This year’s SP Tools Australian Kart Championship presented by Castrol Edge (AKC) has again attracted a number of top Kiwi karters, with four set to contest the opening round at Ipswich in Queensland this weekend.
Of the four, two – Rianna O’Meara-Hunt from Wellington and Maxim Kirwan from Auckland – familiarised themselves with the Willowbank track at the AKC Shakedown round a fortnight ago.
O’Meara-Hunt, who this year is again dove-tailing an AKC campaign (in the Iame X30 class) with one in Australia’s other multi-round series, the Rotax Pro Tour, set the 4th quickest qualifying time in her class and after carding a 5-5-9 run through the heats finished sixth.
Fresh from a win in the Cadet ROK class at the annual City of Sails meeting in Auckland at the end of January, 8-year-old Maxim Kirwan from Auckland also enjoyed the opportunity to learn the track and get a handle on his fellow Cadet 9 class competitors at the shakedown meeting.
He qualified 13th quickest out of the 29-strong field and after a best placing of 11th in the heats ran most of the Final in P12 until passed on the last lap and crossing the finish line 13th.
Back for more this weekend, meanwhile, are Ryan Wood, a class round winner in last year’s Rotax Pro Tour, who is joining fellow Wellingtonian Rianna O’Meara-Hunt in the Iame X30 class, and Auckland teenager Liam Sceats, in the premier Junior category KA2 (Vortex ROK DVS).
Sceats has been a regular at key meetings in Australia for a number of years now, and was a top six prospect in debut in the KA2 class at the big Race of Stars meeting on the Gold Coast last year.
This weekend’s opening AKC round at Ipswich has attracted over 300 entries from across Australia as well as New Zealand, Singapore, Sri Lanka and Italy.
Qualifying and heat races will be held on Saturday with the Finals on Sunday. The event will be livestreamed on Sunday from 8.30am local time on www.karting.net.au and the Australian Kart Championship’s Facebook page.
2019 SP Tools Australian Kart Championship presented by Castrol Edge
Rnd 1: Ipswich QLD Feb 15-17
Rnd 2: Newcastle NSW March 29-31
Rnd 3: Monarto SA May 17-19
Rnd 4: Emerald NTH QLD July 19-21
Rnd 5: Todd Rd Melb VIC Aug 30-Sept 01