The weekend's New Zealand Vintage Kart Grand Prix meeting in Hastings was a first. And its unqualified success means it certainly won't be the last.15VintageKartGPPennyGoughlr-1.jpg


"It was extremely successful," said organiser Mark Jenkinson. "Greg Murphy said to me on Sunday night that it was the best motor racing meeting he had been to in a long time. And I think that most people who were there would agree."


"He's not far off," competitor Rhys McKay from Auckland said of Murphy's comment. "Great people, fast karts and motorsport like it used to be with everyone getting on and helping each other. I had  a ball, though my body is telling me today that I'm not a teenager anymore!"


Former UK kart champion, Tiffany Chittenden, now living and racing in New Zealand, travelled from Christchurch for the event and also said she thoroughly enjoyed the experience.15NZVintageKartGPGregMurphy-1.jpg


"It was a great weekend and I had a lot of fun both on and off the track. It was amazing to hear all the engines we used to race screaming again. And it was cool to see past champions of multiple generations, like Greg Murphy, Shane Drake and John Hamilton all on track together."


The meeting, a series of non-competitive Parades and Demonstrations run in kart age group categories, at KartSport Hawke's Bay's Chemz Raceway at Roys Hill on the outskirts of Hastings attracted around 130 entries, with drivers coming from all over New Zealand as well as seven from Australia.


The two-day meeting, held in warm dry conditions with the tail-end of Cyclone Pam only bringing rain after racing had finished, also attracted a bumper crowd of interested spectators, and it was where some of those spectators had come from that had Jenkinson 15NZVintageKartGPMarkProwse-1.jpgrealising he and his fellow enthusiasts from the Vintage Karting NZ Club are really on to something.


"I suppose one of the highlights for me," Jenkinson said last night, "was seeing so many ex-karters who were not tied up with anyone in particular at the meeting. They just heard about it and decided to come along and have a look. There were people from all over New Zealand, from Dunedin to Northland. They heard about it and made the effort to come and see it for themselves."


Another highlight for Jenkinson was seeing former international Michael Dickens of Auckland back behind the wheel.


"He's still so smooth, like poetry in motion."15NZVintageKartGPMichaelDickins-1jpg.jpg


Though plans have yet to be finalised, Jenkinson says that the club will probably keep the New Zealand Vintage Grand Prix meeting a once-every-two-years affair with the next one penciled in - back in the 'Bay -  to coincide with the local club's 50th anniversary celebrations in 2017.


That said, the club is keen to run another vintage-only meeting in Taranaki next year to give competitors at this year's inaugural GP something to aim for before the next one.


Individual members are also talking about heading across the Tasman for a re-match, after the Trans-Tasman Shield was won - in an off-track competition - by the Australians.15NZVintageKartGPDriversGroup-1.jpg



CAPTIONS: Penny Gough with a 1957 model 'high wheeler' kart.  Recently retired V8 Supercar ace Greg Murphy (#51) was back behind the wheel of a vintage kart at the meeting. As was former kart racer Mark Prowse of Auckland, former international Michael Dickins, also from Auckland, and a group of current, younger, drivers who bought and prepared some old-generation karts in order to take part in the inaugural meeting. Photo credit: Fast Company/Hawke's Bay Today (Penny Gough pic) and Vintage Kart NZ Facebook page.


Prepared by FAST COMPANY on behalf of KartSport New Zealand. To find out more about the inaugural New Zealand Vintage Kart Grand Prix contact Ross MacKay on 021 677 919 or via e-mail at

KartSport New Zealand