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MID-SEASON SUPERKART SERIES UPDATE

Taupo and Hampton Downs have seen the 2nd and 3rd rounds of the Superkart Series contested over the past 3 weeks.  Of note is a steady increase of drivers supporting the 125cc classes with a number of new drivers joining the series and a few of the more established drivers changing classes.

rotaxHD.gifWith the series rules allowing for one dropped round result and with 3 rounds remaining it is too early to start predicting any series placings but there are a few competitors who are staking a claim early on.

The Rotax Max classes were very impressive at Hampton Downs with a large number of entries.  11 new drivers have joined the series in the past 2 rounds which is extremely pleasing to see.  A number of these drivers have taken advantage of the excellent incentives offered by the club to get people to give road racing a go.  One of these incentives is being able to use the club owned gearing combinations for a Rotax as a try before you buy option.  Feedback received from these new drivers is positive which is pleasing.

Leading the charge in the International class and carrying on from seasons gone by is Andrew Hall with continual race wins. Warwick Dunn has come along leaps and bounds and gave Hall some real competition at Taupo.  Where are all of the twins though? Lets get them out of the sheds people and come racing!

250cc National Class continues to provide excellent entertainment with National Champion Tony Gestro sneaking his nose in front at this stage ahead of long time class supporters Richard, Chris and now Mike Simmonds.  Gestro will be buying a lotto ticket this

Urban-and-ConnorHD.gifweek though after suffering a day ending water pump failure at Hampton Downs with the same engine he ran at the Nationals in February to win the NZ title.  This was the first outing with that engine since the Nationals so you’d have to say he had lady luck on his side back in February.  The Simmonds family had a pretty horror season last year with engine misfires dogging their campaign but all seems well now with Rich setting a personal best at Hampton Downs and young Mike stepping up from the Rotax Max Light class and pedalling the 250 like he’s been doing it for ages.  They’ll be hoping the good performances continue in the latter rounds. Current 3NZ Sean Cuthbert showed excellent pace at Hampton Downs after sitting out the 2nd round at Taupo.  He’ll be in the hunt at the end of the year for sure.  It’s still early days and with other drivers due back at Manfield it will be good racing in this class.

The
125cc National Class saw another 3 KZ2 karts on the grid at Hampton Downs with Darren Maguire, Julian Osborne and Kevin MacDonald all making the jump from the non-gearbox classes.  Cameron Dance has been going quite well but was beaten by Osborne in his first drive at Hampton Downs after making a few mistakes throughout the day.  Osborne came along leaps and bounds in the Rotax Max Class last year and was up at the sharp end in the Rotax Lights at the nationals so expect him to do the same this year.  Daryl Currie and Peter Dicks are also strong performers so this class will be one to watch as the series progresses.  Darren Maguire had a weekend of learning his new machine and had a piston change after race 1 to deal with.  Expect him to improve at Manfield.  

The presence of a number of DD2 karts in this class is also interesting.  Class regulars, Tim Wakefield, Brent Murgatroyd, Peter Wrightson and Johnathon Buxeda really get those 2 speed rotax karts flying and give the odd KZ2 a hurry up which is testament to the benefit of a couple of gears.
A huge field of 24 karts packed out the Rotax Max Light Class at Hampton Downs.  This was the largest field seen in recent times
rotax-field-HD.gifand was great to see with some very close racing throughout the field.  Well known sprint racer Daniel Connor was one of the new faces in the series and he was fast right out of the box to take a clean sweep in all four races ahead of National Champion Ryan Urban.  Connor, Urban and Keith Wilkinson mixed it up all day working as a unit to get on top of series regulars Tony Kinsman, current 3NZ Logan Boyde, last years series winner Charlotte Oram as well as continual improver Jason Butterworth.  Mid pack saw Todd Jolly, Dion Hubers, Sean Heffernan, John Crossman, Ron Alexander and others all battling it out in what was some very good racing with freight trains forming as drivers jostled for position.  A warm welcome to the new faces to the series which includes Matt Griffin, Mason Armstrong, Mike Anderson, Dennis Nicols, Kirk Henderson, Dave Moncur,  Brent Gordon and David Harvey. Carly Tolenaar had an unfortunate incident at the entrance to the pits early in the day.  Hopefully no lasting damage was done and we see her back again soon.  

 

Brad Alexander continues to deliver the goods in the Rotax Max Heavy class.  After winning a national title in February he has

Brad-AlexanderhHD.gifcontinued on his march to what he will be hoping are back to back series wins to really emphasise the dominance he has displayed in this class over the past 3 years.  He rarely has a bad day and is constantly mixing it up with competitors in the light class.   He was caught up in a first corner incident in race 1 at Hampton Downs which saw him pushed wide onto the grass and sent to the rear of the field.  This just made his life a little busier as he picked his way through the traffic to finish 2nd to Teddy Bassick which was a stellar drive.  Teddy Bassick is always there or there abouts and is well placed in the series at this stage.  Ricky Lang showed last year that he’ll be one to keep an eye on this year.  He’s in the hunt also but will be wanting to bridge the gap to Alexander and Bassick with the odd race win if he can to keep the pressure on.  Garth Lacey had a day to forget at Taupo but was all smiles at Hampton Downs as well as Marc Collis who was saved by the use of the clubs new welder and the ever present Tony Bowden to repair a cracked chassis.  New comers to this class included Craig Goffin and Terry Sage.  

To all of the new drivers, thank you all for coming along and supporting the series.  We hope you had a great day and have caught the road racing bug.  The club does have a limited supply of rotax max gearing for drivers to use so if you would like to try road racing without the commitment of buying gearing straight away then contact club secretary Nick Isaac on 0272-394-349 or email zeusdog@hotmail.com for details.

The series now moves to mighty Manfield for round 4 on the 7th of June before taking an extended break over winter. Entry forms can be found on the KartSport New Zealand website or the SuperKart series facebook page.   


CAPTIONS: Rotax field. Urban (#4) and Connor (#90) hard at it. Connor (#90) and Boyd (#3) on the front row. Alexander (#1). Pics credit NTT Photography.

 

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