Christchurch pair Ryan Yardley and Bailey Paterson put on the fight of their lives to finish one-two in the KZ2 class at the Eyecloud-sponsored 30th annual Sunbelts Championship kart meeting at Nelson and Blenheim over the weekend.15EyecloudSunbeltsKZ2RyanYardleylr-1 (2).jpg

The two-day Sunbelts is one of New Zealand's longest-running regional events, with competitors from throughout New Zealand converging on Nelson and Blenheim for two days of racing, the first at the KartSport Nelson club's The Hits Raceway in Nelson, the second at KartSport Marlborough's Cresswell Electrical Raceway in Blenheim.

With top Nelson driver Mat Butchart forced to play catch-up after engine issues at his home track on Saturday, Yardley and Paterson shared heat wins in Nelson with eventual third place-getter Daniel Bugler, Paterson winning three and finishing second in the other two, and Yardley and Bugler winning one apiece. Butchart claimed his first win of the weekend in the first Blenheim heat on Sunday morning, but Yardley fought back to beat him to the win in the next two. And it was Yardley - on his debut drive in the 6-speed gearbox equipped 125cc KZ2 class no less - who took the class win by one point from Paterson with Daniel Bugler third and Butchart fourth.

Over 70 drivers from as far afield as Auckland in the north and Invercargill in the south contested the meeting with victory in the two 125cc Rotax Max senior classes (Light & Heavy) going to nationally-ranked Auckland drivers.

In 125cc Rotax Max Light former national champion and Rotax Max Challenge class winner and New Zealand representative Ryan Urban won the Sunbelts title with five heat race wins from workmate and fellow Rotax category front-runner Daniel Connor (with three wins) and Christchurch's Mathew Straker.15EyecloudSunbeltsRotaheavyKeithWilkinson22lr (2).jpg

In 125cc Rotax Max Heavy, the other Auckland driver, Keith Wilkinson won six of the heats across the two days, with Blenheim driver Taylor Forbes second and Nelson's Kevin Barker third.

Lewis Ball from Christchurch who won the Rotax Junior class, was another multi-heat winner, crossing the line in front in three of the heats in Nelson and two in Blenheim to take the class Sunbelts title from Jarod Fisher from Nelson and class South Island champ, Ayden Polaschek from Christchurch.

Top South Island drivers Jacob Mitchell from Christchurch and William Exton from Blenheim fought it out at the front of the Vortex Mini ROK field, with Mitchell easing ahead as the weekend went on to win six of the nine class races and the Sunbelts' title from Exton with young Auckland driver Callum Hedge the only other heat winner in third.15EyecloudSunbeltsVortexMROKAlexPatrick51leadsZacChristenson21etclr-1 (2).jpg

Finally, seven-year-old Christchurch driver Louis Sharp won five of the heats to comfortably top the Cadet ROK class points standings, from Nelson's Bo Hill and James Black from Dunedin. 

2015 Eyecloud Sunbelt Championships 
The Hits Raceway Nelson, Cresswell Electrical Raceway Blenheim Sat-Sun May 30-31

1. Ryan Yardley; 2. Bailey Paterson; 3. Daniel Bugler; 4. Matt Butchart; 5. Kyle Dawson; 6. Ralph Goodwin      

125cc Rotax Max Light
1. Ryan Urban; 2. Daniel Connor; 3. Mathew Straker; 4. Brent Neill; 5. Arron Black; 6. Keiran Woods .

125cc Rotax Max Heavy
1. Keith Wilkinson; 2. Taylor Forbes; 3. Kevin Barker; 4. Andrew Downs; 5. Mark Ahlfeld; 6. Hayden Watty. 

125cc Rotax Max Junior
1. Lewis Ball; 2. Jarod Fisher; 3. Ayden Polaschek; 4. Jack Noble-Adams; 5. Cooper Forbes; 6. Kamryn Reddy

Junior 100cc Yamaha15EyecloudSunbeltsCadetROKLouisSharp11leadsJamesBlack32lr-1.jpg
1. Bob Marr    

Vortex Mini ROK
1. Jacob Mitchell; 2. William Exton; 3. Calum Hedge; 4. Alex Patrick; 5. Zac Christenson; 6. Adam Goodwin.    

Cadet ROK
1. Louis Sharp; 2. Bo Hill; 3. James Black; 4. Josh Bradley; 5. Jacob Douglas; 6. Liam Pink          

Cadet Raket
1. Callissa Campbell    

KZ2 class winner Ryan Yardley about to head onto the grid.  Rotax Max Heavy honours went to Keith Wilkinson (#22) from Auckland. Action in the Vortex Mini ROK class with Alex Patrick (#51) leading Zac Christenson (#21). Cadet ROK class winner Louis Sharp (#11) leads James Black (#32). Photo credit: Fast Company/Jason Green


Prepared by FAST COMPANY on behalf of KartSport New Zealand. To find out more about KartSport in New Zealand contact Ross MacKay on 021 677 919 or via e-mail at ross@fastcompany.co.nz






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