Three tough rounds with 15 races and three Grand Prix have been separated by a solitary placing for many grades in the Manawatu and TRC Toyota WPKA Goldstar karting series that concluded in Hawkes Bay.
It attracted 120 karters from throughout New Zealand to KartSport Hawkes Bay’s Carters Tyres Raceway near Hastings for the third stop in series that aims to develop young talent from club to national level. This follows previous rounds in Taranaki and Wellington respectively.
Invercargill’s much travelled Nixon Cripps will take the Cadet ROK title back to the Southland club by the narrowest of margins, by just one point from Palmerston Norths Levi Trotter. Trotter threw down a huge challenge in Hawkes Bay, winning two heats, with two seconds and a third but came up just one point short. However he did come out on top in the Grand Prix series – a one-off race at each round – finishing with 135 points with his win at Hawkes Bay edging him one ahead of Jayden Buttimore.
It was even closer in the Vortex Mini ROK class, attracting 38 starters over the series, with the top four karters separated by only four points. Hometown driver Grayson Stowe won three of the five heats with a second placing to prevail with 139 points, only one ahead of the classy Miles Baker from Hamilton. Equally impressive Henry Fisher managed third on 136 points only one point ahead of fellow Canterbury club karter Zach Tucker. Baker impressed in taking out the Grand Prix series with a win, third and sixth over the three rounds from Stowe and Fisher.
The Vortex ROK DVS Junior division was won by National School champion Jay Urwin from the Tokoroa club on 146 points, with three wins and a second. He finished three ahead of Taranaki’s Jacob Bellamy and a further two back to Nelson’s Lochy McGregor, who has headed to Europe after the race for the opening round of the FIA Karting Academy Trophy series in Belgium. Urwin made it a double claiming the Junior Grand Prix with two wins.
The Rotax Max Junior honours overall went to in-form local Hawkes Bay driver Tom Bewley on 148 points, clear of Palmerston North’s Kiahn Burt and Marlborough’s Arthur Brougham a further four points back.
The Rotax Max Heavy was dominated by Ashley Higgins from the Manawatu club ahead of his brother James and Bay of Plenty’s Adam Bell.
The Rotax Max Light could not be closer with Bay of Plenty’s Gemma Winters and Nelson’s Mac Berkett tied on 131, with the honours going to Winters on countback, with her clubmate Ryan Bell third.
The Manawatu club also celebrated in the Vortex ROK DVS Senior class win by Jacob Cranston who was four points clear of local Hawkes Bay drivers Harry Townsend and James van den Berk.
The Senior Grand Prix honours, over two rounds, went to Jackson Rooney with a win and second over Winters and van den Berk.
The Open category went to Taranaki’s Nik Kiser ahead of Hamilton’s Louise Rawson, who won all five of her heats in the DD2 category.
Eastern Bay of Plenty’s Conrad Knight won four of five races in claiming the Clubsport 120 title ahead of the Manawatu pair of Scott Dalley and Nathan Bengston while Neil Surtees (EBOP) took out the Masters honours.
Wellington’s Ian Smith wrapped up the Briggs class with 150 points from clubmate David Sharp, who claimed the Masters in both the series and the Grand Prix.
The Club Class Grand Prix honours, over three rounds, went to Dalley with two wins and a second, clear of Bengston and Smith.
The popular WPKA programme concludes over Queens Birthday weekend in Manawatu with the standalone WPKA Championships contested over all categories.
Final Series Points:
Cadet ROK: Nixon Cripps (Southland) 141, Levi Trotter (Manawatu) 140, Jayden Buttimore (Taranaki) 134, Iver Spence (Canterbury) 133, Mason Bellamy (Taranaki) 126, Benji Bellamy (Manawatu) 125.
Cadet ROK Grand Prix: Trotter 135, Buttimore 134, Liam Haggerty 131.
Vortex Mini ROK: Grayson Stowe (Hawkes Bay) 139, Miles Baker (Hamilton) 138, Henry Fisher (Canterbury) 136, Zach Tucker (Canterbury) 135, Luke McMillen (Hawkes Bay) 119, Jack Phillips (Manawatu) 118.
Vortex Mini ROK Grand Prix: Baker 141, Stowe 135, Fisher 131.
Vortex ROK DVS Junior: Jay Urwin (Tokoroa) 146, Jacob Bellamy (Taranaki) 143, Lochiel McGregor (Nelson) 141.
Rotax Max Junior: Tom Bewley (Hawkes Bay) 148, Kiahn Burt (Manawatu) 143, Arthur Broughan (Marlborough) 139, Izaak Fletcher (Canterbury) 134, Daniel Pye (Wellington) 127, Daniel Jessop (Canterbury) 126.
Junior Grand Prix: Urwin 100, Burt 92, Bewley 88.
Rotax Max Heavy: Ashley Higgins (Manawatu) 150, James Higgins (Manawatu) 143, Adam Bell (BOP) 141.
Rotax Max Light: Gemma Winters (BOP) 131, Mac Berkett (Nelson) 131, Ryan Bell (BOP) 126.
Vortex ROK DVS Senior: Jacob Cranston (Manawatu) 147, Harry Townsend (Hawkes Bay) 143, James van den Berk (Hawkes Bay) 143.
Senior Grand Prix: Rooney 98, Winters 91, van den Berk 85.
Open: Nik Kiser (Taranaki) 142, Louise Rawson (Hamilton) 98 (DD2 winner), Jackson Rooney (Hawkes Bay) 50,
Briggs LO206: Ian Smith (Wellington) 150, David Sharp (Wellington) 144 (Masters winner), Nina Smith 141.
Clubsport 120: Conrad Knight (EBOP) 147, Scott Dalley (Manawatu) 143, Nathan Bengston (Manawatu) 139.
Club Class Grand Prix: Dalley 148, Bengston 138, Smith 137. Masters: David Sharp.