It was a big weekend on the Briggs and Stratton for Dunedin’s Arron Black.
On Saturday he teamed with Otago mate Daniel Harvey and Marlborough’s teen national champion William Exton to defend their title at the New Zealand Endurance Championships in Nelson. On Sunday he flew back to Dunedin to complete his home duties, lighting up his “other Briggs” to mow the lawns.
The Full Throttle combination made it two in a row with victory in the Briggs Supply Company-sponsored championship, held at The Hits KartSport Nelson track in Redwood Valley, west of Nelson.
It has attracted 16 three-driver entries for the four-hour race, competing in Briggs LO206 Light and Heavy classes. Each driver had to complete a minimum 60 minutes driving and each team had four mandatory stops of a minimum 2min 30sec duration.
The key to their success was a brave decision to make the late change to slicks after consistent rain throughout the morning.
“We had wets on like most teams even though the weather started to improve,” said Black. “So we made the late decision to change to slicks.
“We weren’t the fastest and only qualified seventh and went back virtually to the rear of the field in the early laps. But as it started to dry most of the field who were on wets had to come in and that was where we gained our advantage and got to the front.”
The winning karters do not race regularly in the burgeoning Briggs LO206 class but the lure of the experience of a team endurance event and the support from High Rev Motorsport in Nelson with a kart and an engine from fellow competitor Riley Price got them to the start line.
“We only had the one hour of practice but we got a pit strategy well sorted, and William especially drove so well with the wet track and when he got to the front, we took advantage of the others stopping early.
“It was a lot of fun. We were not the fastest but we had a good mix and got our strategy around pit stops worked out and this class is the ideal one for this event.”
It took over 40 laps to reach the lead and they maintained their advantage, completing 368 laps to win by four laps from local team GPM (Brendon Gridley, Alex Patrick, Matt McConway) with a further two laps to Wilford Motorsport from Wellington, (Brent Melhop, Shaun Croskery, Thomas Batt) who won the Briggs Heavy class.
Briggs Supply Company New Zealand Endurance Championship, overall:
1 Full Throttle Racing (Arron Black, William Exton, Daniel Harvey) 368 laps
2 GPM, Marlborough (Brendon Gridley, Alex Patrick, Matt McConway) -4 laps
3 Wilford Motorsport, Wellington (Brent Melhop, Shaun Croskery, Thomas Batt) -6 laps
1 Full Throttle Racing 368 laps
3 Team GLB (Matthew Ryan, Glynn Mears, Derryn French)
1 Wilford Motorsport
2 Small, Medium Large (Daniel Bell, Kyle Rankin, Luke Cross)
3 Comp Kart Heavies (Andrew Goodsir, Tayler Forbes, Maxxus Blick)