Two fully paid drives to compete in the 2024 New Zealand Superkart Nationals are on offer for next year’s Australian Champions in the Non-Gearbox Light and Heavy classes.
The deal covers all the racing costs to compete and has been put together by Australian Superkart Events (ASE) in association with the Superkart Drivers Club of New Zealand. It’s known as “The Trans-Tasman Prize”.
As an incentive to encourage drivers get out there and race, the prize will be won by the 2023 Australian Champions, provided they have competed in at least 75% of all their home club series races during the year.
“You have to be in it to win it!” ASE advised KartSportNews.
“If the winner has completed less than 75% of club meetings, the award passes on to the next highest ranked driver to meet the criteria.”
Prize winners will be provided with:
- Championship winning worthy kart
- entry fee
- racing expenses
“ASE will award one winner from the NGB Light field and one winner from the NGB Heavy Field. The winners will then head to NZ to compete in the NZ Superkart Nationals in 2024.”
Round 1 of the 2023 Australian Superkart Nationals is at The Bend on March 3 to 5.
Interview supplied by Australian Superkart Events
Interview: Tony Bowden (President, Superkart Drivers Club of NZ)
With the announcement of the Trans-Tasman prizes up for grabs for the winners of the Australian Superkart Championship and Trans-Tasman Cup in NZ, we have caught up with two of the driving forces building up the Superkarting scene through Australasia.
Tony Bowden, President of the Superkart Drivers Club of New Zealand, has had a dream for years to establish a relationship between NZ and Australia, to provide opportunity not only for the established drivers but club and social racers who strive to race the best circuits in each country.
Without hesitation, Tony has assisted the likes of World DD2 Champion Ryan Urban, European Superkart Champion Jordie Ford, established NZ champions Ted Bassick and Stephen Murray to race “across the ditch”. He has also built Superkarts that are still currently racing here in Australia. Beyond helping the international transit and racing, in NZ alone Tony has jumped at every opportunity to grow the local scene and establishing record entry number in all categories with enthusiasm.
Q: Tony, where did all these plans stem from? What’s your drive behind this?
TB: Good question, I don’t really know to be honest. I remember watching Les May and Wizzer race at Manfeild NZ, two different occasions of course but it was just so awesome to watch overseas competitors here, on Kiwi soil, racing against the best we had to offer. I’m pretty sure that’s what kicked this all off.
The first time I had seen any superkart racing in Oz was when Ryan and myself flew across to Sydney to help Stephen Murray with his PVP, it was just like being at home in NZ. It was pretty much the same deal.
When Ryan and Teddy raced in Oz in Sydney and Melbourne, I played a massive part in that. That’s when I came to the realisation that most of us were in it for the same thing, none of us were ever going to be formula one drivers, but everyone just seemed to be on the same page. It was kind of just like one big family. Maybe a little disjointed, but still…LOL.
That’s when I met Jordie and Scotty. From there it was pretty obvious that anything could be achieved, as long as there was drive and ambition from both sides of the Tasman. And here we are.
To answer your question about where my drive comes from, the look on the faces when the names are announced as to who has won, that is priceless!
I’ve been so keen to build this up for years and to now have a platform where we can give absolutely anyone, new to racing, club level racer, champion, who knows who, the biggest opportunity and prize ever offered in Superkarting.
I’d be happy to be proven wrong but I think this is a world first for our sport to have a prize of this value and opportunity!
Q: When you say anyone can win this chance, how do people get involved? Is this about money or passion?
TB: It really is too easy, just get out there and race, participate, never give up. In NZ, the prize isn’t aimed at the fastest racer, just the most consistent. Over a variety of events for Rotax Light and Rotax Heavy which are the NZ Tri-Series, the National Title and the Superkart Club Champs events, a collaborative total of points will go towards the final prize in the two classes. Yes there seems like there are a lot of rounds to compete at, but this is an expensive prize, we’re not about to give it away. It must be and will be earned.
You’ve gotta be in it to win it. The prize rewards those who pitch in and race all year round. Those who put in the hard yards whether the won any races or not, they deserve to earn this prize.
Hey, lets be honest, of course money plays a part in this, as it usually does with any superkart event. But this is more about creating an opportunity for the consistency, not a cheque book racer. And the more people that have a go at this and support there local clubs, the better off those clubs will be. I can’t speak for the clubs in Oz, but I know that here in NZ it’s definitely a numbers game. The more people on the track and the more entries paid, we as a club can give more back. This is modern day proof of that. And I honestly believe, this is just the start…
Q: What’s involved in the prize for the lucky winners?
