Auckland’s Westlake Boys High School claimed its maiden Secondary Schools’ title at this year’s KartSport New Zealand Furnware National Schools’ Championships meeting at Hastings on Saturday.
In doing so the North Shore school became the fourth from the greater Auckland area to earn the top prize at a KartSport NZ Schools’ Championship meeting, joining inaugural winner (2003) Rangitoto College, two-time winner St Kentigern College (2004 & 2007) and Auckland Grammar (2011).
The school also became the first in recent years to take down defending and multiple-time Secondary Schools’ title holder, Palmerston North Boys High School (2005, 10, 12, 14, 16 & 17).
The coveted title was won for the school by students Ashton Grant, who finished second in the 125cc Rotax Light class, and Josh Richmond who finished fourth in the Vortex ROK DVS Junior class. Another Auckland school, St Kentigern College (Liam Sceats & Joshua Parkinson) finished second, Palmerston North Boys High (Jackson Rooney & Riley Jack) third.
Palmerston North schools were back on top, meanwhile, in the Primary and Intermediate schools section, with the city’s Winchester Primary joining Palmerston North Intermediate Normal (Jenson Bate & Judd Christiansen) to take the 2018 title from Greenpark School in Tauranga (Mitchell Corin & Ryan Bell), and the other Palmerston North primary school in the competition this year, Whakarongo School (Logan & Blake Dowdall).
With Palmerston North Boys student Jackson Rooney (Rotax Max Junior), Judd Christiansen (Cadet ROK) was one of two drivers from the KartSport Manawatu club to claim National Schools’ champs’ class titles this year. The other class title winners were local ace Zac Stichbury (Rotax Max Light), Ryan Wood from Wellington (Vortex ROK DVS Junior) and Mitchell Sparrow from Tuakau (Vortex Mini ROK.
Ryan Wood and Jackson Rooney also won Bruce McLaren KartSport Awards presented in association with the Bruce McLaren Trust.
Each year two awards are offered and go to the winners of (in this year’s case) the Rotax Max Junior and new Vortex ROK DVS Junior classes at the event – but only after each driver produces and presents a project at their school on the career, achievements and values demonstrated by the driver the award honours, New Zealand racing great Bruce McLaren.
The 16th annual KartSport New Zealand Furnware National Schools’ Championships event was hosted this year by the KartSport Hawke’s Bay club and Napier Boys High School and was held in cool, crisp conditions at the club’s track, Chemz Raceway at Roys Hill north-west of Hastings.
The event attracted 80 entries entries across five classes and also doubled as the final round of this year’s ROK Cup New Zealand.
ROK Cup New Zealand is a multi-round series for young drivers contesting the three classes which use Italian-made Vortex engines; Cadet ROK (for 6-11 year-olds), Vortex Mini ROK (for those 9 to 12) and the latest one making its national title debut at this year’s Schools’ meeting, Vortex ROK DVS Junior (for 12-16 year-olds).
The winner of the Vortex Mini ROK class title in the ROK Cup NZ series – top Hawke’s Bay driver Tom Bewley – earned an entry to the annual ROK Cup International Finals meeting in Italy later this year, joining Christchurch driver Jacob Douglas who won his seat when he claimed the class NZ Sprint Champs title at Rotorua over the Easter weekend.
Also earning entries to this year’s ROK Cup International meeting in Italy were the winner and runner-up in the new Vortex ROK DVS Junior class, Ryan Wood of Wellington and Palmerston North’s Jackson Rooney.
The 2018 Schools’ title, round and overall ROK Cup NZ series class winner in the Cadet ROK class, Judd Christiansen from Palmerston North, was also rewarded for his efforts, winning a brand new Vortex ROK engine.
Finally, there could hardly be a more fitting winner of the major Senior class prize at this year’s National Schools’ Championship meeting, a test day in a Formula Ford single seater racing car at Christchurch’s Mike Pero Motorsport Park, Ruapuna, courtesy of the South Island Formula Ford Association.
The prize went to the winner of the Rotax Max Light class, Zac Stichbury, the son of Anna and the late Ashley Stichbury, a former NZ kart, and two-time New Zealand Formula Ford champion.
1. Westlake Boys High School, Auckland (Josh Richmond & Ashton Grant)
2. St Kentigern College (Liam Sceats & Josh Parkinson)
3. Palmerston North Boys High School, Palmerston North (Jackson Rooney & Riley Jack)
1. Palmerston North Intermediate Normal School/Winchester School, Palmerston North (Judd Christiansen & Jenson Bate)
2. Greenpark School, Tauranga (Mitchell Corin & Ryan Bell)
3. Whakarongo School, Palmerston North (Logan & Blake Dowdall)
125cc Rotax Max Light
1. Zac Stichbury; 2. Ashton Grant; 3. Rianna O’Meara-Hunt; 4. Joshua Bethune; 5. Jackson Whitfield; 6. Joseph Terry.
Rotax Max Junior
1. Jackson Rooney; 2. William Exton; 3. Fynn Osborne; 4. Ryan Wood; 5. Joshua Parkinson; 6. Bradley Hewson
Vortex ROK DVS Junior
1. Ryan Wood; 2. Jackson Rooney; 3. Joshua Parkinson; 4. Josh Richmond; 5. William Exton; 6. Liam Sceats.
Vortex Mini ROK
1. Mitchell Sparrow; 2. Mason Potter; 3. Jenson Bate; 4. Ryan Bell; 5. Sebastian Manson; 6. Thomas Bewley.
1. Judd Christiansen; 2. Hugo Neale; 3. Jay Urwin; 4. Lochiel McGregor; 5. Arthur Broughan; 6. Izaak Fletcher.
ROK Cup NZ
Final points after Rnd 4 of 4
Vortex Mini ROK
Tom Bewley 184 points
Hayden Bakkerus & Mitchell Sparrow 183
Mason Potter 181
Logan Manson 179
Stella Carter 123
Kaden Probst & Bo Hill 85
Kasey O’Donnell-Dawson 79
Judd Christiansen 187 points
Hugo Neal & Jay Urwin 184
Kiahn Burt 95
Ashton Phipps 91
Maxim Kirwan 85