Garden City Championships 2014

The weather gods played a huge part in making KartSport Canterbury’s Garden City Championships a great success over the weekend of 27 and 28 September.  Whilst other clubs throughout the country hosted yet another wet day of racing ChristchurchGC Cadet ROK.jpg was treated to a still, warm Saturday of racing followed by a slightly colder but none the less dry Sunday for the annual two day meeting.  The meeting has always been regarded as the last ‘big one’ before the Island Championships and the club accommodates this by offering two full days of racing using the CIK format with long pre finals and finals to assist those competing at the South Island Sprint Championships the following month.  For newer competitors to the sport it’s an opportunity to take part in something a bit different whilst maintaining the informality and relaxed atmosphere of a regular club day.

In all 8 classes competed over the two days with some very close, competitive racing in all classes.  The Rotax Max Junior Class was one of those that resulted in a draw at the end of the second day with the final podium positions being decided on count back to both days’ prefinal and heat results.  Ayden Polaschek took the honours with an overall win in the final on Saturday and a second place in Sundays final from Kieran Woods who, with a win on Sunday and second on Saturday drew on points.  However, a count back to the heats left Woods trailing with a couple of third places against Polaschek’s seconds.  Third spot was taken by Bailey Paterson.

The Cadet ROK class saw some close racing particularly between KartSport Marlborough’s William Exton and local lad Louis Sharp. GC ROK - JR_edited-1.jpg Saturday saw Exton take the pole position from Sharp in  second and each race produce the same result.  Sunday was the turn of Sharp to post the fastest qualifying lap.  Race wins were shared around a little with Exton taking out heat 1 and 2 and Zac Christensen from Christchurch winning the prefinal.  The final once again saw Exton in the top spot.  Final results for the weekend were William Exton from Louis Sharp and Adam Godwin in third.

Things weren’t as close in the Cadet Raket Class with Luke Cross achieving pole both days and going on to win all of the races.  Nelson’s Josh Bradley took out second place overall from Kohen Muir-Thompson from Dunedin in third.

Numbers were thin on the ground in the Vortex Mini ROK and Junior Restricted Yamaha Classes but none the less it was good to see competitors travelling from other clubs to compete.  Vortex Mini Rok was won by Jacob Mitchell from Callum Hedge and the Junior Restricted win went to Josh Bethune from Brook McPherson and Bob Marr.

The largest class and arguably most competitive of the weekend was the 16 strong Rotax Max Light Class.  Qualifying both days wasGC Rotax Light.jpg won by Christchurch local driver Jarred Cleghorn but Thomas Emmerson achieving a win in Saturday’s final and a second place on Sunday were enough to give him the eventual weekend win from Cleghorn’s third on Saturday and win on Sunday. Timothy Smith took the third spot on the podium for the weekend.

The dominant force in the Rotax Max Heavy class was local driver Jordan McDonnell who won pole both days, had a trouble free weekend winning all heats and both prefinals and finals and set a new Rotax Heavy track record in the process.  His closest rival was Scott Waller who finished the weekend in second place from last years’ winner KartSport Marlborough’s Tayler Forbes.

KZ2 also saw the same driver in this case Canterbury’s Chris Cox win pole position both days and achieve race wins in all heats the prefinals and finals, setting a new KZ2 track record along the way.  His only hiccup in an otherwise textbook weekend was a poor start inGC kz2.jpg the first heat on day one which saw him slip to third while Andy Knight and Southland’s Jamie Conroy drove into the distance.  However, within a few laps he caught up to and passed Conroy and chased down Knight in the closing laps to take his first race win of the weekend.  The finishing order for the class for the weekend was Cox from Conroy in second and Nelson’s Daniel Bugler in third.   

Special thanks goes to the sponsors who came on board to support the event, High Street Motors, Rangiora, Elevate Bar and Function Centre, Burgess Automotive, Virtual Ideas Design, Heat Dynamics and Mainland Karting. 

All images from Holly Young – Free Fall Photography.) Cadet ROK 42 William Exton and 11 Louis Sharp, Vortex Mini ROK and Junior Restricted Yamaha take the start, the Rotax Max Light field led by 90 Thomas Emmerson, impressive field of 10 KZ2’s form for a standing start behind kart 12 Chris Cox.


Release from Lynda Cox, KartSport Canterbury

KartSport New Zealand