Art & Entertainment | Book Reviews | Education | Entertainment Video | Health | Lifestyle | Sport | Sport Video | Search


Nationals Success Proof That Kartsport Is Back To Its Pre-Covid-19 Best

The final three titles at the Armstrong Group 2021 KartSport New Zealand National Sprint Championships at KartSport Canterbury’s Carr's Rd Raceway in Christchurch were run and won on Sunday by William Exton from Blenheim (125cc Rotax Max Light #SI), Campbell Joyes (125cc Rotax Max Light #95) from Hamilton and Zach Tucker (Vortex Mini ROK #SI) from Christchurch. Photo credit: Fast Company/Emilee Jane Photography.

Proof that the sport of karting is well and truly back on its feet (or rather ‘back of all four wheels’) in the wake of a year’s interruption courtesy the COVD-19 Coronavirus came conclusively yesterday (Sunday April 04) on the final day of competition at this year’s Armstrong Group-backed three-day KartSport New Zealand National Sprint Championship meeting in Christchurch.

After being forced – by the first major COVID-19 lockdown – to cancel the 2020 National Sprint title meeting which was to have been held at the KartSport Christchurch club’s track at Carr’s Rd in suburban Halswell over the Easter weekend last year, many in the sport believed that it would take years to get the momentum of true national level competition back.

On the strength of the quality of the racing at the same venue over the past three days - and particularly of that in the Vortex Mini ROK Junior class and the two Rotax Max (Light and Heavy) Senior classes contested on Sunday, however - that fear appears to have been wildly unfounded.

Leading the way to the 2021 #1NZ title in the 125cc Rotax Max Light class, for instance, was reigning South Island champion William Exton from Blenheim.

Exton, won the New Zealand tile in the 125cc Rotax Max Junior title the last time a NZ National Sprint title was held (Easter weekend in Hamilton in 2019) and completed a seamless transition to the Senior ranks on Sunday by qualifying on pole, and winning two of the three heats as well as both the pre-Final and Final, all from legendary local driver Matthew Hamilton.

To his credit Hamilton – a four-time winner of the #1NZ plate in the 125cc Rotax Max Light class, including the first one contested back in 2001 - beat Exton to win the second heat.

After that though Exton was unbeatable, eventually reaching the finish line in the Final 0.386 of a second in front of Hamilton and almost three seconds ahead of third placed Clay Osborne.

There was also some stunning race action – not to mention drama – in the 125cc Rotax Max Heavy class, the title won for a second time (the first was in 2016) by Waikato ace Campbell Joyes.

Heading into the Final it looked like the 2021 title would remain in the hands of evergreen Aucklander Ryan Urban who won it the last time it was contested (at Hamilton in 2019) and who qualified quickest and dominated all but one of the heat races (and the Final) on Sunday.

However Urban ran off the track after hitting dirt left by another driver’s off track excursion early in the Final and retired soon after, leaving both the race - and with it the #1NZ title - for Joyes to win from local veteran and former six-time class title holder Simon Hunter and fellow local event returnee Scott Manson.

The other class title contested and won on Sunday was for the Vortex Mini ROK class and like the 125c Rotax Max Light one was won in fine style by the reigning South Island title holder, Zach Tucker.

Local ace Tucker was pushed hard in the heats and Pre-Final by Arthur Broughan from Blenheim and fellow Christchurch driver Izaak Fletcher but in the Final ran is own race from the front to add the #1NZ plate to the #SI one he earned late last year.

Such was his domination of the class, that Tucker was awarded a trip to the ROK Cup Superfinal meeting in Italy later this year, where he will join fellow class and title winners Jacob Douglas (Vortex ROK DVS Junior) and Michael McCulloch (Vortex ROK DVS), and Vortex ROK DVS class runner-up Matthew Hamilton.

The other class titles run over the weekend went to;

  • Jacob Douglas from Christchurch – Vortex ROK DVS Jnr & 125 cc Rotax Max Junior
  • Rotax DD2 – Clay Osborne from Hamilton
  • Vortex ROK DVS – Michael McCulloch from Paraparaumu
  • Cadet ROK – Henry Fisher from Christchurch

© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Howard Davis: Jill Trevelyan's Rita Angus

Although Angus has become one of Aotearoa’s best-loved painters, the story of her life remained little known and poorly understood before Jill Trevelyan's acclaimed and revelatory biography, which won the Non Fiction Award at the Montana New Zealand Book Awards in 2009, and has now been republished by Te Papa press. More>>

Howard Davis: The Back of the Painting

Painting conservators are the forensic pathologists of the art world. While they cannot bring their subjects back to life, they do provide fascinating insights into the precise circumstances of a painting's creation, its material authenticity, and constructive methodology. More>>

Howard Davis: Black Panthers on the Prowl

A passionate and gripping political drama from Shaka King, this is an informative and instructive tale of human frailty that centers around the charismatic Chicago Black Panther leader Fred Hampton, who was murdered at the age of twenty-one during a police raid. More>>

Howard Davis: Controlling the High Ground

Stephen Johnson's raw and angry film not only poses important questions with scrupulous authenticity, but also provides a timely reminder of the genocidal consequences of casual bigotry and xenophobia. More>>

Howard Davis: Dryzabone - Robert Conolly's The Dry

After the terrible devastation caused by last year’s bushfires, which prompted hundreds of Australians to shelter in the ocean to escape incineration and destroyed uncountable amounts of wildlife, The Dry has been released during a totally different kind of dry spell. More>>

Howard Davis: Hit the Road, Jack - Chloé Zhao's Nomadland

Nomadland is perhaps the ultimately 'road' movie as it follows a group of dispossessed and disenfranchised vagabonds who find a form of communal refuge in camp sites and trailer parks after the economic contraction of 2008. More>>

Howard Davis: Byrneing Down the House - Spike Lee's American Utopia

Lee does an admirable job capturing Byrne's stunning live performance of his latest album, but the real star of the show is the staging. More>>



  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland