Cream rises to the top in 62nd WPKA Championships in Manawatu
The cream rose to the top at the 62nd WPKA Championships at the Manawatu Toyota Raceway in Palmerston North over Queens birthday Weekend.
With the Goldstar series concluded in Hawkes Bay last month, the attention focussed on the standalone championship event hosted by KartSport Manawatu.
The weather played along with some highly competitive racing, it proved a tight battle in the Cadet ROK class with Tommy Hart engrossed in a tight battle with fellow Aucklander Zach Hemphill and local driver Levi Trotter.
Hemphill won the opening heat and Trotter also one heat as well as the Grand Prix. But Hart prevailed with two heat wins and victory over Hemphill in the fifth heat as he follows in the footsteps of his illustrious karting family.
Vortex ROK DVS Junior was more clear-cut with National Schools champion Jay Urwin, racing under the Tokoroa club banner, enjoyed a clean sweep of all five heats and the Junior Grand Prix to continue his outstanding recent form. He finished clear of New Plymouth’s Jacob Bellamy with Hawkes Bay’s Daniel McMillan in third.
Sebastien Manson was dominant in Rotax Max Junior with four wins. Local Kiahn Burt won heat 1 and was classified second overall with Hawkes Bay’s Tom Bewley third.
Clubsport 120 class was dominated by local Manawatu karter Scott Dalley who also achieved a clean-sweep of all five heats and the Clubsport Grand Prix in an emphatic display. Conrad Knight from Eastern BOP was the best of the rest with four podiums including second in the 5th heat. Nathan Bengston was third overall.
Ian Smith won Briggs LO206 with his mother Nina Smith classified second.
The Rotax Max Light class saw Auckland’s Ryan Crombie prevail with four heat wins from local Palmerston North karter Jackson Rooney, who had one heat win and three other podiums. Ryan Bell was third.
Manawatu karter James Higgins was the best of the Heavy class with three heat wins. Second was Roman Harker-Ferguson with Ashley Higgins one heat win helping him to third overall.
The Vortex Mini ROK class was another opportunity for Christchurch karter Zach Tucker to shine. He won four heats and the Grand Prix to seal a superb weekend, with Jack Phillips grabbing the other heat win and second overall. Braxton Kraayvanger was third.
Manawatu’s Riley Jack had things his own way in the Open class with an unbeaten run in all five heats and the Senior Grand Prix. Darren Walker and Nik Kiser were tied on points for second with Walker taking the position on countback.
A strong, closely matched 11 kart field contest Vortex ROK DVS. Current National Champion Michael McCulloch came out on top with two wins including heat 5. Second and third respectively were Jacob Cranston and James van den Berk with one heat win each. Tyler Edney won the other heat.
Organisers were thrilled with the Manawatu & TRC Toyota Goldstar series and the WPKA Championships, especially given the challenges early on working around the covid pandemic, and are looking forward to a bigger and brighter 2022-23 competition in this important development series.