Wellington Scoop

Karters celebrate milestone in the Manawatu

Report from KartSport New Zealand
With 145 entries received for the Manawatu & TRC Toyota-backed 60th anniversary WPKA Championships meeting, incorporating ROK Cup NZL round 3, in Palmerston North this weekend, karters from all over New Zealand are obviously still celebrating the freedom they have to travel and compete in the wake of the easing of the COVID-19 Lockdown restrictions.

And with the weather forecast improving over the week, host club KartSport Manawatu is sure to put on a fantastic show thanks to large fields in the key Vortex Mini ROK, Rotax Junior and 125cc Rotax Max Light (Snr) classes.

In welcoming karters from all over the country to Palmerston North for the annual WPKA Championships spokesperson for the naming rights sponsor, Brendon Hart, General Manager of Manawatu & TRC Toyota said that; “We feel the Goldstar series and the WPKA Championships are important karting stepping stones and a fun events with a strong family and fun atmosphere. Enjoy your racing and we would like to wish WPKA a Happy Birthday, celebrating its 60th anniversary and longest running motor racing series.”

The organising committee of the series also extended its own welcome to the 145 competitors and their family and friends making the effort to travel to the Manawatu to compete at the meeting.

“Not to mention all the fans that have supported the now concluded WPKA Goldstar Series. Over the last 28 days the WPKA Goldstar Facebook page has seen a massive spike in engagement with over 20,000 views and over 110 new page likes, which is extremely encouraging for the series.”

Class by class

Christchurch youngster Zach Tacker will be the one to watch this weekend in the Cadet ROK class. After a dominant performance at the previous round of the WPKA Goldstar, Tucker took home the Lexus Landscaping Cadet ROK class series title. In saying that Tucker will face strong competition from local youngsters Aryan Lala and Aston Walker who have home track advantage on their side.

Supreme Kart Supplies-sponsored Vortex Mini ROK, once again sees 20+ drivers on track. Leading the charge this weekend will be Manawatu local Judd Christensen, with Blenheim’s Arthur Brougham, Christchurch’s Izaak Fletcher and Maxim Kirwan from Auckland three of the other drivers to keep an eye on.

Broughan heads north with a three point lead over Izaak Fletcher in the ROK Cup NZL series class points standings with Jacob Bellamy in third just another point back so there is a lot riding on the Championships meeting this weekend.

Another big grid is expected for the Firth Concrete-sponsored Junior Rotax class with 2019/20 series champ Ryan Bell looking to lead from the front. Home track advantage should help locals Jenson Bate and Kiahn Burt shine, while a couple of youngsters to keep your eye on over the weekend will be Speedway Quarter Midget superstar Emerson Vincent from Pukekohe, and female racer Louise Rawson, the latter finishing a well-deserved second place in class in the 2019/20 series points standings.

All eyes as far as the Vortex ROK DVS Junior class is concerned, will be on Auckland’s Liam Sceats and Christchurch’s Jacob Douglas, the pair tied for first place in the ROK Cup NZL Series points standings after the second round last month. In third place, just another 8 points back, is current Repco Scholarship holder Thomas Bewley from the Hawke’s Bay.

To the Senior classes now and former NZ Sprint champion, 2019/2020 WPKA Goldstar class champion, and KartSport Academy coach Arie Hutton, has everything to play for in the Vortex ROK DVS Senior class where he has a two point lead in the ROK Cup NZL series points standings over Jamie van den Berk. The county’s top female driver, Rianna O’Meara-Hunt from Wellington, is in third place in the series point standings a further four points back, so it is still anyone’s title.

In Bayswater Group-sponsored 125cc Rotax Max Light, meanwhile, former New Zealand champion and 2019/2020 WPKA Goldstar Series title holder Fynn Osborne from Hamilton enjoys favourite status over top-ranked locals Fraser Hart and Michael McCulloch and fellow international, Ryan Wood, from just down the road in Wellington. A new addition to the Rotax Light ranks this weekend, Auckland driver Josh Richmond, is also expected to be quick ‘out-of-the-box.’

In the 125cc Rotax Max Heavy local driver Ashley Higgins has the pace and racecraft to be considered one of the favourites. Series sponsor Brendon Hart is also back in action again in this class.

The Silvester Clark Engineering sponsored Open class will once again see the battle between Taranaki’s Brendon Jury and Manawatu local Riley Jack. Youngster Jackson Rooney will make a return in the open class with a Rotax DD2 while joining the fun this weekend is Auckland driver Sam Wright who will be looking to challenge local driver Riley Jack.

With nearly half the entries in the Briggs Supply Company backed ClubSport 120 class from local club members, 2019/2020 series champion Stephen Muggeridge (from Whakatane) looks set to have his work cut out with the likes of Tim Allen, Chris Parkinson and Scott Dalley keen to show Muggeridge the way home on Sunday.

The Briggs LO206 4-stroke class continues to go from strength to strength with a full field of 14 set to face the starter this weekend. Of those 14 young Wellington driver Ian Smith will be looking to hold off 2019/2020 WPKA Master’s champion Brent Melhop while another Wellington driver, William Chronis, will be looking to carry over his strong race pace from round 3 to this weekend’s round at KartSport Manawatu.

The WPKA Goldstar Committee would like to thank the following 2019/20 sponsors, without whose continued support the series would not be possible.

Drivers to watch out for at the 2019/20 Manawatu & TRC Toyota WPKA Goldstar Series’ Championships round at Palmerston North over the weekend include Jacob Douglas (#9 Vortex ROK DVS Jnr)


2019/20 Manawatu & TRC Toyota WPKA Goldstar Series

Rnd 1 Nov 23-24 2019 Todd Energy Raceway Waitara Taranaki

Rnd 2 March 07-08 2020 Gazley Motor Group Kart Raceway Kaitoke Wellington

Rnd 3 with ROK CUP NZL Rnd 2 July 11-12 2020 Carter’s Tyres’ Raceway Roy’s Hill Hastings Hawke’s Bay

WPKA Championships with ROK CUP NZL Rnd 3 August 01-02 2020 Manawatu Toyota Raceway Palmerston North Manawatu

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