Titles were spread around the South Island when the McLeod Diesel KartSport New Zealand National Schools Championship honours were decided.
Hosted by KartSport Southland, titles were up for grabs in Cadet ROK, Vortex Mini ROK, 125cc Rotax Max Junior and 125cc Rotax Max Light at the Invercargill Oil Shop Raceway in Otatara.
Two titles when to karters from Canterbury and one each for Marlborough and the host Southland club, who did a splendid job running the championship. Tricky conditions greeted competitors for both the practice day and the first few rounds of heats.
The Southland title went to the in-form Nixon Cripps in Cadet ROK, which helped make up for the National Sprint Championship that slipped from his grasp recently.
Cripps (Edendale Primary) spent the first part of the weekend chasing a wet setup but still managed three wins, a second and a third placing in the five heats, including the win in the last heat when he started from the front row. He finished three points clear of new National Sprint Champion George Tucker, who is based in Wanaka but drives out of the KartSport Dunedin club.
Tucker had two wins but lost his winning chance when he ended up off-track and dropped to sixth in heat four after starting from the front row, while Canterbury’s Iver Spence (Cathedral Grammar) finished third, showing his continued gain in experience.
Christchurch emerging star Zach Tucker, who won his second National Sprint title recently, was in a class of his own in Vortex Mini ROK competition.
He won the first four heats, and with drivers able to drop their worst racing result, he decided not to take any risks in starting the final heat.
Dunedin’s Nickolas Cayford (Taieri College) was second overall with five podiums including a win, with nine points ahead of Canterbury’s former National Cadet ROK Champion Henry Fisher from Halswell School in third.
Marlborough Boys College racer Arthur Broughan, the only karter who won a national schools title when it was last held in 2019, managed to repeat, this time claiming the 125cc Rotax Max Junior honours.
It proved the tightest of the four classes, with Broughan managing two thirds and a second before a sixth placing in heat four.
The result appeared to be black and white – for James Black from Dunedin’s Kavanagh College and Chris White from Christchurch Boys High. However, Broughan managed a crucial victory in the final heat meaning he could drop his sixth placing in the final tally of points. He finished with nine points, two ahead of Black with White a further point back in third.
Scott McLaren from Rolleston College in Canterbury was impressive in the 125cc Rotax Max Light with three wins and a third giving him the advantage, meaning he could bypass the final race and still claim the honours on six points.
Dunedin’s Jaxon Harvey (Kings High School,) was second with Auckland’s Tayler Payne (Botany Downs College) third.
Results, Final Points (School, and Kart Club in brackets):
Cadet ROK: Nixon Cripps (Edendale Primary, Southland) 5 points, 1; George Tucker (Te Kura O Take Karara, Dunedin) 8, 2; Iver Spence (Cathedral Grammar, Canterbury) 8, 3.
Vortex Mini ROK: Zac Tucker (Medbury School, Canterbury) 4 points, 1; Nickolas Cayford (Taieri College, Dunedin) 9, 2; Henry Fisher (Halswell School, Canterbury) 12, 3.
125cc Rotax Max Light: Scott McLaren (Rolleston College, Canterbury) 6 points, 1; Jaxon Harvey (Kings High School, Dunedin) 9, 2; Tayler Payne (Botany Downs College, Hamilton) 14, 3.
125cc Rotax Max Junior: Arthur Broughan Marlborough Boys College, Marlborough) 9 points, 1; James Black (Kavanagh College, Dunedin) 11, 2; Chris White (Christchurch Boys High, Canterbury) 12, 3.
- Full results: https://speedhive.mylaps.com/Events/2017725
Caption: Southland’s Nixon Cripps and Christchurch’s Zac Tucker in action on way to winning respective classes at the McLeod Diesel KartSport New Zealand National Schools Championship at Invercargill. (Photos: Dave Loudon Photography – Invercargill)