Record Breaking Results for Rangiora’s
Chris Cox a
t the 2014 Keep It Clean Ltd
KartSport New Zealand South Island Kart Championships



Chris Cox took out 3 South Island Kart Titles at the 2014 Keep It Clean Ltd KartSport New Zealand South Island Kart Championships in Dunedin at the weekend bringing his tally of South Island titles to 10 after 11 years in the sport.

Friday saw him contest the KZ2 class (Art GP) which he had won on 2 previous occasions. The wet conditions proved a challenge at theCOXSIKZ.jpg beginning of the day but he managed to post the 2nd best time in qualifying from Invercargill’s Jamie Conroy and therefore ensure himself a front row start for both heats. Having got to grips with the wet conditions during qualifying he was able to take the lead early in the heat and maintain it to the conclusion of the race. The field were challenged in heat 2 swapping to slick tyres for the first time to race on the drying track. Cox’s pace in the dry proved too much for the others and he went on to post his second win of the day. The pre final once again saw the field swap to wet tyres as the rain reappeared and saw him lead from start to finish. Back to slick tyres for the final on a drying track presented a challenge and he dropped back to 3rd in the opening lap as the rain started again. However, the shower was short lived and within two laps he was back in front with a dry line appearing. He extended his lead in a controlled drive through the 28 laps to finish an impressive 25 and a half seconds in front of second place Daniel Bugler. 

To contest the 100cc Yamaha Light Class (Tony Kart EVK) on Saturday was a last minute decision made by the team when the Open COXSIYAMA.jpgClass was cancelled due to lack of entries. Having suffered the disappointment of crossing the line in first place in Invercargill the previous year only to be relegated by the race officials Cox was determined to make amends in the class. As with KZ2 Conroy from Invercargill proved to be the man on the pace in qualifying followed by Blair Hall from Dunedin so Cox had to settle for the second row of the grid and start heats 1 and 2 from 3rd spot. Content to settle for 2nd place finishes in heats 1 and 2 he knew Conroy was going to be hard to beat and he wasn’t going to get too many opportunities to overtake and build a lead. Cox made a move early in the pre final to take the lead, build a gap and secured pole position for the final. A jump start from Conroy in the final saw him lead for the early laps and as in the earlier heats Cox looked content to sit behind while the two pulled away from the pack. The pace of Hall and Jordan Michels in 3rd and 4th meant that Cox needed to make the move on Conroy for the lead at around lap 10 to avoid a 4 way battle for the win. Laps 9 to 12 proved some of the most exciting of the race and possibly the weekend as Cox and Conroy swapped the lead 3 or 4 times before Cox was finally able to take the lead and pull a gap whichCOXSIYAMA2.jpg he managed to maintain until the end of the race. Although Michels managed to move into second place at around lap 17 Cox’s lead was too large by that stage for him to be able to challenge for the win.

The 125cc Rotax Light Class (Tony Kart EVK) was the largest class at the event and for Cox defending his 2013 title was always going to be a challenge. Once again the weather had taken a turn for the worse and qualifying took place on a fully wet track. Two very disappointing qualifying sessions saw the team struggling with the set up in the wet and over a second off the pace with Cox having to start from 9th on the grid for heat 1 and 2. Heat 1 saw him move from 9th to 7th but the difference in time between him and the front runners was still over a second. Some radical changes for heat 2 finally saw him on the pace with only a tenth difference between him and the fastest by the end of the race. A decision by the race officials to disqualify two of the front running competitors Jarred Cleghorn and Paul Booth along with Cox for “excessive use of the kerbs” meant that he was forced to start the pre final in last COXSIROTAX.jpgplace on the grid. A break for lunch and a break in the weather proved to be the turning point and change to his fortunes as the change to slick tyres and a dry set up saw him race through the pack in the 19 laps to finish in 4th spot giving him a real chance to challenge for a win in the final. Through a good start and progress in the opening laps he found himself lying 2nd by lap 7 when the race was red flagged. The restart saw Dunedin local and track specialist Aaron Black ahead of Cox and the 2 of them pull ahead of the pack within the first few laps. With the track still wet in places and Black driving a very effective defensive line the only option open was to overtake on the only corner Black didn't have completely covered, the infield hairpin, which was still wet. In what was described by a number of onlookers as “the overtake of the weekend” Cox performed the move on lap 11 and quickly pulled away to cross the finish line with a 1.7 second lead and more importantly complete his hat trick.

On his record breaking achievement after the Rotax final Cox admitted to being “overwhelmed………… to do the double on Saturday was great but to win all three is something else”. He acknowledges that it was very much a team effort and thanks Mainland Karting, Supreme Engines, Tony Kart, Art GP, Danny Olla and above all Jeremy Cox.

Photos courtesy of Freefall Photography and LloydPalmerPhotography.

Release from Chris Cox Racing

 
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