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SUPERKART SERIES ROUND 5 RACE REPORT

Showers were forecast for the 5th and penultimate round of the KartSport SuperKart Road Race Series at Hampton Downs over the weekend 27-28 September.  The rain didn’t eventuate but some excellent racing sure did!  The series class leaders were given a hurry up with some very close racing across all classes and the event saw the series lead change in the 250cc National class.

International class had a very solid entry list with 8 drivers lining up for the qualifying session.  Ryan Urban set the fastest time early onHDsept14 1.jpg but his day was over before a lap of racing commenced after a bottom end engine failure.  Andrew Hall was the man to beat once again with consistently fast lap times and great reliability out of the PVP powered kart with multiple race wins again securing a bucket load of series points.  His lead in the series is now unassailable with one round remaining.  Of note was his win in race 1 where he started from the rear of the entire field after struggling to get started.  He carved his way through the Rotax and National karts before dealing to the International class.  Great drive Andrew, well done.

Robin Wooldridge was experimenting with a new compound of Dunlop tyres and struggled for pace all day as a result.  The veteran of the class losing what he believed to be 2 seconds a lap.  He was visibly disappointed with the tyres and I don’t think we’ll see him using the DEF compound again.

Martijn Weiss had a much improved performance compared to his last outing at Hampton Downs with the Aucklander cranking out some respectable lap times in the 2degrees mobile sponsored kart for a 3rd place overall for the round. 

Alex Geary was not racing for points but instead using the day for testing.  Things were obviously going well towards the end of the day with the Taranaki driver most commonly seen in a sprint kart setting a lap time of 1.03.2 which is right on lap record pace.  This class has some serious machinery operating in it these days with a lot of very tidy karts with lots of horsepower lining up on the grid which bodes well for the class.

Dion Hubers and Geoff Sherrell had a successful day in Division 2.  Hubers had a clutch problem early on but managed to borrow some parts off another competitor to get him going again (superkarters are good like that).  Geoff Sherrell had his first meeting with his brand new Gasgas 250 engine and despite some carburetion issues early on had the thing cranked up and going pretty well by the end of the day.

National 250cc had an early drama with Bruce James losing 5th gear in the qualifying session which ended his day.  That was unfortunate as the day was shaping up to be a good one with 6 250’s thumpers entered and all showing some pace.  The class saw the return of current 2NZ and former National champion Steve Wilton from Wellington for the first time in the series.  He set the pace all day with the CR250 powered machine showing it has some serious straight line speed.  His laptime of 1.08.2 in race 1 would surely be a lap record or close to it for the single cylinder class.  Wilton won every race easily.  He’ll be hoping he hasn’t shown his cards too soon before the Nationals in February with a lot of development going on in this class.

Dan Isaac appears to have put his reliability problems behind him now with 3rd place for the meeting.  The mechanic from Wellington hasHDsept14 2.jpg been burning the candle at both ends lately to get his machine to where it needs to be.  With some assistance from his awesome older brother the night before the meeting to rectify a driveline issue they had the kart sorted for race day.  Finishing every race and getting some laps under his belt will do him good leading into the next round.  The kart showed some pace too as Isaac Jnr had some close racing with his older brother and new series leader Nick Isaac from Taranaki who with 2nd place finishes in every race takes the lead on the points table from Richard Simmonds who spent the day fighting engine misfires on his and son Chris’s engines.  It wasn’t the way he wanted to take the series lead but having had his share of issues in the early rounds it’s probably a fair reflection of the series to date. 

The 125cc National class saw Rotax DD2 drivers Tim Wakefield, Scott Hancett and Brent Murgatroyd doing battle with some of the closest finishes you will ever see.  You couldn’t separate Wakefield and Hancett especially with both drivers trading almost identical laptimes and side by side finishes.  Wakefield came out on top for the day with Hancett and Murgatroyd not far behind.  There were no entries from KZ2 class drivers which has the organisers baffled.  Road racing is such great racing and should be on every shifter kart drivers hitlist.  There is a class for KZ2 so where are they all?

Charlotte Oram had every expectation she would dominate the Rotax Light class once again but this wasn’t the case.  The big improver in the class, Julian Osborne qualified on pole to leave everyone else scrambling for time.  Unfortunately for Osborne he wasn’t able to capitalise on his first pole position and secure his first race win of the series.  The sharp end of the field was barely separated by more than a second at the end of the 4 races with race wins going to Tony Kinsman, Charlotte Oram and Carly Tollenaar (2).   Strong performances came from a number of drivers including Mark Ongley and Sean Heffernan.  Osborne was looking good for a podium until a racing incident in the last race sent him off roading around the sweeper before the main straight which ruined his race.  The round win went to Carly Tollenaar with Oram and Kinsman rounding out the top 3.

R
otax Heavy pretty much went to script with Brad Alexander continuing his dominance.  Alexander securing 3 more race wins by goodHDsept14 3.jpg margins over the rest of the field.  He finished mid-pack in race 2 however which was won by Ricky Lang who is showing he can really challenge for a series placing next year if he competes in every event.  Strong showings from Taranaki drivers Garth Lacey, Peter Cottam and Greg Robinson meant the battle for the minor placings went down to the wire.  Cottam will be well pleased with his results as his battle with Darren Maguire had been epic throughout the series to date with the two drivers basically tied on points for the entire series.  Maguire was off the pace all day which means Cottam has a buffer from Maguire for the final round at Manfield for the second place trophy with Maguire needing some first or second place finishes at Manfield to claw his way back.  Alexander can relax knowing the series is in the bag but expect him to keep pushing until the end.

The final round of the series is scheduled for 8-9 November at The Mighty Manfield.  Entry forms will be available on the Kartsport website and the SuperKart Drivers Facebook page soon.

CAPTIONS: Two class leaders, Andrew Hall #88 International class PVP/PVP and Nick Isaac #3 National class Maranello RS10 / CR250. Competition was fierce at the sharp end of the Rotax Max field.  Charlotte Oram #99 maintans her lead in the series.  #53 Julian Osborne continues to improve. Rotax heavy drivers Brad Alexander #19 and Ricky Lang #41 give the Rotax light drivers a hurry up. Photos courtesy of Chris James

 

Release from Nick Isaac, KartSport SuperKart Drivers

 
KartSport New Zealand