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Livestreaming gives NZ Kartsport a global reach

Report from KartSport New Zealand
The decision to livestream the first major regional KartSport meeting held in New Zealand since the Covid-19 Lockdown was lifted was more than vindicated by the interest shown in the racing at the third round of the 2019/20 WPKA Manawatu & TRC Toyota Goldstar Series, incorporating Round 2 of the ROK Cup NZL, held in the Hawke’s Bay over the weekend.

While plenty of local fans made the effort to attend the gala meeting in person the numbers watching the livestream on Facebook from other parts of the country – and indeed the world – proved beyond a doubt that the racing produced by the record 162 entrants at the KartSport Hawke’s Bay-hosted meeting at the club’s Carter’s Tyre Service Raceway at Roy’s Hill on the outskirts of Hastings was as good as you were going to get – anywhere!

At one stage the livestream had 30,000 people watching; with the biggest pools of fans obviously elsewhere in New Zealand, but also significant groups in Italy and the United States. The overall number of views from the stream was around the 100,000 mark.

Class by class

Christchurch youngster Zach Tucker was the one to beat in the Lexus Landscaping-sponsored Cadet ROK class, grabbing four of the five wins over the weekend. He also dominated the class’s standalone Grand Prix race, taking the chequered flag 6.1s seconds ahead of Luke McMillan with up-and-coming Palmerston North driver Aryan Lala third. Tucker also secured the Goldstar Series title and is leading his class in the ROK Cup NZL.

Lala marked himself out as a driver to watch by being the only one to beat Tucker to the line in one of the five heat races over the two days.

The Supreme Kart Supplies-sponsored Vortex Mini ROK class was hotly contested with four different race winners out of a possible five races over the weekend. Judd Christiansen was the one to chase down after grabbing heat one victory by 4.3 seconds. Jamie Thompson, Arthur Broughan and Jacob Bellamy all shared race wins over the weekend, however when the points were tallied it was Aucklander Thompson who came out on top followed by Arthur Broughan from Blenheim and Palmerston North ace Christiansen.

That was enough to earn Christiansen the Goldstar Series title for the class while Broughan leads the class points standings in the ROK Cup NZL.

It was Christiansen who had the stronger pace in the Vortex Mini ROK Grand Prix race, however, taking the win by 7.9 seconds.

There were five different winners in the 125cc Rotax Max Junior class meanwhile, with consistency being the key that unlocked the class win for Luke Thompson from Auckland. Levin-based international Logan Manson finished the weekend in second place (and was first Rotax Max Junior driver home in the standalone Junior GP race) just three points shy of Thompson, with the youngest driver in the class, Ryan Bell taking home a proud third place for the weekend and the Goldstar Series title.

It was South Island drivers who dominated the Vortex ROK DVS Junior class, Christchurch-based international Jacob Douglas taking three of the five race wins over the weekend with Bo Hill and Mason Potter grabbing the others. Nelson ace Bo Hill took the next stop on the podium over Aucklander Liam Sceats but it was Sceats who won the Junior GP win over Repco-sponsored driver Tom Bewley from Hawke’s Bay. And it was Wellington’s Ben Stewart who took out the Series’ title on a countback with Bewley.

Sceats and Douglas are now tied in the ROK Cup NZL with one round to go.

There was plenty going on in the Bayswater Group-sponsored 125cc Rotax Max Light class; understandable considering the 30-strong entry. That said. Palmerston North international Jackson Rooney dominated the weekend, claiming the class win by twelve points over top Wellington region pair Michael McCulloch and Ryan Wood,

Just two points separated second to fourth for the overall weekend with William Exton from Blenheim, Ryan Crombie from Auckland and Cambridge local Clay Osborne other drivers to grab race wins over the weekend. It was Clay’s brother Fynn, however, who secured the Series title with a 6th place finish at the Hawke’s Bay round.

With just three points covering the top three places on the podium after five heat races you could argue that the action was even tighter in Burne Aluminium sponsored 125cc Rotax Max Heavy, where Bay of Plenty driver Darren Walker came out on top with eleven points, followed home by current North Island Champion Marco Giltrap on twelve points and top local driver Zach Zaloum on fourteen points. Giltrap’s consistency saw him take home the Goldstar Series title.

Multi-time South Island champion Chris Cox was the standout in the by Supreme Water Jet Cutting Vortex ROK DVS class over the weekend, with Arie Hutton and Rianna O’Meara-Hunt completing the podium points standings for the weekend. KartSport Hawke’s Bay local James Van Den Berk took heat one victory with Cox and Hutton sharing the remaining race victories. Second was enough for Hutton to secure the Series title and establish a slim lead in the ROK Cup NZL.

Aucklander Mat Kinsman looked like the one to beat going into the weekend in the Open class which was sponsored by Silvester Clark Engineering, and that was definitely the case come both race days. Another multi-time NZ champion, Kinsman grabbed 3 of the 5 class victories over the weekend.

Former Blenheim but now Auckland-based driver Daniel Bugler stepped up, taking the second step on the podium, with Brendon Jury third with his wild twin engine kart. However Riley Jack won the series title on countback from Jury.

There was some very close racing in the ClubSport 120 2-stroke class between perennial category pace-setter Stephen Muggeridge from Whakatane and youngster Carlos Stone from Auckland.

Muggeridge had race craft and experience on his side, however, taking four wins to Stone’s one, guaranteeing himself the top step of the class podium yet again and the Series title. Stone hung on to grab second place for the weekend with Cliff Walsh third.

Finally, in the Briggs Supply Company-sponsored Briggs L0206 4-stroke class just one point ended up separating the top two on the podium, Ian Smith and William Chronis both from Wellington.

Smith took three of the five wins over the weekend with Chronis claiming the other two for second place and category stalwart Brent Melhop third with Smith winning his first Goldstar Series title.

On behalf of everyone who entered and who was involved in the running of the weekend’s landmark 60th anniversary series’ round the WPKA Goldstar Committee would like to thank the following sponsors;

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