There’s a well-established tradition in the KartSport Hawkes Bay Club, and that’s its annual Blossom event. Celebrating its 54th edition this year, the club has been pouring effort into the event as part of a wider push to reinvigorate the club.
More than 70 drivers will convene at the City Collision Repairs Raceway in Hastings for two days of heat racing in both directions of the picturesque venue. A total of eight classes will be contended, with a range of quality drivers looking to capture titles.
The Rotax Junior class will be headlined by back-to-back National Champion Kiahn Burt. He’ll be challenged all the way by Manawatu’s Nationals standout Amelia Phillips and reigning New Zealand number three in the Vortex Mini Rok class, Aryan Lala, who has stepped up an age group.
Local karts and cars star Tom Bewley will line up in the Rotax Light class in a field full of clubmates, plus Manawatu’s Patrick Holmes. The Vortex DVS senior class will be one to watch with a new rule change seeing an increase in rev limiter to a max of 15,000 rpm. Wellington’s Goldstar Series Champion, Jack Strand, will look to continue his fine form but will be highly challenged by local frontrunner James van den Berk and National Masters champion Craig Frost from Taranaki.
Two grassroots senior classes will take to the track in the form of Briggs LO206 and ClubSport 120. Local father and son duo Shaun and Ben Hibbs will look to keep the title local in Briggs, with Ben hoping to go one spot better than his runner-up position last year. While in the ClubSport 120 ranks, reigning Goldstar Series champion Logan Howard will hope to add another trophy to the cabinet. He’ll have plenty of competition in the form of Eastern Bay of Plenty’s Steve Muggeridge and Taranaki’s Seth Frost.
The youngest of classes, Cadet ROK will see 9 competitors face the starter. New Zealand number two Ryan Healey will go in as favourite but will be up against it with fellow clubmate Benji Bellamy in strong from throughout the year. Vortex Mini ROK, the next step from Cadets, will see an impressive 20 kart line up. Drivers have travelled from far and wide and include the likes of Hamilton’s Braxton Kraayvanger, Auckland’s Cooper Insley, Taranaki’s Jayden Buttimore and Goldstar Series Champion Jack Phillips from Manawatu.
Rounding out the action will be the ‘Run What ya Brung’ Open class with the likes of New Zealand Rotax DD2 champion Jackson Rooney and KZ2 legend champion Tim Loughran. In the Blossom tradition, competitors will race day one in a clockwise direction & day two in an anti-clockwise direction, providing the ultimate test for drivers & crews alike. The event will wrap up with the senior 30-lap Grand Prix.
Header Image: James van den Berk will look to keep the title local in the Vortex DVS class. (Emilee Jane Photography)
Words and Images: Supplied