Two rounds remain as Marlborough karters stretched their advantage in the overall Mainland Karting Series points after the Sunbelt Series rounds in Blenheim and Nelson over Kings Birthday weekend.
The final two rounds will be at the Garden City Championships in Christchurch on 23-24 September.
Marlborough lead the Inter Club Trophy on 403 points from Southland on 285, Canterbury 279, Dunedin 229 and Nelson 135.
National champion Iver Spence, from the Kartstore team in Christchurch, has a healthy lead overall in the Cadet ROK class although did not have things all his own way at Sunbelts.
Spence won two of the five heats on Saturday in Blenheim but claimed three of the four on Sunday in Nelson to stretch his overall lead, with 631 points from Fraser Hodges (Southland) and Hamish McGrath (Dunedin). The mover is Marlborough’s Josh McConway who won three heats on Saturday and three podium finishes on Sunday.
Dunedin’s Jack McGrath, who started the season strongly in the deep south, enjoyed four wins on Saturday and two more on Sunday to stretch his lead in the overall competition in the super-competitive Vortex Mini ROK class.
He has a 99 point lead on clubmate George Tucker, who managed four podiums, with Southland’s Johnny Shutterworth third just five points adrift after three podium finishes.
Southland’s much-travelled Nixon Cripps was the big mover with two wins and five podiums in an outstanding weekend.
The Rotax Max Junior welcomed the return of last year’s FIA Karting Academy representative, Lochy McGregor (Nelson) who managed a win and four podiums over the weekend with Canterbury’s Levi McMillan grabbing three wins.
The Sunbelts weekend winner was Canterbury’s Zach Tucker, the national champion in Vortex Max Junior, but this was his first competition moving to the new Rotax Max Junior class.
Canterbury’s Levi McMillan, who bagged five wins, including three from four races with a second placing on Sunday, has nabbed the overall Mainland Series lead on 555 points, 24 ahead of clubmate Mac Templeton, who had three podiums.
The Rotax Max Light, which drew 24 entries, saw the return of national champion Caleb Cross (Canterbury) and the appearance of Hawkes Bay karter Tom Bewley after a busy summer of circuit racing in the Toyota 86 category.
Cross enjoyed a win and four podiums and Bewley registered four wins and a podium, while Southland’s Kyle Dawson edged to the overall lead on the back of three podiums with a slim four point advantage over Canterbury’s Dylan Jessop.
The rest of the honours went to Manawatu visitor Jackson Rooney with three wins on Sunday and William Exton who had a win and two podiums on his home Marlborough track on Saturday and two further podiums on Sunday in Nelson.
Rotax Max Heavy was dominated by Marlborough’s Kevin Barker with three wins and three podiums, along with Hawkes Bay visitor Lochlan Miller, who bagged a win and four podiums.
Nelson’s Derryn French had three podiums to lead the series on 535 points from Dunedin’s Craig McFarlane.
Briggs Light leader Myles Findlay (Canterbury) topped points on the weekend on the back of three wins and a podium to move to 565 points, which is 32 ahead of Marlborough’s Riley Price, with the big mover Jack McLaren from Canterbury with a win and four podiums.
Defending Mainland champion Taylor Gray (Southland), with just three podiums at the weekend, has a 20 point lead on Daniel Bell (Canterbury) who enjoyed a win and five podiums.
Andrew Goodsir (Marlborough) is third a further 16 points adrift, after a strong weekend with two wins and five podiums, while clubmate Chris Harris bagged five wins and three podiums in a superb display to take the Sunbelts title.
That leaves plenty to fight for at September’s Garden City Championships.