KartSport Series Smorgasbord For 2016

KartSport New Zealand members are again spoilt for choice in 2016 with four to eight round series options aplenty on offer for drivers nationwide.1516BayleysGoldstarRnd1VortexMiniROKJacksonRooneyleads-1 (2).jpg

February 2016 kicks off with round one of the SuperKart Series at Taupo Feb 6/7, ProKart & ROK Cup at the new Rotorua Sulphur City signature event Feb 13/14, the Rotax Max Challenge doubleheader rounds one and two at Manawatu Feb 20/21 followed by Goldstar round three at Wellington on March 6.  Later in the year the Top Half Series kicks off at Tokoroa on 10 April and the South Island Mainland Series at Marlborough on 4 June.

All this on top of the traditional iconic events the likes of KartSport Auckland's City of Sails two day meet 30/31 January which has classes such as Mini ROK filling fast, entries already exceeding 2015 and Hawkes Bay’s Blossom which will celebrate its 49th edition on 3/4  September.

Similar to Motorsport New Zealand, KartSport New Zealand faces real challenges in terms of providing profitable venues15ProKartSeriesKZ2BradTrema.gif and the volunteers to serve as Race Officials and Technical Officers. As Motorsport New Zealand’s SOG (Series Organisers Group) has done, KartSport New Zealand is combining a number of standalone series into individual big spectator spectacular events. The driving force for these changes is the unsustainable load that is being placed on Clubs with far too many “Tier One” style events that the Clubs, volunteers and competitor budgets could simply not sustain. This was exacerbated by the promoters of the NZRMC and ProKart Series going their separate ways for 2016. Yes the major events can normally source enough Officials but the end result of too many events is that our grassroots, “clubbies”, members have their race days cancelled due to lack of Officials.

A significant change for the KartSport New Zealand 2016 Event Calendar, discussed and implemented at the 2015 National Conference, was the restriction on “stand alone” series to a maximum of 4 weekends. This does present some real advantages with reduced manpower requirements and reduced travel and testing costs for competitors. The NZ Rotax Max Challenge is taking advantage of this option coupled with the ability to incorporate doubleheaders that effectively sees two rounds run over one weekend similar to the SKUSA Prokart Series in USA. Tough, but then so are the Rotax Grand Finals where the NZRMC winners get to compete and possibly win again like Kiwi Ryan Urban did in 2015.

However, contrary to what some people may understand, six round series are still permitted providing they are integrated15RotaxChallengeRnd2HBDD2JonathanBuxedalr-1.jpg into Club Signature events effectively allowing competitors to win multiple trophies on the one weekend. For example round one of the new ROK Cup will see the respective ROK class winners, providing they have entered the ROK Cup Series, take out the Sulphur City trophy and the points lead in the ROK Cup. Similarly the respective class winners in the KZ2 classes will take home the Sulphur City trophy and collect points for the ProKart Series. Clubs have incorporated these changes by, in some instances, modifying their traditional formats to fit with the various Series requirements.

Series such as the Bayleys WPKA Goldstar, Giltrap Group NZRMC and the new ROK Cup have clearly outlined their respective major prize pools in their promotional material and Supplementary Rules, enabling competitors to carefully evaluate where they will spend their racing budgets in 2016.

With a large number of drivers stepping up to international competition in 2016, and a few retiring, there are real opportunities for the new breed of up and coming youngsters to enjoy some quality podium time over the next twelve months.  And if you think you are a bit too old for all that action then KartSport Dunedin are hosting the biannual Masters Games on February 6 and 7!


Photo Credits: V Jack (Mini ROK) and G Hughes (KZ2 and Rotax)




KartSport New Zealand