There was plenty at stake for New Zealand’s South Island karters with the third and final leg of the Mainland Series, decided in the two-stop Southern Series.
Karters competed at KartSport Southland’s Invercargill Oil Shop Kart Raceway at Sandy Point on Saturday on Saturday and trekking to KartSport Dunedin’s home at Silverstream Raceway in North Taieri on Sunday.
There are seven classes up for decision – with the two-day series offering Southern Series trophies and prizes, as well as deciding the overall six-round Mainland Series podiums.
Dunedin’s Arron Black continued his winning ways, after defending the New Zealand Endurance Championship in Nelson, and returning to the Rotax Max Heavy category. Leading the Mainland Series coming in, Black enjoyed two heat wins and a podium to claim the points honours at Invercargill to out-point fellow Dunedin karter Jaxon Harvey and Nelson’s Derryn French.
Back on home turf on Sunday, Black was pushed all the way after a win and a podium to be edged out by French in Dunedin, although he finished 16 points clear of French for the Southern Series. Black dominated the Mainland competition, finishing with 830 points from French 742 with Auckland’s Aaron Tahu third on 665.
At the other end of the age spectrum, Southland nine-year-old Nixon Cripps was a class above in Cadet Rok racing, winning all five heats on his home track at Invercargill and the four races at Dunedin to sweep both honours ahead of Canterbury’s Iver Spence.
Cripps won the weekend prize and claimed the Mainland Series on 835 points from McGrath 791 and Batt 784.
The Rotax Max Junior was an interesting battle with Series leader Chris White from Canterbury winning two heats and a podium to finish top at Invercargill ahead of fellow Cantabrian Dylan Jessop and Southland’s Jacob Earley. However, White had more than his share of issues at Dunedin, with Earley claiming two wins to edge out national schools champion Arthur Broughan from Marlborough and Jessop for the Southern Series
In a tight count on points, White managed to prevail for the overall Mainland title on 787 points, just 22 clear of Broughan and a further 19 to Jessop.
In Rotax Max Light, William McDonald came in with an overall advantage over fellow Cantabrians Myles Findlay and Scott McLaren. In a tight battle, another talented Canterbury karter, Caleb Cross enjoyed three wins, in a tight battle with clubmates McDonald and McLaren.
It proved a double for McDonald in a close battle, finishing five points clear of McLaren for the Southern Series, with a 38 point buffer to win the Mainland Series from Findlay with McLaren close behind in third.
The Vortex Mini Rok saw overall leader Henry Fisher with the Mainland series lead ahead of Dunedin’s Jack McGrath and Southland’s Robbie Batt.
McGrath was in great form on Saturday winning four of five races to lead Fisher by 16 points. The honours were reversed on Sunday where Fisher’s three wins enabled him to close the gap, with the pair finished locked on 295 points. Fisher claimed the Southern series on count-back from McGrath with Batt third, with the same placings for the Mainland Series.
The burgeoning Briggs LO 206 category again proved popular, with typically tight racing. Southland’s Taylor Gray came in with the lead in the Briggs Heavy class, while Myles Findlay (Canterbury) led overall in Briggs Light.
Gray was in a class of his own winning all five races on home turf at Invercargill, and all four in Dunedin to dominate both the Southern and Mainland series trophies from clubmates Scott Watson, Emma Gray and Sam Rook.
Findlay had a tougher time on both days in the Briggs Light, prevailing with four wins and three podiums across the weekend to edge out Marlborough’s Riley Price and Canterbury’s Scott McLaren for the Southern series, and also claim the Mainland title from McLaren.
Canterbury won the InterClub Trophy on 697 points ahead of Southland 626 and Dunedin 602.