Pedal to the metal in series revival
Organisers are breathing new life into New Zealand’s longest running KartSport series after 54 years of racing.
With a new sponsor onboard, the Bayleys W.P.K.A GoldStar Series is hoping to attract both new and past entrants across eight racing classes.
The series begins in early November and consists of four regional rounds in Wellington, Palmerston North, Taranaki and Hawke’s Bay, culminating with the highly anticipated W.P.K.A Championship round at the end of May in Wellington.
Since its beginnings in 1960 the Bayleys W.P.K.A GoldStar Series has served as the breeding ground for future stars of New Zealand motorsport, with children as young as six taking to the track as cadets.
Three time IndyCar Champion Scott Dixon began racing karts at the age of seven, V8 Supercar driver and four time winner of Bathurst, Greg Murphy began kart racing at age eight and fellow V8 Supercar star Fabian Coulthard first took to karting at age five.
Bayleys W.P.K.A GoldStar Series president Marty Hunt says, “Karting is where both past and future motorsport stars learn their craft”.
“The names of some of the current greats are still on the trophies that our karters are competing for today.”
After entry numbers dwindled last season, Marty has been tasked with boosting participation and securing new and ongoing support for the series.
“This year we have secured sponsors and backing from all around the country for our series. There are some fantastic incentives and major prizes up for grabs for all competitors – this year’s series should be a cracker for all involved,” he says.
Bayleys Wellington C&I is the new major sponsor and director Mark Hourigan says he is looking forward to seeing a promising turn out across all race classes, including his 15-year-old son who is competing this year.
“The series has been running for a long time and is regarded as one of the top events among the karting fraternity. When the previous sponsor bowed out I couldn’t see it cease and so we got on board to ensure it continues,” Mr Hourigan says.
“It is one of few karting fixtures to be held across this many regions and provides a stepping stone to new drivers at lower North Island clubs to advance in the sport.”
From November to May karting youngsters all the way through to competitors in their 50s, who compete in the senior classes, will test their mettle at four different tracks and under a variety of weather conditions.
Marty, whose daughter is set to compete, says the series is family oriented and open to anyone with a C rated license. “We travel the country as a family and have a great time.”
“While the kids are in the driver’s seat many a father or grandfather is on the tools, ensuring the kart is set up for the next race, while mum is busy making sure the team is well fed and watered,” he says.
Entries open soon and will stay open until the end of October.
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