Hamilton Hosts North Island Kartsport Meeting
KARTSPORT NEW ZEALAND - Media Information
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* 2008 KartSport NZ North Island Sprint Kart
Hamilton Kart Club
Hamilton Hosts North Island Kartsport Title Meeting This Weekend
It's North Island championship time again for the country's top KartSport competitors with the Hamilton Kart Club hosting the 2008 title meeting at its track near Mystery Creek over Labour Weekend.
Over 160 entries across 10 different classes have been received for the three-day meeting which starts on Friday with Time Trials (qualifying) and continues with racing across five classes each on Saturday and Sunday.
Heading the entry list are two returning internationals, Palmerston North's Josh Hart who has just finished third overall in the 2008 Rotax Euro Challenge in Europe, and Mitch Cunningham, who has just completed a successful first season in the Firestone Indy Lights single-seater motor racing series in the United States and has returned home to contest the 2008/09 Toyota Racing Series (TRS).
Hart is the defending North Island champion in the McLaughlin Freightlines 125cc Rotax Max Light class while Cunningham is a former North Island and New Zealand Formula 100 class champion and will line up in the Pacific KartSport Senior 100cc Yamaha Light class.
For Hart competition is expected to come from 2008 Gen-i Rotax Max Challenge of New Zealand series winner Ryan Urban, fellow Aucklanders Kane Taylor and Tim Vickers, and local young gun Ethan de Jong.
Cunningham meanwhile, will have his work cut out against defending North Island and New Zealand Senior 100cc Yamaha Light champion Karl Wilson from Wellington, Aucklanders Mathew Kinsman and Deon Forrest, the Manawatu's Mitchell Hill and Tyler Richardson from Morrinsville.
With defending champion Simon Hunter from Christchurch not making the trip north this year the Brian Tinney Motors-backed Senior 100cc Yamaha Heavy class is wide open with local drivers Michael Grimshaw and Bradley Tyrrell looking set to take the battle to class veterans Stuart Marshall and Brendon Smith (both Auckland) and Darren Aislabie from Rotorua.
Former North Island champion Aarron Cunningham (older brother of Mitch and 2003 World Karting champion Wade Cunningham) is another experienced driver who can't be discounted, this time in the 125cc Rotax Max Heavy class.
He returns from a season racing in Australia to face defending North Island champion Phillip Saunders from Hamilton, former class front-runner Bradley Tyrrell and young guns Zack Zaloum (Hawke's Bay) and Nick Rodgers (Wellington).
In the gearbox classes a four-way battle can be expected in KZ2 involving this year's New Zealand champion Ryan Grant, defending North Island champion Nik Kiser (Taranaki) and Aucklanders Daniel Bray and Graeme Smyth.
There is also the prospect of a four-way battle for the North Island title in the Formula 125S class with Mark Swetman, Daniel Bray and Rick Huston all gunning for defending North Island champion Daniel Eggleton
While there has been something of a changing of the guard in some of the Junior classes reigning New Zealand champion Daniel Kinsman returns in the Auckland Hydraulic Services-sponsored Formula Junior class to face competition from Christchurch's Chris Cox, Aucklanders Arie Hutton and brothers Tom and Paul Blomqvist, and top local driver Andy Schofield.
Cox, who won the South Island title last year and the New Zealand one at Easter this year, is also one of the favourites in the Supreme Kart Supplies-sponsored Junior 100cc Yamaha class where he will again line up against Kinsman, Hutton and Schofield.
Number-wise the two best supported classes are Junior Restricted 100cc Yamaha with 22 entries and Cadet with 19. In Junior Restricted 100cc Yamaha, sponsored by Top Town Tyres, it is anyone's race with as many as 10 title prospects including former Cadet class champion Maddison Wise from Hawke's Bay, Brook Reeve from Blenheim and Aucklanders Kaleb Currie, Joel Herbert, Aaron Wilson, Callum Quin, Bradley Hicks, Christopher Sinclair, Shaun Grocock and Stephen Kelly.
In the Ace Concrete Cutting-sponsored Cadet class, meanwhile, recent form suggests that the driver's to keep an eye on are Hawke's Bay's Mitchell Turner and Whangarei's Thomas McLean to set the pace.
Gates at the track, on Airport Rload opposite the Hamilton Airport, open at 7 am each morning with drivers' briefing at 7.45am, tuning runs at 9.00am and racing starting at 10.00am.
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). To find out more about it go to www.kartsport.org.nz