Some 120 karters from Southland to Waikato will throng to the first round of the 62nd annual WPKA Goldstar Series to be staged at KartSport Taranaki this weekend.
With Auckland drivers still locked in covid restrictions, the entries, including high numbers in Cadet Rok (16) and Vortex Mini Rok (29) fields, show the WPKA Gold Star series continues to develop young talent.
The stepping-stone series aims to develop young talent from club up to national level, with plenty of interest in the two-day event at the Todd Energy Raceway in Waitara this weekend.
As with the series, there are random grid draws with three rounds and the stand alone WPKA Championships event for each class.
There’s bound to be plenty of interest throughout the weekend. Nixon Cripps has ventured from Southland to take on the big field in the TubeTech Cadet Rok class. Seventh at the 2021 National Sprint Championships, Nixon is likely to get plenty of competition especially from the KartSport Manawatu pair, Tommy Hart and Levi Trotter.
National Champion Zach Tucker from Canterbury is the sole South Island competitor in the massive field in the Higgins Concrete Vortex Mini Rok class but is expected to do well, with main competition expected from the KartSport Hamilton pair of Miles Baker and Carson Daly.
There’s a big field of 17 drivers in the Orizen Tyres Napier Rotax Max Junior class where Nelson’s Ollie Workman (recently crowned South Island Champion) has come north with major competition likely from Kiahn Burt (Manawatu) and Tom Bewley (Hawkes Bay).
National Schools Champion Jay Urwin (Matamata) will have to take on the might of local driver Jacob Bellamy in the Supreme Kart Supplies Vortex Rok DVS Junior class, with the Taranaki driver named recently as a TKR Scholarship recipient.
Rotax Max Light looks like being a battle between the KartSport Bay of Plenty pair of Gemma Winters and Ryan Bell.
Darren Walker from Tauranga leads the way in the Rotax Max Heavy class with strong competition expected from fellow Bay of Plenty club driver Adam Bell and James Higgins from KartSport Manawatu.
The Supreme Water Jet Cutting Vortex Rok DVS Senior class has attracted a competitive field with last season’s Rotax Max Light triple crown winner, Jacob Cranston (Palmerston North) heads the way with strong competition from Ayrton Williams (KartSport Hamilton) and James van den Berk (KartSport Hawkes Bay).
Palmerston North’s Riley Jack, another triple crown winner in the 2020/21 series, heads a strong line-up in the Supreme Kart Supplies Open class with plenty of support for Jackson Rooney (KartSport Hawkes Bay) and Clay Osborne (KartSport Hamilton).
The popular EHL Group Clubsport 120 has 11 entries with the KartSport Eastern Bay of Plenty duo of Steve Muggeridge and Conrad Knight expected to do well.
It is an all-Wellington affair in the Briggs Light class with series winner Ian Smith leading the way from David Sharp.
This weekend’s racing is the only round this year with the remaining two rounds in Wellington March 5-6 and Hawkes Bay May 7-8 plus the WPKA Championships at Manawatu on June 4-5.
There is practice on Saturday from 11am with Racing on Sunday from 9am.