Kartsport: Southerners Spring A Surprise
Southerners Spring A Surprise
Four of the South Island's top KartSport competitors have sprung a surprise by electing to compete at this year's North Island Sprint Kart Championship meeting at Hamilton's Power Beat International Raceway over Labour Weekend.
Traditionally the Island Championships are just that. But with the 2003 New Zealand Championships being held at the Hamilton Kart Club's Power Beat International Raceway next Easter, Invercargill Karters Scott Waters, Regan Carter, Robert Dalziel and Mark Elder have decided to make the long trip north to familiarise themselves with the track.
The four made a big impression at the 2002 New Zealand Championships at Christchurch's Powerbilt Tool's Raceway over the Easter weekend, Carter winning the New Zealand Senior Yamaha Heavy title from Elder, and Waters finishing runner-up in 100cc National and third in Senior Yamaha Light.
Dalziel finished fourth overall in 100cc Senior National and set a new class lap record.
The move by the southerners, all members of the dynamic Invercargill Kart Club, has added a new dimension to this weekend's Ryan Windows & Doors North Island Sprint Kart Championships, focusing particular attention on the Senior Yamaha Heavy class.
Before this year's Nationals at Christchurch the class had been dominated by Rotorua's Darren Aislabie.
Aislabie had a good start to his title defence at Christchurch but was involved in a racing incident in one of the heats and badly cut a leg.
Carter had his measure before the incident and it will be interesting to see who comes out on top this weekend.
With the four Invercargill drivers heading north, interest at the Radio Nelson and The Railway Hotel-sponsored South Island title meeting in Nelson will now focus on the performance of Christchurch brother and sister Matthew and Fiona Hamilton.
Fiona, 22, is the defending South Island (and New Zealand!) Rotax Max champion and Matthew, 19, returns to the South Island Championships after electing to race a Formula Ford racing car in the first round of the South Island Formula Ford championships last Labour Weekend.
Mathew, who won the right to represent New Zealand at the 2001 World Rotax Max Challenge in Malaysia at the beginning of the year, has been competing professionally in Bahrain and Europe and has made a special trip home to compete at the South Island Sprint Kart Championships.
Once it is over he will return to Bahrain to prepare for the 2002/03 Pro Kart 24 Hr Endurance Race Championship in which his team - The Unstoppabulls - is one of the favourites.
Competition for the Hamiltons is expected to come from top Christchurch drivers Glenn Hartley, Andrew Knight and Simon Hunter.
KartSport is a safe, affordable motorsport which caters for all ages, with categories for Cadets (6-12yrs), Junior Restricted (10-14 yrs), Juniors (12-17 yrs) and Seniors (15 yrs and over).