Wet and wild conditions greeted drivers and crews at the McFall Fuels 2021 KartSport NZ National Schools Championships at the Stihl Shop KartSport Tokoroa venue.
The conditions were so bad, the event was suspended in the hope the weather would abate due to safety concerns but fading light meant the final heats had to be abandoned.
A total of 103 entries from across New Zealand contested the titles, covering 6 classes.
The National Schools event has been contested for the past 18 years and this year was supported by Cambridge High School.
Cadet ROK was dominated by NZ1 Henry Fisher (Christchurch) who was around 8/10ths faster than the rest of the class all day, winning all 4 heat races. He was followed home by Jack McGrath and Jackson Culver.
Vortex Mini ROK was a toughly fought class, with 24 of the country’s best junior drivers slogging away.
Current 1NZ, Zach Tucker ended the day in 2nd place, with the spoils going to Marco Manson and Miles Baker found himself in third. For his efforts, Manson earned an entry into the 2021 ROK Cup Superfinal meeting in Italy in October and $2,000 from the KartSport NZ/Lascom Motorsport/Dunlop International travel fund.
Fireworks flew during the day between the Vortex DVS Junior competitors, with former World Rotax Champion and Matamata driver Jay Urwin emerging as the “NS” Champion for 2021 by 1 point over Sebastian Manson.
This event was particularly special for Urwin, as he secured the Rotax Max Junior title as well.
Zak Surtees put in some special performances to round out the podium in the poor conditions.
Taranaki hopeful, Jacob Bellamy fell victim to some on-track incidents and was forced off the track putting an early end to his campaign.
The 31-strong Rotax Max Junior field was unfazed by the terrible conditions.
Kosmic driver Jay Urwin set about his work methodically scoring points, beating current North Island Champion Tom Bewley to the winners circle by only 5 points.
This class contained no less than 5 former National title holders who battled away behind double-champion Urwin, who also earned himself an entry into the 2021 ROK Cup Superfinal meeting in Italy.
Third place went to Emerson Vincent of Auckland, a former champion of other junior kart classes and 1/4 midget car stardom.
Perhaps the premier class of the weekend was the 125cc Rotax Max Light, with the depth of talent second-to-none.
It featured former Rotax Max World Champion, Clay Osborne and older brother Fynn, 1NZ (William Exton) and many other former NZ title holders (Ryan Crombie, Logan Manson and Liam Sceats) who raced hard all day.
Current 3NZ Clay Osborne added the NS plate to his collection and brother Fynn made it an Osborne 1-2 with Tokoroa’s Roman Harker-Ferguson sharing the champagne.
Vortex ROK Senior is a steadily developing class and a number of Rotax Max Light drivers completed “double driver” duties and put on a great show for the small and waterlogged audience.
Favourites going into the event were William Exton (Blenheim), Jamie van den Berk (Hawkes Bay) and Josh Richmond (Auckland).
Some torrid battles developed during the day, but the experience and skill of Exton allowed him to steal the win over Nathan Crang and Ayrton Williams of Auckland.
A special feature of the annual Schools’ event are the team points wins for Junior and Senior classes, where students from contributing schools score points for their school as a team.
This year the Primary school award was won for St. Kentigerns School in Auckland by Marco (Vortex Mini ROK) and Sebastian Manson (Vortex ROK DVS Junior) and the Secondary School award was earned by the Osborne brothers for St Peters School in Cambridge.
This pairing of two sets of brothers winning these titles for their school(s) is an exact repeat of the 2019 event in Wellington.
- Henry Fisher
- Jack McGrath
- Jackson Culver
- Seth Comer
- Lucas Bell
- Zach Hemphill
Vortex Mini ROK
- Marco Manson
- Zach Tucker
- Miles Baker
- Maxim Kirwan
- Taylor Bryant
- Carson Daly
Vortex ROK DVS Junior
- Jay Urwin
- Sebastian Manson
- Zak Surtees
- Tom Bewley
- William McDonald
- Dylan Jessop
Rotax Max Junior
- Jay Urwin
- Tom Bewley
- Emerson Vincent
- Kiahn Burt
- Mitchell Sparrow
- Ashton Phipps
Rotax Max Light
- Clay Osborne
- Fynn Osborne
- Roman Harker-Ferguson
- Ryan Bell
- Ryan Crombie
- Jack Neill
Vortex ROK DVS Senior
- William Exton
- Nathan Crang
- Ayrton Williams
- Josh Richmond
- Harry Townshend
- Hamish Mackay
Main Image: Emilee Jane Photography