TB: It’s epic. It would cost an absolute fortune to buy or ship karts back and forth from NZ to Australia, I know this from experience, and with the world the way it is currently, I’m pretty damn sure it has not gotten any cheaper. I bet you when Les May and Gary Pegoraro came over, although it would have been years apart and years ago, it still wasn’t cheap, so the relationship with ASE and Scotty over there is making it so much easier! With the support of KartSportNZ, we can provide this opportunity and a race winning chassis and engine package in Rotax Light and Rotax Heavy in an Australian Superkart Championship round.
Racing wise, the driver won’t have to spend a cent! Buggy provided, fuel and tyres sorted, even event entry and maintenance all sorted. Just don’t crash it, no one wants to have to buy a bent buggy…..LOL….. All you must do is get yourself to Australia, those blokes will help ship you around to the track and make life as easy as they can! There’s plenty of finer details to iron out in the lead up, but until then you will be confident you’ll have a decent crack at beating the Aussies!
TB: This is the first year this initiative and platform is taking place, and you can bet your life on it that it’s going to get better and better. We’re not going to stop just here. I want to see the Kiwi’s flourish internationally and I am dead keen to chase some of you Aussie’s around the tracks over here. One thing is for sure, mark my words, I will never give up, and the Superkart drivers club will keep finding opportunities not only for drivers, but for this totally sick sport we all love.
Bank on it!
Interview: Scott Williams (Australian Superkart Events)
On the Other Side of the Ditch, heading Australian Superkart Events is Scott Williams. Scott’s involvement in superkarts stems from childhood, witnessing all ends of the sport. He brings a wealth of knowledge as owner of Bathurst winning NASCAR teams, managing riders and drivers in MotoGP and Supercars, V8 Ute Teams and successfully shipping Aussie Superkarters to Europe and NZ. The forming of ASE was to accomplish a soul intention, give back to the racers, and that’s exactly what is happening as new platforms, events and prizes grow here in Australia.
Q: Once again Scott, you’ve jumped straight at the chance to ship Aussie’s overseas and race. What motivates you to achieve this?
SW: I’m a sucker for punishment, haha! It’s a huge challenge to not only create these opportunities but the follow through with it. I’ve somehow created an enormous network around the world, maybe people find me funny enough to ask me back for more! In all seriousness, I love the success, the smiles, the laughs, the mates, and the trouble I can stir up winning trophies. I want to create the best of what I love in motorsports, whether it’s drivers, teams, life experiences and more. The part I enjoy most is I can extend all of what I love onto others, and that’s what keeps us going through the hard times in racing. We’ve been over to NZ with Tony and his team in 2019 and it was one of the best racing experiences because of the people we were with. Myself with the ASE team cannot wait to give more Aussies this chance and continue to build an easy bridge for Trans-Tasman racing.
Q: The Trans-Tasman prize looks a little different on the Australian side. Fill us in on what it takes to win.
SW: I know in NZ, the Kiwi’s need to run over a number of races to collate enough points and win the prize
Here in Oz it’s a little harder to expect everyone to travel from state to state for too many races and have a fair crack, so we’ve come up with a way to increase participation at club level as well as reward those who put in the biggest effort over the year.
Whoever wins the Australian Championship in NGB Light and Heavy will be eligible, BUT they have to have also participate in 75% of all their home club meetings in 2023. If the Australian Champion hasn’t completed the 75% club race requirement then the prize will be passed to the next position who has.
We’ve always been about participation, especially wanting to work closer with the clubs and build the sport from this level. By initiating this process and prize, we hope to work closer with the Clubs in Australia and get more drivers joining in.
Q: Can Superkarters see more prizes like this on offer in 2023 and beyond?
SW: I personally like to under promise, and over deliver. The Trans-Tasman prize is a gateway for all Aussies to get over to NZ for a drive, whether they win it or want to head over for a race themselves! When it comes to what ASE has on offer, we will be aiming to build on 2022’s success and have more giveaways. We were able to have great partners on board, providing free entries, lubricants, merchandise and parts vouchers, tyres and more. In an ideal world we would be hoping to bring even more major prizes, it’s early days though and we have plenty to keep in mind, such as bigger events, keeping affordability and involving the clubs where possible.
SW: Overall we just can’t wait to provide new opportunities that haven’t been seen before. It promotes the sport to no end, it’s not often these chances come about but it’s just the start and things will grow. We are also looking at having lease karts available here in Australia, so NZ drivers can compete at club rounds to tick off other Australian tracks in the future! It’s all coming together and so far this is only at Rotax level. Who knows what the future holds for ASE, NZ Superkarts and our sport as a whole!