First came an all new Briggs & Stratton kart engine to help KartSport New Zealand clubs around the country attract newcomers to the sport. Then came the demand from those who had enthusiastically embraced the new category to run at tracks other than their own.
Now, the body which administers the sport here, KartSport New Zealand, has inked a deal which will see the US-based small engine specialist support the inclusion of Briggs-class races at key regional kart series meetings around the country.
“It’s still fundamentally a club-based class aimed at newcomers or people who just want to have a bit of fun,” says KartSport NZ Vice President Brent Melhop.
“What we’ve said to Briggs, however, is ‘look, we’ve done the first bit – getting the category established – but to keep the momentum going we think we need to provide incentives at both, rather than just the one, end.’”
With this in mind Briggs & Stratton will now provide a prize pool for the key regional series meetings around the country running Briggs ClubSport LO206 classes. Briggs and Stratton want to continue to promote the fun part of this karting class so the prize pool will be used as a “out of the hat draw” at each of the supported events’ prize giving functions.
For the remaining months this year that means the up-coming two-day Blossom meeting in Hawke’s Bay and 2019/20 WPKA Goldstar and Championship round in the (Lower) North Island, the remaining rounds of the 2019 Mainland Series in the South Island and the Nelson/Blenheim-based Central NZ Sunbelts Championships and Jason Richards Grand Prix meetings next year.
Allowance within the promo deal signed with Briggs & Stratton has also been made to support the inaugural KartSport New Zealand Endurance Championship event being organised and run by KartSport Wellington club in November this year.
“While we still have some work to do getting the various Briggs LO206 classes bedded in in some parts of the country, where it has gained a foothold – in particular in Nelson/Marlborough and Wellington – the category has done exactly what it was introduced to do, provide a cost-effective, entry-level option for those of all ages either new to the sport or those returning just looking for a bit of fun,” says Melhop.
Since their introduction in 2016, there have been over 150 Briggs ClubSport LO206 engines sold, both to drivers and some to clubs establishing pools of karts to attract beginner members.