The 2017/18 Manawatu & TRC Toyota WPKA Goldstar KartSport Series roars back into life in Wellington this weekend after a cracking start in
Taranaki late last year.
No fewer than six previous class lap records were smashed as over 100 drivers battled it out in perfect racing
conditions at that meeting, at host club, KartSport Taranaki’s Todd Energy Raceway on Sunday November 19, and WPKA
President Chris Rooney from the KartSport Manawatu club in Palmerton North, says that after a long high-summer break
everyone involved is itching to get back into it.
“Our second round is definitely looking like another big weekend, with entry numbers set to top the 100 mark for a
second round in a row,” he said this week.
Cadet ROK looks like it will have at least 18 competitors, with KartSport Manawatu club member Kiahn Burt leading after
the first round but clubmates Hugo Neal, Judd Christianson and Blake Dowdall lined up and ready to take the battle to
Tom Bewley is the leader after Round 1 in Vortex Mini ROK and has competed well at recent Top Half and KartSport
Wellington club day events. With over 20 entries competition for him will come from the likes of Louis Sharp from
Christchurch, Hayden Bakkerus and Mason Potter from Auckland, and emerging local talent, Ben Stewart.
Vortex Mini ROK regularly produces some of the closest and most exciting racing and this weekend’s action will be no
Junior Rotax is another class with over 20 entries and with brothers Fynn and Clay Osborne from Hamilton, top local
international Ryan Wood, William Exton from Picton and Jackson Rooney from Palmerston North all set to fight it out each
and every lap which one gets to stand on the top step of the podium at the end of the day is anyone’s guess.
Round 1 winner Michael McCulloch from the Kapiti Coast and Wellington-based international Rianna O’Meara-Hunt look set
to be at the front of the 14-strong Rotax Max Light pack, while current 3NZ Ashley Higgins from Palmerston North will
fight it out with Hawke’s Bay’s Zac Zaloum for the honours amongst the Heavies.
The Open class also has another strong field with 10 karts, with KartSport Manawatu club member and Round 1 class and
Senior GP winner Jacob Cranston again the one to beat, though Rianna O’Meara Hunt who is also again competing in Open
this weekend, will no doubt push him all day.
Finally, the host club, KartSport Wellington, has got right behind the new Briggs & Stratton LO206 4-sgroke class, the likes of local ‘Briggs Brothers’ Brent Melhop and Hadleigh Coffey keen to show
visiting ClubSport 120 class stalwarts Derek Lawrence and William Pearson who the “King of Kaitoki” really is.
Back as major prize pool sponsors for the 2017/18 Manawatu & TRC Toyota WPKA Goldstar KartSport Series are Supreme Kart Supplies and Engines from New Plymouth and this time the
company which imports and distributes Vortex kart engines and Tony Karts from Italy, has upped the ante even further.
With Palmerston North-based Gary Douglas Engineers’ support there are now three trips to a premium karting event in
Australia with the use of a Tony Kart and Vortex engine up for grabs, two in the Vortex Mini ROK class, and one for
Cadet ROK. Supreme Kart Supplies and Engines has also put up a Tony Kart chassis as a prize incentive for drivers across
the Senior classes who compete at all four rounds.
Other incentives include a free entry to the annual SpeedSport motorsport scholarship programme, plus a test weekend
with top Formula First team Sabre Motorsport at Manfeild for the winner of the Junior Rotax class.
Trophies down to sixth place in each Junior class and third place in each Senior one plus for the first Masters category
competitor home in each relevant class are awarded at each round. Other prizes include six Stilo helmets supplied by NZ
importer Neil Allport Motorsport, sets of tyres supplied by NZ Dunlop kart tyre importer and distributor Lascom
Motorsport, and various other merchandise to be distributed at each round.
Practice for this weekend’s Goldstar round starts at 11.00am on Saturday with racing on Sunday It’s not too late to
enter this round or the rest of the series for that matter, with entries taken on the day if necessary.