Vintage kart races to celebrate 50 years in style this weekend

Fast Company

New Zealand’s fast-growing vintage kart movement will contribute at least 80 drivers and over 100 karts to help the KartSport Hawke’s Bay club celebrate its 50th anniversary this weekend.

The Vintage Karting New Zealand group is running its second New Zealand Vintage Kart Prix meeting at the club’s track, CHEMZ Raceway, at Roys Hill near Hastings, over the weekend with demonstration runs for karts from the 60s, 70, 80s and early 90s.

The event – which will run over three days from Friday – is being promoted as ‘a good old-fashioned country kart meet with all activities at the track and clubrooms’ and VKNZ President Mark Jenkinson says that karts and karters of all ages and from all over New Zealand – as well as four from Australia – are making the trip.

In action or on display at the meeting will be a number of historically significant karts including;

* a replica of the ‘first go kart’ originally built by Art Ingels and Lou Borelli in 1956

* a 1959 ‘High Wheeler’ Villiers-engined Kal Kart which won the 300cc class at the first New Zealand Sprint Championships in 1960

* The first ‘low-rider’ (a 1961 Bug Scorpion) imported in 1964

* One of three karts American karter Lake Speed sent to New Zealand to use in the International Series after he won the Karting World Championship title in 1978

Mark Jenkinson, who has had a life-long association with the Hawke’s Bay club, says that the seeds for the formation of the local Vintage Kart group and with it the first (in 2015) and now second NZ Vintage Kart Prix were sowed in 2014 when a group of Kiwi enthusiasts crossed the Tasman for the first Australian Vintage Kart Prix meeting in 2014.

Back home an incorporated society was quickly formed, the group affiliated with KartSport New Zealand and the inaugural New Zealand Vintage Kart Prix was held at the KartSport Hawke’s Bay club’s CHEMZ Raceway in March 2015.

Vintage kart races to celebrate 50 years in style this weekend

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