WOOLDRIDGE SETS SUPERKART RECORD
AT HAMPTON DOWNS

 

Following a meeting to forget at Taupo in April, multi-time National Champion Robin Wooldridge had a point to prove at round 3 of the KartSport SuperKart Drivers Club road racing series held at Hampton Downs over the weekend of 3-4 May.14superhdwoolsridgeleads.jpg

In the International class, Wooldridge driving his PVP built superkart, alongside current 3NZ Andrew Hall and new comer to superkarting but by no means a rookie, former Yamaha Light NZ Sprint champion Alex Geary from New Plymouth were the pace setters. 

Race 1 was taken out by Wooldridge with less than 1.5 seconds separating the trio.  Unknown at the start of the race, Hall had a broken power valve which limited his engine's performance.  Hall would have been well pleased to finish a close 2nd to his counterpart given the circumstances.  Geary, driving the ex-Tony Bowden machine was keeping the more experienced duo ahead of him honest with a superb maiden drive and will be a force to be reckoned with looking ahead. 

Aucklander Martijn Weiss, back in a superkart after a break and he and Greg Smith improved their lap times as the day progressed with Weiss giving some competition to front running National class driver Nick Isaac from New Plymouth.  Weiss was very fast in a straight14superhdgearboxgroup.jpg line but was unable to shake Isaac through the tighter parts of the circuit which made for numerous positional changes and great viewing.

In race 2, Wooldridge was “giving it the jandal” whilst chasing down Hall and blew the internals of one of his mufflers to pieces but not before setting a new lap record in the process.  The lap time of 1.04.395 at an average speed of 149.8km/hr becoming the new benchmark for what many drivers rate as the best circuit in the country, with its vertical and off camber components.  Hall’s consistent lap times however earning him the win.  Hall again stamped his mark in race 3 with Geary coming home a deserved 2nd ahead of Wooldridge.

The National class was dominated by current 3NZ Nick Isaac.  The Taranaki driver's 2nd outing in his Honda CR250 powered machine (after changing from Kawasaki engines) managing a clean sweep ahead of series leader Richard Simmonds who placed 2nd in all 3 races.  Current National Champion Chris Simmonds had a day to forget with electrical issues in all 3 races leaving the door wide open for Isaac to bag a bunch of points.  This gets Isaacs’ series back on track after mechanical issues plagued his first 2 rounds.

The National class 125 gearbox sub-category was on show for the first time in the series with Brent Murgatroyd, Tim Wakefield and Peter14hdsuperkartwiessleads.jpg Wrightson giving their Rotax DD2 karts a good workout alongside Dion Hubers in a borrowed machine after his CR250 powered Division 2 International kart seized the big end.  The presence of the internals of the engine appearing outside the crankcase spelt disaster for the Aucklander.  Hubers however put his bad luck behind him and was dominant in the unfamiliar kart with wins in all 3 races, perhaps his comparative youth and long track experience shining through ahead of Murgatroyd, Wakefield and Wrightson.  Look for this class to take off with the ability for any 125 gearbox kart to enter and be recognised separately.  There are lots of these machines around the country just begging to be driven on road circuits.

Charlotte Oram continued her dominance in the Rotax Max Light class, winning as she liked.  The Wellingtonian proved very hard to beat as in previous rounds, leaving everyone else to fight out the minor placings.  Ron Alexander is in great form and was keeping the young guys at bay with 3 second place results.  Julian Osborne, a relative new comer to the sport is showing signs of improvement after changing to a Maranello setup.  A re-think around kart setup after the practice sessions on Saturday meant he finished the meeting with a handful of third place results.   

The racing at the pointy end of the field in the Rotax Max Heavy class was the tightest of the day.  Eventual winner Brad Alexander from 14superhdmaxgroup.jpgAuckland didn’t have it his own way as Caleb Hartley took victory in race 1 by 2.2 seconds.  Alexander showed his class though and came back to take wins in the final 2 races by margins of 0.2 and 0.7 seconds respectively.  3 round wins for Alexander means his points lead in the series is considerable.

Third place in the ever increasing class which was the biggest field of the day went to Warren Hellier with a worst place finishing position of 4th for a solid result.  A total of 13 drivers entered the Rotax Heavy class and the racing was superb as always.  Sitting second in the points up until this round, yet another Wellingtonian, Darren Maguire was unable to find a setup to his liking and was joined mid pack by Peter Cottam, Sharn Connor, Shaun Curran and Ricky Lang for some close finishes throughout the day with Lang managing to destroy a clutch in Race 2.  Connor had a “wee moment” on the exit of the hairpin when he misjudged the distance to the kart of Curran in front and climbed over his back wheel.  Both karts managed to carry on unscathed. 

Further back in the field, Dave Wilson, Marc Colliss, Kevin McDonald and Adrian Paillet enjoyed some great racing and were all smiling at the end of the day. 

It’s been a while since we saw 100cc Yamaha’s at a road racing event but Michael Cullum and Greg Robinson were in attendance.  Is this the start of the 100cc revival?  There are a lot of clutches about for these engines and as Greg and Mike will attest to, it’s all good! 

Once again, Beverly Isaac kept the competitors happy with a free lunchtime sausage sizzle and the weather gods were having a happy day.  A big thanks to Chris James for the abundance of photographs taken throughout the day.

The next round of the KartSport SuperKart Drivers Series will be held at the Taupo Motorsport Park on June 22nd.  To learn more about racing in the Series CLICK HERE.    Here you will find all sorts of information about upcoming events as well as lots of race footage and photographs. 

Results  

International Division 1

1.     Andrew Hall

2.     Robin Wooldridge

3.     Alex Geary

National (250cc sub class)

1.     Nick Isaac

2.     Richard Simmonds

3.     Chris Simmonds

National (125cc sub-class)

1.     Dion Hubers

2.     Brent Murgatroyd

3.     Tim Wakefield

125cc Rotax Max Light

1.     Charlotte Oram

2.     Ron Alexander

3.     Julian Osborne

125cc Rotax Max Heavy

1.     Brad Alexander

2.     Caleb Hartley

3.     Warren Hellier

100cc Yamaha

1.     Michael Cullum

2.     Greg Robinson

 Release from Nick Issac, KartSport SuperKart Drivers Club
Photo credit: Chris James

 

 

 
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