Storm Lashes NZ Schools Championship

The county’s top school-age karters proved their mettle as torrential rain showers lashed the Tokoroa venue hosting this year’s KartSport New Zealand McFall Fuel National Schools’ Championship meeting on Saturday.

Braving what one long term observer of the sport described as ‘probably the worst conditions I have ever seen at a kart race meeting, with very high winds and horizontal rain for most of the day,’ the 103 karters who had entered this year’s event simply knuckled down and got on with representing their school.

Vortex Mini ROK winner, Marco Manson (pic – Fast Company/Emilee Jane Photography)

At one stage racing was suspended until conditions improved, but bar the resulting time constraints forcing the organisers to cancel the fifth heats and call the results based on the results from the first four predetermined grid heats, the event went ahead as planned.

“For which everybody, from the drivers – especially our younger ones – to all the club volunteers and KartSport New Zealand officials, everyone deserves a big pat on the back for running such an important meeting as our Schools’ one in such extreme conditions,” said KartSport New Zealand President Graeme Moore.

After a COVID-19-enforced break last year, the 18th KartSport New Zealand National Schools’ Championship meeting was certainly well anticipated and supported on the KartSport national calendar this year.

Over 100 school-age karters from as far away as Dunedin and Mosgiel travelled to the Tokoroa club’s Stihl Shop Tokoroa Raceway for the McFall Fuel supported event, sanctioned by School Sport NZ, and hosted by the KartSport Tokoroa club in conjunction with Cambridge High School.

Jay Urwin took out the Vortex ROK DVS Junior class (pic – Fast Company/Emilee Jane Photography)

Interestingly, the two sets of brothers who first earned the titles for their schools at Wellington in 2019 (Fynn and Clay Osborne from Cambridge, and Sebastian and Marco Manson from Auckland) repeated the exercise this year.

This time Clay led his older brother Fynn home for a 1-2 finish in the 125cc Rotax Max Light class and enough points to earn the college they both attend, St Peter’s School in Cambridge, the Secondary Schools’ title for a second time.

A win for Marco Manson in the Vortex Mini ROK class and second place for older brother Sebastian in Vortex ROK DVS Junior, meanwhile, earned the Primary/Intermediate title for school they attend, Auckland’s, St Kentigern School.

Winning the Vortex Mini ROK class also earned Marco Manson one of the two prizes of an entry to the 2021 ROK Cup Superfinal meeting in Italy in October plus $2,000 from the KartSport NZ/Lascom Motorsport/Dunlop International travel fund.

Grey day – Clay Osborne on the way to winning rotax MAX Light (pic – Fast Company/Emilee Jane Photography)

The other entry to the 2021 ROK Cup Superfinal meeting in Italy in October plus $2,000 from the KartSport NZ/Lascom Motorsport/Dunlop International travel fund prizes went to the biggest individual winner at this year’s meeting, Matamata ace Jay Urwin.

Urwin, the only driver at the meeting to win not one but two NZ Schools’ titles (in both the Vortex ROK DVS Junior and 125cc Rotax Max Junior classes) made light of the howling wind and driving rain at his home track to just pip Sebastian Manson (by a single point) in the Vortex ROK DVS Jnr class, and beat class North Island title holder Tom Bewley from the Hawke’s Bay to the 125cc Rotax Max Junior class title by five points.


The other two NZ School’s titles won at Tokoroa on Saturday went to William Exton from Blenheim (Vortex ROK DVS Senior) and Henry Fisher from Christchurch (Cadet ROK).

Fisher, the reigning class NZ#1 made no race of adding the NZ Schools’ title to his CV, being the only driver to win all four heat races he started at the meeting.

Henry Fisher, Number One in Cadet ROK (pic – Fast Company/Emilee Jane Photography)




  • 2003 Rangitoto College, Auckland
  • 2004 St Kentigern College, Auckland
  • 2005 Palmerston North Boys’ High, Palmerston North
  • 2006 Waimea College, Nelson
  • 2007 St Kentigern College, Auckland
  • 2008 St Andrews College, Christchurch
  • 2009 St Andrews College, Christchurch
  • 2010 Palmerston North Boys’ High, Palmerston North
  • 2011 Auckland Grammar School, Auckland
  • 2012 Palmerston North Boys’ High, Palmerston North
  • 2013 Burnside High School, Christchurch
  • 2014 Palmerston North Boys’ High School, Palmerston North
  • 2015 St Thomas of Canterbury College, Christchurch
  • 2016 Palmerston North Boys’ High School, Palmerston North
  • 2017 Palmerston North Boys’ High School, Palmerston North
  • 2018 Westlake Boys High School, Auckland
  • 2019 St Peters School, Cambridge
  • 2020 (No event held)
  • 2021 St Peters School, Cambridge


  • 2003 Rangeview Intermediate, Auckland
  • 2004 Waimea Intermediate, Nelson
  • 2005 Marina View School, Auckland
  • 2006 Russley Primary, Christchurch & St Kentigern Intermediate, Auckland
  • 2007 Albany Primary, Auckland
  • 2008 Waikari School and Kaikorai Valley College, Dunedin
  • 2009 Newbury School, Palmerston North
  • 2010 Taradale Intermediate, Napier
  • 2011 Windsor Primary/Chisnell Wood Intermediate, Christchurch
  • 2012 College Street Normal School, Palmerston North
  • 2013 Medbury School, Christchurch
  • 2014 Palmerston North Normal Intermediate/Newbury Primary School, Palmerston North
  • 2015 Balmacewen Intermediate, Dunedin
  • 2016 Palmerston North Normal Intermediate, Palmerston North
  • 2017 Te Mata School/Havelock North Intermediate, Havelock North
  • 2018 Palmerston North Intermediate Normal School/Winchester Primary School, Palmerston North
  • 2019 St Kentigern School, Auckland
  • 2020 (No event held)
  • 2021 St Kentigern School, Auckland

Vortex ROK DVS Junior        

1. Jay Urwin, 2. Sebastian Manson; 3. Zak Surtees. 4. Tom Bewley; 5. William McDonald; 6. Dylan Jessop.             

125cc Rotax Max Junior

  1. Jay Urwin ; 2. Tom Bewley; 3. Emerson Vincent; 4. Kiahn Burt;  5. Mitchell Sparrow; 6. Ashton Phipps.

Vortex Mini ROK

  1. Marco Manson; 2. Zach Tucker; 3. Miles Baker; 4. Maxim Kirwan; 5. Taylor Bryant; 6. Carson Daly.

Cadet ROK

  1. Henry Fisher; 2. Jack McGrath; 3. Jackson Culver; 4. Seth Comer; 5. Lucas Bell;  6. Zach Hemphill           

Vortex ROK DVS Senior

  1. William Exton; 2. Nathan Crang; 3. Ayrton Williams; 4.  Josh Richmond; 5. Harry Townshend; 6. Hamish MacKay

125cc Rotax Max Light

  1. Clay Osborne; 2.  Fynn Osborne; 3. Roman Harker-Ferguson; 4. Ryan Bell; 5. Ryan Crombie; 6. Jack Neill.