A seven-strong group of Kiwi karters will be on hand to honour the late Jason Richards at a special memorial round of Australia's Rotax Pro Tour at Bolivar in South Australia this weekend.16AustRotaxProTourJnrTrophySamWright33lr-1.jpg

Though best known across the Tasman as a Melbourne-based V8 Supercar driver, Richards was born and raised in Nelson and was a multi-time South Island and New Zealand Sprint Kart champion before making the move to cars here then in Australia.

Like a lot of other successful drivers who got their start on the motor racing ladder in karts, Richards retained an active interest karts and karting, supporting - while he also competed in - an annual endurance event in Christchurch, and contesting a round of the Rotax Pro Tour in Australia in 2010.

With his ready smile and willingness to engage with fans Richards was one of the most popular drivers in the V8 Supercar category and after his death - of a rare form of cancer - in 2011, members of Australia's Rotax karting fraternity created the Jason Richards Memorial to honour his contribution to the sport.16AustRotaxProTourMicroMaxEmersonVincentlr-1.jpg

Two trophies will be awarded at this weekend's meeting. One is the Jason Richards Memorial Trophy which will go to the driver who upholds and possesses the values, personality and mateship that Jason Richards himself displayed, while the other, the Jason Richards Cup, will be awarded to the winner of the DD2 class at the round. 

All-up there will be seven Kiwi karters competing at the meeting with two - Sam Wright and Emerson Vincent - currently second in the series standings in their respective classes, Wright in Junior Max Trophy, Vincent in Micro Max.

Joining them at the meeting are five other regulars from this side of the Tasman, Connor Davison from Hamilton, Mathew Payne from Pukekohe and Rianna O'Meara-Hunt and Ashleigh and Madeline Stewart from Wellington.16AustRotaxProTourMiniMaxConnorDavisonlr-1.jpg

Connor Davison currently lies seventh in the series points standings in Mini Max, with Mathew Payne and Rianna O'Meara-Hunt 11th and 28th respectively in Junior Max and Madeline and Ashleigh Stewart 11th and 15th respectively in Rotax 125 Light.

This weekend's round of the 2016 Rotax Pro Tour in  South Australia is the fifth of seven with the sixth at Puckapunyal in Victoria at the end of August and the Grand Final meeting at Dubbo in New South Wales over the September 30/October 01-02 weekend.

CAPTIONS: Sam Wright (#33), Emerson Vincent (#10), Connor Davison (#32), and Ashleigh Stewart (#22) were four of the Kiwi karters to impress at the fourth round of Australia's Rotax Pro Tour in Queensland last month. Photo credit: Fast Company/Emilee Wright


2016 Australian Rotax Pro Tour Calendar16AustRotaxProTourRotaxLightAshleighStewart22lr-1.jpg

Rnd 1: Todd Road Melb, VIC 22-24 Jan
Rnd 2: Warwick QLD 26-28 Feb
Rnd 3: Eastern Creek NSW 15-17 April
Rnd 4: Ipswich QLD 03-05 June
Rnd 5: Bolivar SA 15-17 July
Rnd 6: VIC 26-28 August
Grand Final: Dubbo NSW 30 Sept 02 October


Prepared by FAST COMPANY on behalf of KartSport New Zealand. To find out more about the 2016 Australian Rotax Pro Tour contact Ross MacKay on 021 677 919 or via e-mail at





KartSport New Zealand