AGE NO BARRIER AS LEXUS TEAM WINS SECOND KARTSPORT NZ BRIGGS ENDURANCE TITLE RACE ON THE TROT
Last year when the Lexus Landscaping team of Tim Hobbs, Stirling Hughes and Augustin Gonzalez won the inaugural KartSport New Zealand Briggs National Endurance Championships race at the KartSport Wellington club’s Gazley Raceway at Kaitoke, near Upper Hutt they did so with one of the oldest drivers in the field, 61-year-old company and team boss Tim.
This year, with Tim unable to take up his place in the driver line-up thanks to a recent rib injury but still keen to see his company-sponsored team defend their 2019 title he shoulder-tapped one of the other top Briggs LO206 4-stroke class competitors at his club, 69-year-old Pete Flanagan – and the result at this year’s event, held in hot, sunny but windy conditions on Saturday, was the same.
They were not the quickest team to qualify for the second annual 4 Hour/3-driver endurance event (that honour going to their Team Lexus Landscaping and Gray Engineering ‘Junior’ squad of Edward Kelly, Josh Logan and Chris Smyth). Nor were they ever quickest in the four-hour race.
What they were, however, was consistent, and in the end that consistency – plus absolute reliability – won them the race, and with it the KartSport New Zealand Briggs National Endurance Championship title for a second year in a row.
Incredible as it may seem considering the vagaries of an endurance event their win this year was measured in seconds rather than laps, too, with not one, not two but three teams all completing 321 laps.
Though Flanagan, Gonzalez and Hughes had managed to create a buffer of 42.144 seconds by the time the chequered flag came out, only 0.060 of a second separated the second entry of the Lexus Landscaping/Gray Engineering Junior squad of Kelly, Logan and Smyth, and the third placed Wilford Motorsport squad of KartSport Wellington Club President Brent Melhop, and fellow Briggs class devotees Shaun Croskery and Mike Love.
“Fair play to both Lexus teams,” Melhop said on Sunday morning. “We held the lead for the most number of laps but Pete, Augustin and Stirling never gave up and just seemed to be in the box seat each time the Safety Kart was deployed in the last quarter of the race.
“We should have beaten the Junior team too but again they got an advantage over us in just the last handful of laps and we couldn’t make up the deficit by the time the flag came out. Which means of course that we’ll just have to come back and try to win it next year.”
The top 3 teams teams were all from the LO206 Light weight division, with the competition outcome – almost – the same in the Heavy division.
There local squads Team KPD (Karl Cameron, Danny Picard and Patrick Davey) and The Big Briggs (Corrie McGuigan, Glenn Dodd & Mike Hanks) team ended up 4th and 5th respectively. both having covered 314 laps and separated by just 6.431 seconds at the end of the four hour long race.
All 8 teams that started this year’s event, including the Team GDT Briggs Heavy squad of Glen Evans, David Sullivan and Tom Clark – who received special dispensation to leave the track so that they could have their kart’s broken frame welded up again!
The second annual KartSport New Zealand Briggs National Endurance Championship event again enjoyed the support of LO206 4-stroke kart engine manufacturer, Briggs & Stratton, the company providing product to the KartSport Wellington club to distribute as spot prizes.
2020 KartSport NZ Briggs National Endurance Championship KartSport Wellington Gazley Raceway Wellington Sat November 21 2020
- Lexus Landscaping 4:00:14.209/321 laps
- Team Lexus Landscaping and Gray Engineering 4:00:56.353/321 laps +42.144
- Wilford Motorsport 4:00:56.41/321 laps + 42.204
- Team KPD 4:00:29.030/314 laps +7 laps
- The Big Briggs 4:00:35.461/314 laps +7 laps
- Capital City Seadoo 4:00:50.979/313 laps +8 laps
- Team Atomise 4:00:19.502/276 laps +45 laps
- GDT Racing 2:54:36.068/134 laps +187 laps
ClubSport LO206 Light Endurance
- Lexus Landscaping
- Team Lexus Landscaping and Gray Engineering
- Wilford Motorsport
- Capital City Seadoo
ClubSport LO206 Heavy Endurance
- Team KPD
- The Big Briggs
- Team Atomise
- GDT Racing