Preview: NZ Nationals – Part 1 This Weekend

Karting hosts return of national championships in Wellington

Skirting the vagaries of the Covid pandemic, KartSport New Zealand will stage the first of two events to form the 2022 Gazley National Sprint Championships in Wellington this weekend.

Organisers have split the competition in to two parts, to enable karters to compete within the confines of the pandemic rules, with the second event at the same Gazley KartSport Wellington facility at Kaitoke in Upper Hutt on 27-28 August.

Clay Osbourne should be a major contender in Vortex ROK DVS (pic – Emilee Jane Photography)

There are over 90 karters lining up this weekend across five classes, with practice on Saturday and racing from 8.30am on Sunday, comprising qualifying, two heats, Pre-Final and Final.

The kiwis won’t have it their own way with two Australians from Melbourne competing including newcomer Amos Orr in Vortex ROK DVS Junior and two-time Australian karting champion and Super 2 Supercars driver Matt McLean. He is also well known as bassist in Melbourne band The Crookeds.

He will no doubt be keen to whistle a merry tune to his kiwi competition in the Vortex ROK DVS class against the like of Waikato’s Clay Osbourne, Auckland’s Nathan Crang, who has been competing in Australia, and last year’s winner Michael McCulloch (Manawatu).

There will be a new champion in both Vortex ROK DVS Jnr and Rotax Max Junior with last year’s winner Jacob Douglas not competing.


The ROK DVS Junior may feature a battle between protagonists in National Schools champion Jay Urwin (Tokoroa club), Hawkes Bay talent Tom Bewley and Auckland’s Sebastian Manson, who was runner-up in the Rotax Max Junior class last year.

Zach Tucker is one to watch in Vortex Mini ROK (pic – Emilee Jane Photography)

Rotax Max Junior features many of the same karters including Manson, Urwin and Bewley along with Canterbury’s Levi McMillan.

Southland’s Nixon Cripps has been at the sharp end of the competition this year and a favourite in the Cadet ROK along with Hamilton’s Zach Hemphill and Manawatu’s Tommy Hart.

The Vortex Mini ROK will be fiercely fought with favoured karters including Hamilton’s Miles Baker, Canterbury’s Henry Fisher and Zach Tucker, Waikato’s Braxton Kraayvanger and Auckland’s Marco Manson.

There is further incentive in the Vortex Mini ROK, the Vortex ROK DVS Junior and Senior winners who will each earn entry to the 2022 ROK Cup Superfinal in Italy in October and a bunch of supporting sponsor benefits.

The racing on Sunday will be live-streamed via the KartSport NZ Facebook page and website, with live results on My Laps Speedhive