Chris Cox from Rangiora and Zach Zaloum from Hastings were back to their winning ways at KartSport New Zealand’s annual Island sprint kart meetings at Invercargill (Cox) and Palmerston North (Zaloum) over Labour Weekend.
For Cox, victory in the 125cc Rotax Max Light class at the 2018 KartSport NZ South Island Sprint Championships meeting at the KartSport Southland club’s Invercargill Oil Shop Kart Raceway on Saturday earned him his 12th South Island title in 13 years; a record which includes three from Junior classes and the rest from key Senior ones like KZ2, 125cc Rotax Max Light, and 100cc Yamaha Light.
He dd it style too, qualifying quickest and claiming a clean sweep of wins across all class races, including the title-deciding 26 lap Final from fellow KartSport Canterbury clubmates Cameron Hay, Thomas Emmerson and Jack Noble-Adams.
Meanwhile, successfully defending his 2017 North Island Rotax Max Heavy title also marked a major milestone for Hawke’s Bay drivers Zach Zaloum at the Mitre 10 Mega 2018 KartSport NZ North Island Sprint Championship meeting at the KartSport Manawatu club’s Manawatu Toyota Raceway at Palmerston North.
Not only is Zaloum also the reigning NZ #1 in the Rotax Max Heavy class, the latest North Island #1 he earned on Sunday is the fifth he has won since 2010.
Mitre 10 Mega 2018 KartSport NZ North Island Sprint Championships
The Rotax Max Heavy title was one of nine contested at the North Island titles meeting this year with Zaloum one of nine title winners.
Bar the KZ2 class title – which went to Aucklander Graeme Smyth from fellow class title (Open) winner Jacob Cranston and Tauranga’s Hunter Cheetham – and the first North Island Vortex ROK DVS Junior title contested – won by Aucklander Liam Sceats from Hamilton’s Clay Osborne, Josh Richmond from Auckland and Leo Scott from Whangarei – it was local drivers who claimed the majority of the silverware at Palmerston North over the two days.
Top-ranked New Zealand and Australian Junior, Jackson Rooney from Palmerston North dominated the Rotax Junior class, for instance, relieving defending title holder – and fastest qualifier – Ryan Crombie from Auckland of his 2017 title with a clean sweep of the two heat races, Pre-Final and the Final; the later from Hamilton brothers Clay and Fynn Osborne and Josh Richmond.
Class National Schools champion Judd Christiansen won a hard-fought Cadet ROK class North Island title after a see-saw battle with KartSport Manawatu club mate Hugo Neale. Logan Manson from Levin saw off spirited challenges from ROK Cup International NZ rep, Tom Bewley from Havelock North and current class NZ Schools champion Mitchell Sparrow from Tuakau (who finished second in the class Pre-Final), to take the Vortex Mini ROK title from Bewley, Blake Dowdall and Marton’s Kiahn Burt.
Former Palmerston north karter Jaden Hardy, who now lives and works in Auckland, claimed a new class lap record on his way to winning the 2018 North Island 125cc Rotax Max Light title over young Auckland international Matt Payne, top female karter Rianna O’Meara-Hunt from Wellington and Aucklander Ashton Grant. Callum Orr, meanwhile, took home the North Island Rotax DD2 class title from Aucklanders Jason Lee and Bond Roby after on-track winner Sam Wadddell earned a post-race technical exclusion.
Finally, the 2018 North Island Open class title went to Jacob Cranston from Brandon Lambert (Mangakino) and Clint Beaumont (Palmerston North)
2018 KartSport NZ South Island Sprint Championships KartSport Southland
Chris Cox’s impressive title winning performance aside, the big story at the South Island Sprint Championship title meeting in Invercargill, was Dunedin driver Arron Black’s title win in the Rotax Max Heavy class.
Black qualified quickest and was unbeaten in the heats, Pre-Final and Final to take his second South Island kart title; his first earned way back in 1995! Second in class was top local driver George Keast, third Kevin Barker from Nelson.
Picton’s William Exton also had a good weekend, successfully defending both his South Island Junior 100cc Yamaha and Junior Rotax class titles. Another strong showing saw Christchurch’s Adam Godwin runner-up in both classes.
Louis Sharp, meanwhile, added the South Island Vortex Mini ROK title to his CV with a dominant pole/heat race/Pre-Final/Final winning run in that class. Dunedin pair Jaxon Harvey and James Black battled mightily all day for the other two steps on the podium, the nod in the Final going to Harvey, from Black with Nelson’s Ollie Workman fourth.
It was just as close in the Cadet ROK class where Arthur Broughan from Blenheim stepped up to claim the South Island title from recent Mainland Series class winner, Lochy McGregor from Nelson.
The Mitre 10 Mega KartSport New Zealand North Island Sprint title meeting was run by the KartSport Manawatu club at its Manawatu Toyota Raceway at Shirriffs Rd, Palmerston North. The South Island Sprint title meeting was hosted by the KartSport Southland club at its Invercargill Oil Shop Raceway at Sandy Point Domain.
Both meetings attracted strong entries with over 90 across nine classes for the North Island one and almost 60 across six classes for the South Island one.