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This year's Cresswell Electrical KartSport New Zealand Sprint Championships meeting at Blenheim over the Easter weekend will mark the end of an era for two of the sport's Junior classes, Cadet Raket and Junior Restricted 100cc Yamaha.

The sport's national body, KartSport New Zealand, started phasing in two new classes - Cadet ROK and Vortex Mini ROK - on January 13NthIsChampsCadetJoshuaParkinsonleads (2).jpg01 and this year's  meeting in Blenheim will be the last Sprint Nationals at which titles for the out-going Cadet Raket and Junior Restricted 100cc Yamaha classes will be contested.


"They've both had a great run, but it was time for a change, especially with the Raket 85 engine going out of production," says KartSport New Zealand's Development and Administrative manager Robert Hutton.


Now instead of each class having its own engine - in the case of the outgoing Cadet Raket an 85cc one made by Swedish company Radne, and in Junior Restricted 100cc a KT 100 Yamaha -  the two new classes will use the same state-of-the-art 60cc engine built by Italian specialist Vortex.


To keep performance parity similar to that of the existing classes, the Cadet ROK version will be limited (electronically) to 11,000rpm, the Vortex Mini ROK to 14,000rpm. When the time comes for a driver to move from Cadet ROK to Vortex Mini ROK all a parent has to do is buy a new (class specific) ignition module and exhaust manifold and bolt the engine on to a new, larger frame.


KartSport New Zealand Executive Member Graeme Moore, father of top New Zealand kart and V8 SuperTourer driver Richard Moore, was tasked with managing the transition project and says that the Vortex engine - now in use in 17 different countries around the world - ticked all the boxes.


"Our key goals were parity and cost-containment and the new single-engine solution delivers that in a modern, easy-to-use-and-maintain package,"  he said. 


The new engines are imported and distributed by New Plymouth-based Supreme Kart Supplies, and oil specialist Motul has signed up as the official lubricant partner (and spec oil) for the two new classes. 13NthIsChampsJRKalebNgatoaleadsReeceHendl-Cox-2.jpg


Three-time former New Zealand Grand Prix winner Craig Baird was one of KartSport New Zealand's first junior class champions, winning the second New Zealand Midget class title contested at a National Sprint Championship meeting back in 1981, and the sport's honours board is now dotted with the names of other talented and ambitious you drivers who have gone on to find fame - and in some cases - fortune on the world stage.


V8 Supercar ace Fabian Coulthard was one of the first to follow Baird down the karts to cars path, the now Melbourne-based 31-year-old winning the New Zealand Midget class kart title in 1992 and the New Zealand Junior Restricted 100cc Yamaha kart title in 1994 and again in 1995.


Other Kiwi V8 Supercar drivers to get their career start in karts on this side of the Tasman include Greg Murphy, young gun Scott McLaughlin and the late Jason Richards, the latter earning New Zealand Sprint titles in both the Midget and Junior Yamaha classes.


New Zealand Grand Prix winners to get their first taste of success on New Zealand's kart tracks include Greg Murphy and Fabian Coulthard as well as Brady Kennett, Simon Wills, Jonny Reid, Simon Gamble, Daniel Gaunt, Andy Knight, Earl Bamber, Mitch Evans and Nick Cassidy. 13SthIslandsCadetsJacobMitchellleadsLauraMcPhersonandJoshuaBethune-1.jpg


Three-time Indycar series title holder, and Indianapolis 500 winner, Scott Dixon, also got his start in karts here. As did 2003 CIK-FIA World Karting Champion Wade Cunningham.


This year's Cresswell Electrical-backed event in Blenheim is the 55th annual National Sprint Championships meeting to be held here and has attracted a 160+ entry across nine classes, a number which includes defending class title holders James Penrose from Loburn in North Canterbury (100cc Senior Yamaha Light title), Matthew Hamilton from Christchurch (KZ2), Zach Zaloum from Hastings (125cc Rotax Max Heavy) and Daniel Kinsman from Auckland (125cc Rotax Max Light).


There will be action at KartSport Marlborough's Wither Rd track from Thursday April 18 with qualifying on Easter Friday then heats, Pre-Finals and Finals for five classes - Cadet,  Junior 100cc Yamaha, 125cc Rotax Max Light, 100cc Yamaha Heavy and KZ2 - on Easter Saturday, and four - Junior Restricted 100cc Yamaha, 125cc Rotax Max Junior, 125cc Rotax Max Heavy and 100cc Yamaha Light - on Easter Sunday. 


Spectators are welcome, with gates opening at 7.30am and karts on track from 9.00am each day. And in conjunction with promotional partner Telecom NZ the event is being covered in real time via the internet by both Race Monitor (results) on and Livestream (video), the latter between 9.45 am and 3.30pm on Saturday and Sunday.


 For more information go to


This year's Cresswell Electrical-sponsored 2014 event in Blenheim over the Easter weekend will be the last National Sprint Championships meeting at which titles in the soon to be superseded Cadet Raket and Junior Restricted 100cc Yamaha classes will be contested. Seen here are 2013 North Island class champions Joshua Parkinson (Cadet) from Auckland and Kaleb Ngatoa (Junior Restricted 100cc Yamaha) from Palmerston North. Photo credit: Fast Company/Jordan Moss. And at the 2013 South Island Championship meeting Jacob Mitchell leads Laura McPherson and Joshua Bethune. Photo credit: Fast Company/Ian Edwards


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





KartSport New Zealand