When your family name is Williams and given name is Ayrton, there’s a fair bet that motorsport is going to be in your blood.
So, it is for 15-year-old Aucklander Ayrton Williams who claimed the CIK Trophy in the Vortex ROK DVS class at the APL Window Solutions CIK Trophy of New Zealand two-day event in Hamilton.
The event attracted a large entry of 129 karters – the second biggest in the history of the event – for the second round of the KartStars Series and ROK Cup NZL Series comprising the CIK Trophy of NZ and associated Challenge Cup events at KartSport Hamilton’s exciting Porter Group Park beside Mystery Creek.
The CIK-FIA is the global governing body of KartSport with the CIK Trophy of NZ and Challenge Cup contested across a number of classes, and a key annual fixture on the local karting calendar.
Williams came into the weekend on the back of overall victory and final win in the same class at the opening round of the KartStars/ROK Cup NZL Series at the City of Sails event in Auckland. After qualifying second fastest, the Veloce Karting PDB Racing driver won the pre-final and claimed the final by nearly six seconds from Jamie van den Berk and Darren Walker.
As a local KartSport Hamilton club member, he used his knowledge to good effect, with the track drying after light rain in the morning.
“I’ve done a lot of laps around here so it’s amazing – I am speechless,” said Williams. “I knew what we had to do with set-up which was to put some more grip in the kart. And the kart was amazing to drive. I was able to get past Jamie (van den Beck) and pull away.
“Big thanks to Chris van der Drift and Veloce crew – without them this would not be possible. I have always wanted to win this meeting so this is awesome.”
The Manson family had an enjoyable drive home to Auckland with three trophies.
Elder brother Sebastian, 13, was in unrivalled form to claim the CIK Trophy of NZ in the Vortex ROK DVS Junior class, topping qualifying, placing first and second in heats and winning the pre-final before claiming the final by over 20 seconds from Jake Young and Jacob Bellamy.
He returned to claim the Rotax Max Junior final, winning all four races over the weekend. Manson has now moved into the KartStars points lead in both Junior classes.
His younger brother Marco followed up his success at the City of Sails with a repeat title in the Vortex Mini ROK class, to extend his lead in both the KartStars and ROK Cup Series. He had to work extremely hard in one of the closest finals, edging out Carson Daly and William Edmondson after some exciting battles.
Auckland’s Mathew Kinsman is far from an unknown karter, having won a bunch of National Sprint titles, being the current (from 2019) CIK Trophy of NZ class title holder and having represented New Zealand in karting around the globe at Rotax Grand Finals.
But his move into coaching and establishing his business in kart supplies and distributor of Sodi Karts, means he is seen less and less on the track, including missing last week’s home event in Auckland.
That has not dimmed his spark on the track, locked in a battle with last week’s top peddler, Daniel Bray for much of the day. He edged Bray into second in the Pre-Final before clearing out in the final to win by more than 10 seconds from the fast-finishing Joshua Parkinson, who drove through the field from grid 12.
“I didn’t expect it to be like that. The competition has been incredible this weekend across this class. But we nailed everything. The kart was great and that obviously showed in the end result,” said Kinsman.
“With the business and the calendar so packed, it has been really hard for me to do all the events which is why I missed the last one and may be the next one. But I still love the racing when I can.”
While the podium again eluded star guests, the FIA Formula 2 drivers Marcus Armstrong and Liam Lawson, their appearance and willingness to share with the young rising stars was extremely well received.
Armstrong earned a competitive grid seven for the final but he was a victim of a shunt at the start which cost him any chance, followed by retirement on lap 10. Meanwhile while Lawson made a huge early move from grid 11 to work his way to fourth by lap 10, however an electrical issue thwarted his hopes shortly after.
One of karting’s best-known names, the Hart family, was back at the top of the podium with Tommy Hart claiming the Cadet ROK final from Atto Bailey and Seth Comer. Hart now shares the lead in the KartStars Series with Atto Bailey.
Rotax Max Heavy National Sprint Champion Campbell Joyes prevailed in a close tussle in the 125cc Rotax Max Light final ahead of George Sampson and Darren Walker and has moved to the top of the points in the KartStars Series.
The final round of both the KartStars and ROK Cup NZL Series will be contested in conjunction with the National Sprint Championships in Wellington at Easter.