Southern Swing Opens Mainland Series

Close racing throughout the classes in Mainland Series opener

The Mainland karting series roared into life with the Southern swing in Invercargill and Dunedin.

It proved a test for all drivers to race the southern series over two tracks at the weekend as they battled to get a strong start in the Mainland Series with rounds to come in Nelson, Marlborough and Christchurch.

The Vortex Mini Rok proved a tight battle with Jack McGrath and Nickolas Cayford both earning two wins, two seconds and a third over the five heats at Southland Raceway. When the event moved north it was Cayford who grabbed three wins and a second to edge McGrath by three points over the weekend.

Dylan Jessop tops the Rotax Light standings (pic – Lloyd Palmer Photography)

Rotax Light was another closely fought affair with Dylan Jessop prevailing with 24 points, pushed all the way by Kyle Dawson 27 and Chris Cox 32. Myles Findlay earned two wins on Saturday but Jessop had two wins and a second on Sunday.

The Briggs Heavy competition was a family affair with Southland’s Taylor Gray bagging seven wins over the two days but it was not all one-way traffic as he had to fight off fierce competition from his sister Emma. Canterbury’s Daniel Bell grabbed a win and five podiums to finish second on points, sandwiched between the Gray family.


The Rotax Junior category appeared a one-driver race with Canterbury’s John McMillan bagging two wins and two podiums on Saturday. While he grabbed three more podiums in Dunedin, home club driver Chris Cayford secured three wins and two podiums to close to just three points behind for the series.

Briggs Light was a two-way battle on Saturday between Myles Findlay from Canterbury and Riley Price from Marlborough, with two wins each at Invercargill. Findlay managed two wins to claim the series honours on 16 points, from Findley and Southland’s Jacob Begg who claimed two wins and three podiums over the weekend.

A small field in Cadet Rok chased Canterbury’s Iver Spence who reigned supreme with nine straight wins over the weekend from Southland’s Fraser Hodges.

Taylor Gray leads Briggs Heavy (pic – Lloyd Palmer Photography)

The close battles continued in Rotax Max Heavy with Southland’s Jamie Johnstone leading after the first day at home with two wins and two placings, and a further win and two podiums in Dunedin. He had to withstand a strong challenge from Nelson’s Derryn French who followed a win and two placings on the first day, with two wins and two placings on Sunday, to close to just two points behind.

The Mainland Series moves north over Queens Birthday, racing in Marlborough and Nelson on 3 and 4 June ahead of the finale in Christchurch in September.

Caption: The Southland karters Taylor Gray (Briggs Heavy) and Dylan Jessop (Rotax Light) led their respective classes after the opening two rounds of the Mainland Series in Invercargill and Dunedin.