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FINAL SHAKEDOWN FOR SUPERKARTS 

Round 5 of the SuperKart Series was held at Manfeild on the 7th of August.  The 2016 KartSport New Zealand SuperKart Championships and Grand Prix are to be held next month at Hampton Downs so this meeting was the final chance for competitors to shakedown their equipment and iron out any issues before the annual title event.16Interkarts manfield aug16.jpg

Track conditions over the weekend certainly weren’t favourable with consistent rain on the practise day and a very dirty track on race day due to debris and mud from the car classes, making fast lap times hard to come by.   This made the racing close and interesting in most of the classes which has become the norm in the series.   Races 1 and 2 were interrupted by red flags due to karts being left stranded in awkward positions after mishaps.

It was no surprise that Ryan Urban put his hand up as a genuine contender in the International class with a clean sweep in all 4 races.   He’ll be one to watch closely next month.  His only challenger at Manfeild was Tony Gestro who pushed Urban hard in races 2 and 3 and was leading at stages in race 4 before a long brake pedal forced him to retire early.   You can guarantee those drivers will be contesting hard at the pointy end of the field next month.  

It’s only taken 40 years but Teddy Bassick has ditched the Rotax and has joined the International class ranks to add to what is looking to be a strong class in the near future.  By all accounts he had a complete blast battling it out with Martijn Weiss, Warwick Dunn and Les Campbell in the mid pack.   The absence of series regular Andrew Hall for the remainder of the year will open up the class for series honours come the final round later this year.16supgrid aug16.jpg

250cc National class saw a boost in numbers with Steve Wilton back from retirement for another crack at a national title and Nick Isaac back from having been racing a KZ2 in recent rounds to give the Simmonds brothers Chris and Mike some competition.  Wilton was driving the Tony Gestro owned kart that has dominated this class in recent times.  He’s no stranger to it though, having owned the kart previously.  Wilton took 3 race wins from Isaac and Chris Simmonds who had great battles all day long but it wasn’t without drama.  Wilton found himself in the marbles at the end of the back straight and ended up spinning backwards into the kitty litter in race 3 to leave Isaac and Simmonds to battle it out for the race win with Isaac managing to come out on top.  Mike Simmonds had a day to forget with mechanical dramas.  

125cc National class has been a fantastic class all series with some of the closest racing of all the classes.  Cameron Dance won the day but didn’t have it all his own way with Darren Maguire and Daryl Currie giving him a hurry up and dealing with the traffic more effectively in the early stages of the races than Dance.   Rumour has it that he was carrying a bit of extra weight to see how he would go against the 200kg + club drivers who have supported the class lately and it’s possible he was a little surprised at how much of a difference a bit of weight made to his performance.  Try bolting on another 10 - 15kg Cameron!  Daryl Currie took 2 race wins off Dance but had an engine issue in races 1 and 2 to prevent him from what could have been a round win.  Darren Maguire was flying the flag admirably for the 200 + club to secure a solid points haul to claim 3rd place for the round.  Ricky Lang gave Lawrence Wright some close competition in his DD2 powered National class kart to claim 4th place ahead of Shawn King in his 2nd meeting.  

DD2 class saw Brent Murgatroyd and Kevin Geard claim two wins and two 2nd placings a piece to tie for the round win. The time sheets saw winning margins of less than 0.02 of a second in 3 of the races with a winning margin of 0.001 of a second in race 2.  You don’t get any closer to a dead heat than that!  Those guys have been at each other all year and it must be thoroughly enjoyable.  Tim Wakefield and Derek Tunnicliffe were no match for the winners.  

Logan Boyde has had a stellar season so far in the Rotax Max Light class but he found himself in a real stoush all weekend with Tony Kinsman and Keith Wilkinson.  Ignition problems early on in the weekend set the scene for his toughest battle yet with Wilkinson driving exceptionally well to take the round win from Boyde and Kinsman right there also as expected. Brendon White continues to do well with a solid 4th placing for the event to lead a good field of mid pack competitors.  Track conditions made finding good lines through some corners very challenging and some competitors found themselves taking a panoramic view of the track with grip levels very low.  A huge welcome to new comers Rosie Sproston and Vicky Swensson who both had great fun battling it out with each other in their first event.  They were all smiles which is what it’s all about.  We hope to see you both at round 6 later this year. 16 sup drivers briefing Aug16.jpg

Mark Ongley has improved a lot this year and he got off to a good start with a race win in the Rotax Max Heavy class.  He then went on to win race 2 before  Thomas Batt spoiled the party in races 3 and 4 to draw even on points for the meeting. Peter Cottam and Brent Gordon were joined at the hip all day with Cottam coming out on top in the end for the minor placings.  Now that Teddy has flown the coup, the door looks to be wide open for someone to snatch the title come round 6.       

The next event on the calendar is the 2016 KartSport New Zealand National SuperKart Championships and Grand Prix to be held at Hampton Downs on the 24th and 25th of September.  It is imperative that drivers get their entries in as soon as possible.  It is highly likely that this event will be the best supported Nationals in recent history so let’s all get behind it and make it one to remember.      

Photo Credits: Beverly Isaac and Jackie Williams

Report from Nick Isaac, KartSport SuperKart Drivers

 

CLICK HERE for 2016 Nationals Entry Form, Supplementary Rules and Information


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