Some proven performers and talented tyros were on fire as the 62nd annual WPKA Goldstar Series got underway in Taranaki, drawing an impressive 110 karters from Waikato-Bay of Plenty to Southland.
The turn-out for the opening round of three in the highly respected development series, staged by KartSport Taranaki at the Todd Energy Raceway in Waitara, was more impressive given Auckland and Northland karters were still unable to compete.
Outstanding Morrinsville teenager Clay Osborne, the 2019 Rotax Grand Finals Champion, won all five races in the Rotax Max Light in his first competitive outing after lockdown.
“It was great to be back racing and I was pretty happy with how the kart went,” said Osborne. “This is the start of the new season for me although first I have two more exams to do at St Peters,” said the 16-year-old.
His initial aim is the rest of the series, and a move over summer into the Toyota 86 in circuit racing, although his big goal is a return to Europe to race karts, fuelled by his experiences in winning the Rotax Grand Finals in Italy.
“I’d love to get to the KZ2 European Championships and to race in Europe hopefully within the next 18 months. Racing in Italy was a real eye-opener for me.”
Another former Rotax Grand Finals Champion to add glamour to the racing over the weekend was Matamata’s Jay Urwin who won all of his heats in the Vortex ROK DVS Junior class.
Another super-talented teen, Kiahn Burt from Palmerston North won Rotax Max Junior class. Urwin also won the combined Junior Grand Prix with Burt the first Rotax home in 5th place overall.
“It is a good start for the new season and I am really happy how it went because we have had a fair bit of time out of the kart,” said Kiahn.
The 13-year-old has been racing karts since he went to the race track at age six to watch with his good friend – and he was hooked.
“I just love it. I had the new Arrow and overall, it went well and I can’t wait to get a lot more time behind the wheel and all the racing to come next year.”
Kiahn would ultimately like to progress through karts into circuit racing and his ultimate would be to race Supercars in the future, with Shane van Gisbergen his favourite driver.
New Zealand Schools and North Island champion Jackson Rooney from Palmerston North also enjoyed double success at the weekend, winning the Open class with three wins, and backing it up with victory in the Senior Grand Prix.
The Cadet ROK class developed into a battle between fellow Southland drivers Nixon Cripps and clubmate Braxton Kraayvanger, who both finished on the same points. Cripps snuck through on countback with a win in the final heat, although Kraayvanger earned his moment in the sun with an excellent win in the Cadet Grand Prix.
Manawatu’s well-known Scott Dalley led the way in ClubSport 120 competition, with four wins as well as dominating the Grand Prix final. Two-time Goldstar Champion Ian Smith was not headed in the Briggs LO206 class.
Competition was dramatic in the Vortex Mini ROK class with the wins spread and all drivers giving up points with one indifferent race. Levi McMillan prevailed with one win to his credit to finish two points clear of Miles Baker and Henry Fisher, although Fisher prevailed in the Grant Prix.
The KartSport Taranaki event is the only GoldStar round this year, with the remaining two rounds in Wellington March 5-6 and Hawkes Bay May 7-8 before the WPKA Championships at Manawatu on June 4-5.
Results, WPKA Goldstar, Rd 1, Taranaki
(best 4 of 5 heat results count)
Cadet ROK: Nixon Cripps 7 points, 1; Braxton Kraayvanger 7, 2; Levi Trotter 13, 3; Jayden Buttimore 14, 4; Mason Bellamy 15, 5; Benji Bellamy 22, 6.
Cadet ROK Grand Prix: Kraayvanger 1, Buttimore 2, Mason Bellamy 3, Trotter 4, Liam Haggerty 5, Max Joblin 6.
Vortex Mini ROK: Levi McMillan 13 points, 1; Henry Fisher 15, 2; Jackson Culver 19, 3; Miles Baker 20, 4; Grayson Stowe 23, 5; Aston Walker30, 6.
Vortex Mini ROK Grand Prix: Fisher 1, Culver 2, Baker 3, McMillan 4, Jack Phillips 5, Zack Tucker 6.
ClubSport 120: Scott Dalley 5 points, 1; Steve Muggeridge 8, 2; Conrad Knight 15, 3; Cole Horgan 16, 4; Nathan Bengston 17, 5; Hamish Salisbury 23, 6.
Briggs LO206: Ian Smith 4 points, 1; David Sharp 7, 2; Nina Smith 11, 3.
ClubSport Grand Prix: Dalley 1, Muggeridge 2, Horgan 3, Logan Howard 4, Smith (1st Briggs) 5, Bengston 6.
Vortex ROK DVS Junior: Jay Urwin 4 points, 1; Lochiel McGregor 8, 2; Jacob Bellamy 10, 3; Daniel McMillan 15, 4; Jack Amon 18, 5; Charlie Keyworth 23, 6.
Rotax Max Junior: Kiahn Burt 5 points, 1; Tom Bewley 10, 2; Dylan Jessop 16, 3; Arthur Broughan 18, 4; Sam Thompson 19, 5; Izaak Fletcher 24, 6.
Junior Grand Prix: Urwin 1, McGregor 2, Amon 3. Keyworth 4, Burt 5 (1st Rotax Junior), Fletcher 6.
Rotax Max Light: Clay Osborne 4 points, 1; Brad Hewson 8, 2; Gemma Winters 11, 3; Mac Berkett 14, 4; Louise Rawson, 20; Ryan Bell, 20,6.
Rotax Max Heavy: Ashley Higgins 7 points, 1; Adam Bell 8, 2; James Higgins 11, 3; Darren Walker 12, 4; Nick Tombleson 15, 5; Mitchell Rawson22, 6.
Vortex ROK DVS: Jacob Cranston 6 points, 1; Nathan Crang 7, James van den Berk 8, 3; Harry Townsend 17,4; Darren Walker 17, 5; Hamish Mackay 24, 6.
Open: 1; Jackson Rooney 5 points, 1; Clay Osborne 9, 2; Riley Jack 10, 3; Daniel Hall 12, 4; Nelson Hartley 17, 5; Nik Kiser 23, 6.
Senior Grand Prix: Rooney 1, Jack 2, Daniel Hall 3, Van den Berk 4 (1st Vortex DVS); Gemma Winters 5 (1st Rotax Max), Ryan Bell 6.