The scintillating speed of SuperKarts make a welcome return to the karting scene when they descend on Manfeild for the KartSport New Zealand National SuperKart Championships and Grand Prix this weekend.
Many of SuperKarts’ big names are back racing, with the championships returning after missing the last two years with the Covid pandemic.
There is racing in five classes; International, KZ2, Rotax DD2, Rotax Heavy and Rotax Light with the 250cc unlimited, 6 speed, 100bhp International machines capable of speeds approaching 230kph at Manfeild.
The International class includes five-time National SuperKart Champion Ryan Urban from Auckland, well known throughout karting circles, on the track, as a qualified coach and respected kart supplier and engine builder. He cleaned up to win his third National SuperKart International class title and the Open Grand Prix when last run in 2019.
He will get a hurry-up from his engineer mate and SuperKart supremo, Tony Bowden.
The KZ2 class includes the last national champion, which was 2019, in New Plymouth’s Nick Isaac, also a former (2016) national champion in the 250 National class who stepped away from racing for a couple of years. He returned to claim the KZ2 title in 2018 and 2019, including the KZ2 class Grand Prix title. He is also a contributor off the track as vice president of the KartSport Taranaki club.
Craig Rowe still has the NZ Plate from his storming national title in Rotax DD2 in 2019, when he won all four heats and the Rotax Grand Prix in impressive fashion. No doubt he will get some competition from the likes of Manawatu’s own Ashley Higgins, who will, of course, know the track like the back of his hand.
The Rotax Heavy class will feature the reigning national champion in Auckland’s Aaron Tahu, while Urban is in for a busy day, doubling up in this class as well as International.
No karting event in New Zealand is complete without a Kinsman taking part, this time Tony Kinsman, three time class winner, from Auckland in the Rotax Light, which is the most competitive class in the championship, and includes the country’s top female karter, Rianna O’Meara-Hunt from Wellington.
There are tuning runs followed by time trials on Saturday ahead of racing from 3.30pm, with racing from 10am on Sunday and Grand Prix at 4.30pm.