With the WPKA Goldstar karting series decided, the standalone Manawatu and TRC Toyota WPKA Championship event is the focus for young karters in Palmerston North over King’s Birthday weekend.
Meanwhile, South Island’s leading talent are heading to the top of the south for two rounds of the Mainland Series in Tasman.
The Goldstar series was established in the 1960s to help as a stepping-stone from club-level events and through to national-level competition in terms of gaining race craft and experience. There were three rounds of the series concluding at Hawkes Bay last month, with the drivers now chasing the weekend event at the Manawatu & TRC Toyota Raceway.
It has attracted 110 karters, with most of the successful karters in the series also chasing the championship honours.
Series winner Kiahn Burt (Manawatu), the national champion, will chase further success in the Rotax Max Junior class ahead of series runner-up and clubmate Amelia Phillips and Auckland’s Jamie Thompson.
Tokoroa’s George Sampson will look to further his success in Rotax Max Light with competition over among local Manawatu karters in the Rotax Max Heavy class.
Another local series winner Benji Bellamy is favoured in Cadet ROK, expected to be chased by Taranaki’s Jayden Buttimore and clubmates Ryan Healey and Phineas Shearman.
The popular Vortex Mini ROK category has again attracted a big field of 27 starters, including series winner Jack Phillips (Manawatu), with challenges expected from the likes of clubmate Aryan Lala and Hamilton’s Braxton Kraayvanger in a super-strong class.
The line-up in Vortex DVS Junior includes series winner Jacob Bellamy from Taranaki, along with clubmate Jack Amon and Hawkes Bay karter Daniel McMillan, while the DVS Senior field includes series winner Jack Strand from Wellington and runners-up Jack Sorenson (Taranaki) and Charley Keyworth (Wellington).
The 125cc Briggs category has strong entries with series winner James Hadley (Wellington) and Ian Smith (Manawatu) in the LO206 Light class, with locals Logan Howard leading the way in Clubsport 120 and Sam Jones in Open expected to contend for major honours.
Meanwhile, more than 100 karters will head to the top of the South Island for rounds three and four in the annual Mainland Series.
Karters will contest the Sunbelt Series in Blenheim on Saturday and Nelson on Sunday, ahead of the final two rounds at the Garden City Championships in Christchurch in September.
Goldstar series winner Iver Spence (Canterbury), the national champion, is focusing on the Mainland series and is the current leader in Cadet ROK, while clubmate Levi McMillan leads the way in Rotax Max Junior.
Dunedin’s Jack McGrath heads the Vortex Mini ROK after the southern series, although it is much closer in Rotax Max Light, where Canterbury karters Myles Findlay and Dylan Jessop lead from Southland’s Kyle Dawson.
Nelson’s Derryn French will have plenty of local support as he heads racing in Rotax Max Heavy, while there is a three-way challenge in Briggs LO206 Light class where leader Findlay doubles up with challenges from the Marlborough pair of Tony Partridge and Riley Price.
Southland’s defending champion Taylor Gray leads in the Briggs LO206 Heavy class from sister Emma and Canterbury’s Daniel Bell.
A group of Kiwi talent have spread their wings further this weekend, competing in the third round of the SP Tools Australian Karting Championships in Newcastle.
Jay Urwin from the Tokoroa club is currently seventh in the KZ2 class, one spot ahead of Nathan Crang (Mt Wellington), with Southland’s Luca Burns 14th after two rounds.
Canterbury’s Izaak Fletcher is ninth in the KA2 category, with Auckland’s Maxim Kirwan leading the Kiwis in the Cadet 12 class and currently in fifth place, with Jackson Culver (North Canterbury), Indi Urwin (Tokoroa) and Grayson Stowe (Hawkes Bay) in the same class.
Words & Images: Supplied