Keen karters overcome conditions at national sprint championships
Prolific Auckland peddler Mat Kinsman celebrated his 10th New Zealand title and his second in the tough KZ2 category at the 2022 Gazley KartSport NZ National Sprint Championships in Wellington.
Organisers split the competition into two parts, to enable karters to compete within the confines of the pandemic rules, with the second stage proving challenging for drivers and organisers alike with inclement weather at the Gazley KartSport Wellington facility in Upper Hutt.
Kinsman, 30, managed the demanding conditions best to claim two heat wins, second in the pre-final and win in the final, holding out rival and four-time national champion Daniel Bray.
He won the first heat comfortably but needed some good fortunate to claim the second, which proved pivotal. The race was red-flagged after a kart exited the circuit and into a crash bag, with Bray leading at that stage. During the re-run, officials waved a bad-sportsmanlike black flag and No 62 board. This was Bray’s usual race number but in fact was run at the meet by Nathan Crang, who races for Bray’s Sodi kart team.
Bray pulled in to the lane believing the flag was for him, followed in by Crang, but once he realised the error, the race was run.
In the Final, Kinsman claimed the lead early with Bray passing the charging Joshua Parkinson from his No 3 spot on the grid. But from there Kinsman managed to hold off the attentions of his fellow Auckland karter while Parkinson held on for third as he continues his enterprising young career.
Super talented teenager Jackson Rooney from KartSport Manawatu was in a class of his own in Rotax Max Light, with a clean sweep of all heats, pre-final and final.
The challenge, especially in the pre-final and final, was up against Waikato teenager Clay Osborne, who has three national titles in his resume including the Vortex ROK DVS Senior honours in the first part of the championships two months ago.
His chances were dealt a blow in the opening heat when he tossed the coin to race on slicks which proved a disaster under worsening skies and he needed all his skills to remain on terra firma.
The minors proved a tight battle involving local hope Tyler Edney, Hawkes Bay tyro Tom Bewley, who won the ROK DVS Junior national honours in the earlier championships, multi-Australian champion Brad Jenner and Palmerston North’s Jacob Cranston, who pushed on to the podium from fifth on the grid in the final.
It looked like a copy-cat dominance in the Rotax Max Heavy for Auckland legend Ryan Urban, an 11-time national champion and multi-winner in Superkarts.
Urban appeared to be first in a field of one as he powered away with both heats and pre-final, with the final going the same way before a mechanical issue forced him out.
KartSport Hamilton’s Campbell Joyes was runner-up to Urban in the heats and pre-final ahead of his neighbour from KartSport Tokoroa, Bradley Tyrrell. But Tyrrell had other ideas in the final, jumping from third to the lead on the second lap and eventually scooting away to win by over four seconds from Joyes.
Hats off to the dedicated KartSport Wellington crew who took on the nationals, and managed to brave the conditions throughout a long weekend.