Organisers and motorsport stars add to City of Sails karting success
The appearance of FIA Formula 2 stars Marcus Armstrong and Liam Lawson could not outshine the effort of KartSport officials and volunteers in managing 180 drivers and crew to compete safely under the Covid red light rules at the Spa and Pool Maintenance 2022 City of Sails event at KartSport Auckland’s Giltrap Group Raceway.
The hard-working team at KartSport Auckland limited drivers to one support person each, positioned in pods of 100, and with safe distancing as they escorted competitors to and from their pits to the dummy grid.
The two-day event was the first round of new KartStars Series, which could not be more apt with the appearance of Lawson and Armstrong, both brought up through the karting ranks and taking the opportunity this week and next for some invaluable track time and fun before returning for real to Europe. The event was also the first round of the 2022 ROK Cup NZL series.
“It’s a lot of fun to take part this weekend and next week in Hamilton,” said Lawson. “Marcus and I came through karting which was a big part of our development. Mostly this has been fun for me, but any time you can get in a kart then it is also good practice as well. It has been great.”
KartSport New Zealand president Graeme Moore said he was thrilled that the event went off so well.
“This situation has been in the planning for several months. Each possible scenario was thought through and we have held this event safely and successfully albeit that it would have been fun to have had spectators.
“KartSport Auckland organised live streaming to the karting fans at home so they could enjoy the action.”
The overall titles were decided on points throughout the two days of racing, with heats on Saturday and pre-finals and finals on Sunday.
Two-time podium placegetter at CIK-FIA KZ2 Super Cup events, Auckland’s Daniel Bray celebrated 30 years in the sport in winning the overall honours in the KZ2 class, and also claimed the final in dominant fashion ahead of Mt Wellington clubmate Josh Parkinson.
Lawson and Armstrong had some misfortunes during the event, finishing sixth and seventh respectively in the final.
Daniel Bugler (Hamilton) took out the KZ2 Heavy final and local club karter Gary Cullum the overall points.
Hometown karter Marco Manson claimed the Vortex Mini ROK honours, with runner-up Miles Baker (Hamilton) first across the line in the final.
The Clubsport 120 overall honours went to Stephen Muggeridge with his Eastern Bay of Plenty clubmate Conrad Knight winning the final.
Hamilton’s Ayton Williams prevailed claiming the Vortex ROK DVS Senior final and overall honours, as did Bay of Plenty’s Darren Walker in 125 Rotax Max Heavy.
Walker doubled up to become champion in the Rotax DD2 class with runner-up San Waddell (Hamilton) taking the final.
The Vortex ROK DVS Junior category went to outstanding young Hawkes Bay talent Tom Bewley who was unbeaten on the day including the final.
Emerson Vincent produced an excellent drive to win the overall honours in the 125 Rotax Max Junior while his Auckland clubmate Sebastian Manson claimed the final.
The Cadet ROK final and overall class victory went to local Auckland club karter Atto Bailey.
The last title of the event in the 125 Rotax Max Light class saw Ryan Crombie from the local Auckland club take out the final and overall honours.
Before returning to prepare for the upcoming FIA Formula 2 season, Armstrong and Lawson will also compete in the second round of KartStars Series at the APL Window Solutions 2022 CIK Trophy of New Zealand event at KartSport Hamilton next weekend, which will be staged under the same covid protocols.