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Queen's Birthday weekend is always a busy one on the New Zealand KartSport calendar with major meetings in the North and South Islands.1516BayleysGoldstarRnd3FormulaJnrRyanWood40RiannaOMeara-Hunt69TomGreig44RileyJack31-1.jpg

This year the KartSport Taranaki club is hosting the Bayleys 2016 WPKA Championships at Waitara on Sunday, while the KartSport Marlborough and KartSport Nelson clubs are jointly running the two-day DVS-sponsored 31st annual Sunbelt Series at their respective tracks on Saturday (Blenheim) and Sunday (Nelson).

Linking the meetings this year is the 2016 ROK Cup New Zealand, a multi-round series for young drivers contesting either Vortex ROK-engined class, Cadet ROK (for 6-11 year-olds) or Vortex Mini ROK (for those 9 to 12).

So far there have been two ROK Cup NZ rounds, the first at the big Sulphur City Sprint meeting at Rotorua in February, the second at the Giltrap Group NZ Sprint Championships meeting in Hamilton over the Easter weekend.

This weekend, however, competitors and their families have an option; they can contest a 'North Island' round at the Bayleys WPKA Championships meeting at Todd Energy Raceway in Waitara on Sunday, or a 'South Island' one over the two days at Cresswell Electrical Kart Raceway in Blenheim and The Hits Mike Pero Raceway in Nelson.

'It's our way, if you like, of spreading the load in terms of costs for those contesting the ROK Cup," says ROK Cup promoter Maurice Frost. "While entry is not exclusive to each Island we expect competitors in the North Island will go with the Bayleys WPKA Championships option, and those in the South Island the DVS Sunbelt one."

After the first two of four rounds of this years' ROK Cup New Zealand series William Exton from Picton has a two pointlead in the Vortex Mini ROK class standings over Jackson Rooney from Palmerston North with Thomas Boniface and Louis Redshaw tied for third a further nine points back.1516BayleysGoldstarRnd3VortexMiniROKJacksonRooney30WilliamExtonSIThomasBoniface67lr-1.jpg

It's even closer in Cadet ROK where Ryan Bell from the Bay of Plenty has a one point lead heading into the third round over Auckland driver Mason Potter with Christchurch's Louis Sharp in a three-way tie for third with Auckland's Logan Manson and Nelson's Bo Hill just four points further back.

There's a lot riding on this weekend's rounds too. The overall series winner of the Vortex Mini ROK class earns entry to the annual ROK Cup International meeting in Italy later this year while the overall series winner in the Cadet ROK class gets a brand new Vortex Mini ROK engine.

The DVS Sunbelt Series has attracted a 70-strong entry across six classes including the two Vortex ROK ones.

Series points leader William Exton heads an 11-strong entry in Vortex Mini ROK while Louis Sharp from Christchurch and Bo Hill from Nelson look set to be the drivers to beat in Cadet ROK.

Best supported class at the meeting with 22 entries is 125c Rotax Max Light followed by 125cc Rotax Max Heavy with 16.

The two-day meeting also doubles as the opening double-header round of the Mainland Series with subsequent rounds at the Southern Series (Dunedin and Invercargill) meeting in September and the annual Garden City meeting in Christchurch in October.

The one-day Bayleys WPKA Championships event in Waitara has also attracted a strong entry with interest there in the Senior and Junior classes on whether series class winners like Brad Still (125cc Rotax Max Light), Daniel Rine (Open), and Rianna O'Meara-Hunt (Formula Junior) can add 'Championship' titles to their Bayleys WPKA Goldstar series ones.

CAPTIONS: Wellington Formula Junior class karters Ryan Wood (#40) and Rianna O'Meara-Hunt (#69) lead Tom Greig (#44) and Riley Jackat the Wellington round of the Bayleys WPKA Goldstar series earlier this year. It was also close at the meeting in Vortex Mini ROK where Jackson Rooney (#30), William Exton (#SI) and Thomas Boniface (#67) battle for position. All will be in action either at Waitara or Blenheim and Nelson this weekend. Photo credit: Fast Company/Vicky Jack

2016 ROK Cup New Zealand
Rnd 1: Sulphur City Sprint Rotorua Feb 13-14
Rnd 2: NZ Sprint Champs Hamilton Mar 25-27
Rnd 3 Option 1: WPKA Championships Taranaki June 04-05
Rnd 3 Option 2: Sunbelt Series Nelson/Blenheim June 04-05
Rnd 4 NZ Schools Champs Taranaki Jul 16-17

2016 Mainland Series
Rnd 1: DVS Sunbelt Series Blen/Nel Sat-Sun June 04-05
Rnd 2: Southern Series Ingill/Dun Sept 03-04
Rnd 3 Garden City meeting ChCh Oct 01-02

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Prepared by FAST COMPANY on behalf of KartSport New Zealand. To find out more about the 2016 DVS Sunbelt Series  and/or, Bayleys WPKA Goldstar Championships meeting contact Ross MacKay on 021 677 919 or via e-mail at ross@fastcompany.co.nz 


KartSport New Zealand