The Manawatu put on beautifully clear but cool weather for the Supreme Kart Supplies WPKA Championships over Queen's Cadet Raket evans wpka.jpgBirthday weekend.  A number of drivers attended including those using the weekend as part of the build-up for the New Zealand Schools Championships event to be staged in July.  The technical circuit was in great condition and always tests the competitors.  Two track records were set over the weekend.
First away following the tuning runs was the Cadet Raket class.  Current 2NZ Blake Evans had travelled from Rotorua and was in great form, winning the first heat from local ace, Jackson Rooney.  Evans went on to win H2 & H3 from Rooney and Hawkes Bays’ Ben Hibbs.  Hibbs was very fast all day, setting the best race times in 3 heats.  Rooney fell victim to a first corner incident in H3 finding himself sitting out the race.  In the end, it was Evans victorious with on 5 points from Rooney and Hibbs.  The pace was hot, only 1/10th off the track record in H4.
  JR Yam hunt wpka.jpg
 The Junior Restricted Yamaha class had visitors as far south as Christchurch in the form of 3NZ Jaden Ransley.  Local Tom Greigsquared off with the ever-improving Rianna Omeara-Hunt of Wellington and battle lines were drawn early between Hunt and Greig, with Ransley chasing hard all day.  Going into the final, scores were level with Hunt scoring the win and taking the day from Greig in a great spectacle of close racing.  In securing the Final win, Hunt also lowered the track record previously set in 2008 by 0.216s, with Grieg’s best time for the day only 1/1000th of a second behind Hunt.  Four drivers were under the old lap record during this race.  The minor overall placings were filled by Dylan Frere, Sam Wright and Josh Donohue.
Junior Yamaha was filled with some current and ex-champions and the racing was superb.  Sodi kart driver Bayley Walker was the event winner with a great display of driving by winning two heats.  2NZ Jacob CranstonJnr Yam wpka.jpg also scored two heat wins, destroying an engine in H2, handing the win to Brendon Jury of New Plymouth.  Kaleb Ngatoa was 4th overall in front of Zach Thompson, with Maddy Stewart the best of the Stewart sisters’ combo in 6th.  Cranston also lowered the track record in the Final by 0.055s.
Cadet ROK featured Taranaki’s Thomas Boniface and Jackson Rooney, with other local driver Louis Redshaw threatening with great pace in practice.  Boniface shot out of the blocks and won H1 by 3.9s from Rooney.  However, Rooney hit back with two heat wins in a row and Redshaw securing four 3rd placings and a 4th.  Boniface and Rooney were hard to separate, with some excellent passing and race craft being shown by both drivers.  Boniface clinched the 4th heat and the Final, with Rooney snapping at his heels in both races.  This class will be one to watch at the NZ Schools and promises to be very tight.Cadet Rok bonniface wpka.jpg
Vortex Mini ROK was another class with very close competition.  The class in this field ensured close racing, and the spectators were not disappointed.  Sam Wright (Mt. Wellington) won H1 & H2, with Ryan Wood (Wellington) storming back to secure H3 & H4.  Wright and Riley Jack made heavy contact at the pits exit corner in H3, causing both karts to career off the track inflicting damage to the safety fence.  After repairs to the wall and both karts, the drivers lined up again in H4 and battle commenced.  Wright won the Final from Tom Greig and Ryan Wood, cementing his place at the top of the leader board by 1 point from Wood.  Tom Greig was 3rd and Mt. Wellington’s Ben Morrison led home Riley Jack and Ethan Donohue.
Rotax Max Light was dominated by Brad Still of New Plymouth, winning 3 of the fiveMini Rok wpka.jpg heats.  Callum Orr was robbed in H1, leading comfortably only to drop a chain at Hart Hairpin on the last lap.  James Higgins had a consistent day and chased Still hard only to be short by 5 points.  Hamish Berrett finished 3rd, Orr was 4th and Scott McCaskie lead Patrick Davy home.
Manawatu president, Henri Ham was the class act for the weekend in Rotax Max Heavy with three wins and two 2nd placings.  He led Taranaki’s Nathan Nolly home by 5 points.  Nolly was crowned 2014 Goldstar Series Champion to top off a consistent year for him.  A small class of Rotax Heavies turned up, but the racing was top class.  Darren Conway was 3rd and Quin Clark was 4th.
Always producing close racing, the ClubSport 120 chaps were again so Rotax Lite wpka.jpgclose that sticker kit suppliers must have been rubbing their hands together from the outset.  So tight was the racing, that 4 of the 5 heats were won by different drivers.  Brent Robinson was the victor, leaving the scraps for Glenn Sharratt and Brendon Print, with Sharratt winning on countback.  Only 7 points separated the top 6 drivers.
The all-in Cadet GP was dominated by Rooney and Boniface, again leaving the field in their wakes and battling to the flag.  Rooney stealing the win at the death, with Redshaw in 3rd.  The Raket field was lead home by Blake Evans in 4th overall, 9.8s behind the leaders.  The JR GP was won by Tom Greig from Rianna Omeara-Hunt and Sam Rotax Heavy wpka.jpgWright.  The best of the Mini ROK karts was Ryan Wood from Wellington in 7th, eight seconds back.  Junior Yamaha provided a great GP with Jacob Cranston seizing the win from Zac Thompson and Bayley Walker, with Brendon Jury in 4th.
The Senior GP was also won by Still, with Rotax Lights filling the first 6 placings and Henri Ham the quickest Heavy.
Following the AGM, a new WPKA President (Marty Hunt) was elected and a plan made to breathe new life into the Goldstar Series, still one of the longest running kart events on the calendar.  Special thanks to naming rights sponsor, Maurice Frost at Supreme Kart Supplies and Clubsport 120 wpka.jpgEngines for continuing to support the WPKA, hopefully 2014/15 will be a great series.

CAPTIONS: Cadet Raket Blake Evans #2, JR Yamaha Rianna O'Mera-Hunt #69 & Sam Wright #7, Junior Yamaha Bailey Walker #31 & Zachary Thompson #43, Cadet ROK Thomas Boniface #67, Vortex Mini ROK Sam Wright #33 & Ryan Wood #40, Rotax Light Brad Still #33, Melanie Oughton #94 & Quin Clark #34, Rotax Heavy Henri Ham #60, Clubsport 120 Brent Robinson #11 & Stephen Palmer #22.   Credit Vicky Jack

 Release from Robert Boniface



KartSport New Zealand