Preview: North & South Island Championships

Titles up for grabs in both South and North Island Karting Championships

Title honours are up for grabs in both North Island and South Island Karting Championships in Bay of Plenty and Canterbury respectively over Labour Weekend.

Some 200 karters will be in action over Saturday and Sunday, with the North Island champs at the Fagan’s Valley circuit near Te Puke, while Christchurch hosts the South Island event.

There are 125 karters heading to Bay of Plenty for the Debonair Tiling-sponsored event with kudos to the club for all the hard work following the damage from recent prolonged and heavy rain, while there are 73 karters heading to the Halswell circuit, home for Kartsport Canterbury.

George Tucker is a favourite in the Vortex Mini ROK class in the South

In Christchurch, watch for Thomas Emmerson (Canterbury) and Derryn French (Nelson) in the Rotax Max Heavy class, while Rotax Max Junior Mainland series leader Chris White (Canterbury) should have real competition from National champion Arthur Broughan (Marlborough).

Marlborough’s William Exton and National Schools champion Scott McLaren (Canterbury) are favourites in Rotax Light, while Mainland series leader Taylor Gray (Southland) will be one to beat in the Briggs Heavy class and current Mainland leader Myles Findlay (Christchurch) the current Mainland leader in Briggs Light – both of which act as support classes.

Vortex Mini ROK is always closely fought with local Mainland series leader Henry Fisher with the favourites’ tag from Dunedin visitors George Tucker and Nickolas Cayford, while hometown drivers Scott and Jack McLaren are expected to fight out honours in ROK DVS with tough competition from 12-time South Island Champion Chris Cox.


Hamilton’s Mikes Baker is a favourite in the Vortex Mini ROK class in the North

In the North Island Championships, Darren Walker (Tokoroa club) and Aaron Tahu (Auckland) are expected to continue their close battle in Rotax Heavy while Top Half leader Emerson Vincent (Hamilton) will come under heavy fire from the likes of Kiahn Burt (Manawatu), Jay Urwin (Tokoroa) and Ashton Phipps (Auckland) in Rotax Junior, the most popular class with 25 entries.

National champion Tom Bewley will race in Rotax Light with plenty of competition from the likes of Ayrton Williams (Hamilton); while in-form Senna Wilkinson (Auckland), Taranaki’s Jayden Buttimore and Manawatu’s Benji Bellamy will be searching for further success in the busy Cadet ROK category.

Auckland’s Graeme Smyth is the Top Half leader in KZ2 where Hamilton’s Mitchell Sparrow looms as a contender, while Darren Walker doubles up in the Rotax DD2 class.

There’s a healthy 24 starters in the Vortex Mini ROK including Top Half front-runner Miles Baker (Hamilton) with threats aplenty from the likes of Tommy Hart (Manawatu) and in-form Grayson Stowe (Hawkes Bay) among others.

The DVS Junior class has belonged to national schools champion Jay Urwin (Tokoroa), the current Top Half leader, with strong competition in a small but quality field.

There is the same format for both events, with qualifying and two heats on Saturday followed by pre-final and final on Sunday.