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It's National Schools' Championship time again for the country's karters, the KartSport Canterbury club and Rangiora High School hosting the 11th annual event at Christchurch's Armstrong Motor Group Kart Raceway in Halswell this weekend.

Drivers compete for school honours in two categories, Secondary and Primary/Intermediate, this year's event attracting over 90 entries12SchoolsFieldshot-1.jpg from karters representing schools from Auckland in the north to Invercargill in the south. 

This is the first year the KartSport Canterbury club has had the opportunity to host the event and Convenor Lynda Cox says it is 'massive deal' for the club.

"We've hosted South Island championship events in recent years but this is our first national one since 2002." 

The event is the only one on the KartSport New Zealand calendar which caters specifically for school age children, and is also the only one with a teams' component.

Last year, when the event was held in Wellington, Josh Drysdale and Scott Blummont won the Secondary Schools title for Palmerston North Boys High School while fellow KartSport Manawatu club members Jacob Cranston and Tom Greig won the Primary/Intermediate category for the city's College Street Normal School.

Since the inaugural event in Auckand in 2003 the Secondary Schools' title has been held by only six schools; Auckland's Rangitoto College (2003), St Kentigern College (2004 and 2007), Auckland Grammar School (2011), Christchurch's  St Andrews College (2008 & 2009), Palmerston North Boys High School (2005, 2010 and 2012) and Nelson's Waimea College (2006). 

This year, however, a local school, Rangiora High School, is one of the favorites to claim the Secondary Schools' title thanks to the strength of team members, James Penrose, Jordan McDonnell and Tim Smith. Current New Zealand Sprint champions Marcus Armstrong and Caleb Cross also look good to claim Primary/Intermediate honours this year for Christchurch's Medbury School.

A special feature of the popular annual Schools' event are the Bruce McLaren KartSport Awards presented in association with the 12SchoolsChampsFormulaJuniorJoshDrysdale-21.jpgBruce McLaren Trust and Formula Challenge.

Two are offered each year and this year they will go to the winners of the best supported Junior and Senior classes.

The prize is the opportunity to drive a Formula Challenge racing car - but before either can take it up each winning driver has to produce and present a project at his or her school on the career, achievements and values demonstrated by the driver the award honours, New Zealand racing great Bruce McLaren.

The Christchurch event will also be the first KartSport one in this country with audio live-streamed over the internet. The service is being offered by Invercargill man Jason Gutteridge through his company The Pits New Zealand. Each day The Pits will set up a live-stream and radio station (107.7FM) via its website, www.thepits.racing.org.nz. The website will also have details on a mobile app so that anyone interested can follow the action at the track via any Apple of Android mobile device.

Gates at the Armstrong Motor Group Kart Raceway open at 7.00am each morning this weekend with three classes contested each day; Junior Restricted 100cc Yamaha, Junior 100cc Yamaha and Senior 100cc Yamaha Light on Saturday, and Cadet, Formula Junior and 125cc Rotax Max Light on Sunday.

CAPTION: Action from last year's KartSport NZ Schools' Championship meeting in Wellington where KartSport Manawatu club member Josh Drysdale (#2) was a member of the winning Palmerston North Boys High School team. Photo credit: Hagen Hopkins

Prepared by FAST COMPANY on behalf of KartSport New Zealand. To find out more about Kartsport in New Zealand contact Ross MacKay on 021 677 919 or via e-mail on ross@fastcompany.co.nz









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