I sold my latest Anderson FPE to Rhys McKay so I borrowed an older one (a 2010 FPE-engined Anderson) from the guy I work with, Tony Bowden’s Dad Steve.”
Though he was still the quickest driver in the International class, claiming his third NZ Superkart championship title in three years as well as again winning the meeting’s standalone Grand Prix race, Urban definitely did not have it all his own way.
Perennial rival Paul Dunlop was just 0.661 of a second slower in qualifying though struggled with a front brake issue through the day, and Urban failed to start the third heat thanks to a tuning issue.
“Because you got to drop your worst performance in the heats it didn’t matter in the end. Though I know that before the fourth heat I was thinking, ‘man, this thing better start!” he said.
He was not the only driver to strike trouble of one sort or another though – much of it water-related – throughout the day.
Superkart stalwart Andrew Hall had brake, clutch and ignition problems in the heats, though he reckoned that a storming second place in the Grand Prix race (despite a full 360 degree spin at one stage mid race) almost made up for the rest of his issues.
The other 2018 NZ Superkart titles contested on the day went to Nick Isaac from Taranaki (KZ2) and Aucklanders Matt Flaherty (Rotax DD2) and Tony Kinsman (Rotax Light).
Isaac and Kinsman were also first home in their respective classes in the Grand Prix races with Brent Murgatroyd taking out the Rotax DD2.
For as long as anyone in the Superkart fraternity can remember the Pommie Trophy (so named because it was donated by a group of visiting Superkart drivers from the UK) has been awarded to the driver who has put on the best performance in the 250cc Superkart class. For the third year in a row the trophy went to Ryan Urban.
KartSport NZ 2018 NZ Superkart Championships HRC 2K Cup Challenge meeting
Hampton Downs Motorsport Park, Hampton Downs
Sat-Sun Nov 24-25 2018
1. Ryan Urban; 2. Teddy Bassick; 3. Steve Sharpe
1. Nick Isaac; 2. Andrew Hunt; 3. Lawrence Wright
1. Matt Flaherty; 2. Mark Ongley; 3. Brent Murgatroyd
1. Tony Kinsman; 2. Jason Butterworth; 3. Lee Sefton
Standalone class Grand Prix races
1. Ryan Urban 13:38.670
2. Andrew Hall +22.396
3. Steve Sharp +25.387
DNF. Teddy Bassick 6:26.418
1. Nick Isaac 14:46.272
2. Lawrence Wright +11.059
3. Andrew Hunt +12.225
4. Craig Goffin +1 lap
DNF Jordyn Wallace
1. Tony Kinsman 14:08.414
2. Jason Butterworth +0.440
3. Lee Sefton +29.257
4. Sean Heffernan +57.563
1. Brent Murgatroyd 14:34.866
2. Craig Rowe +1.482
3. Mark Ongley +1 l lap
Pommie Trophy – Ryan Urban