Mix of Youth & Experience Wins NZ Briggs Endurance Title

The Full Throttle racing team, made up of Dunedin competitors Arron Black and Daniel Harvey, both with over 30 years karting experience, plus 17-year-old current National Sprint Champion William Exton from Marlborough, took out the overall win in this year’s Briggs & Stratton-supported National Endurance Championships contested at KartSport Wellington’s Gazley Raceway on Saturday October 02.

William Exton aboard the winning #123 kart (pic – Olivia Melhop Photography)

The event was contested in dry, cool conditions by fourteen three-driver teams, with only one kart not running at the end of the four-hour race (due to a broken seat mount).

Full Throttle Racing won the Briggs LO206 Light class from Gray Hydraulics (Stirling Hughes, Agustin Gonzalez, Mike Love), just 20.7 seconds behind in second place overall.

An exceptional performance from the leading Briggs LO206 Heavy team, Wilford Motorsport (Brent Melhop, Shaun Croskery, Thomas Batt), resulted in a tight battle with Gray Hydraulics over the last 30 minutes, Wilford Motorsport finishing just 1.5 seconds behind in third overall and taking home the Heavy class National title.

Pace kart holds the field (pic – Sean Lockyear)

For KartSport New Zealand Vice President/Treasurer and KartSport Wellington President Brent Melhop, the National Teams Championship in Briggs LO206 Heavy was the highlight of his 30-year karting career.

Also taking home a National title was the Briggs Boomtown Racers team (Rob Blick, Andrew Lucas, Jared Hall) from KartSport Marlborough. Their Briggs Heavy Masters National title is the first ever in the sport for Masters (40+ years).

The Heavy Masters winning team drivers, “Briggs Boomtown Racers” Rob Blick, Andrew Lucas and Jared Hall (pic – Olivia Melhop Photography)

Full Throttle Racing led a total of 141 laps with the top three karts all completing 323 laps (2019: 334 laps, 2020: 321 laps). There were numerous pace kart periods to enable the rotation of flag marshals and this, together with a few penalties for pit lane infringements and pit stop minimum time not being met, affected the results of some teams.

However, the event was run in high spirits and with great teamwork and camaraderie with all drivers and crew indicating afterwards that they were planning on attending next year’s event at KartSport Nelson’s The Hits Asphalt & General Kart Raceway.

Brent Melhop #61 Heavy winner (pic – Olivia Melhop Photography)

The 4-stroke Briggs LO206 engines all hummed strong all day with the only mechanical issue being a broken exhaust pipe, which was quickly replaced. Engines from the top two competitors in each class received an extensive post-race technical inspection.

The prizegiving was very well attended with the overall winning team receiving the Stuart Park Memorial Trophy, presented by Vicki Park, and the South Island Clubs the newly established Interisland Challenge Trophy, donated by KartSport Wellington.

This trophy is awarded based on the best Light and Heavy team results from each Island. This year it was won, on a countback, by the South Island Clubs.

Overall podium with Vicki Park (pic – Olivia Melhop Photography)

Big thanks to the KartSport Wellington team for their superb hosting of the event plus the flaggies and officials for their untiring attention over the four-hour race.

Race Facts and Figures

Laps led:                                                   Total Laps Led

1-4: Tasman Karts#1                               Full Throttle Racing    141 laps

5-72: Full Throttle Racing                       Wilford Motorsport    59



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73-86: GDT Racing                                 Tasman Karts #1         57

87-102: Full Throttle Racing                  The Beaver Boys         26

103-116: Capital City Seadoo                GDT Racing                 14

117-142: The Beaver Boys                     Capital City Seadoo    14

143-154: Wilford Motorsport                 Gray Hydraulics          12

155-207: Tasman Karts #1

208-254: Wilford Motorsport

255-266: Gray Hydraulics

267-323 Full Throttle Racing

Longest Seat Times: (Each driver must be on track for a minimum of 60 minutes)

  • William Exton             1h 52m 32s
  • Patrick Davy                1h 49m 49s
  • Glenn Houston            1h 35m 1s
  • Chris Harris                  1h 33m 55s
  • Glyn Mears                  1h 31m 10s
  • Cameron Hay               1h 30m 34s
  • Mike Love                   1h 30m 01s
(pic – Olivia Melhop Photography)

Results

Qualifying

  1. Tasman Karts #1 40.976
  2. Gray Hydraulics 41.067
  3. Capital City Seadoo 41.341

Also 

7. Wilford Motorsport 41.897 1st Heavy
13. Briggs Boomtown Racers 43.887 1st Heavy Masters

Overall

  1. Full Throttle Racing (A Black, D Harvey, W Exton) 323 laps (1st Light)
  2. Gray Hydraulics (S Hughes, A Gonzalez, M Love) +20.752 secs
  3. Wilford Motorsport (B Melhop, S Croskery, T Batt) +22.304 secs( 1st Heavy)
  4. Tasman Karts #1 (T Chambers, B Gridley, T Hay) +1 lap
  5. High Rev Racing (K Barker, K Rankin, D Bell) +4 laps (2nd Heavy)
  6. The Beaver Boys (l Rasmussen, C Harris, G Bennett) +6 laps

Also

    10. Briggs Boomtown Racers (Rob Blick, Andrew Lucas, Jared Hall) +13 laps (1st Heavy Master)

Fastest Laps

  • Briggs LO206 Lights: Full Throttle Racing (A Black, D Harvey, W Exton) 40.751 on lap 245
  • Briggs LO206 Heavy: Wilford Motorsport (B Melhop, S Croskery, T Batt) 41.448 on lap 8
  • Briggs LO206 Heavy Master: Team Atomise (R Kelly, T Sillay, M Hanks) 42.355 on lap 197



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