Young Auckland karter Josh Richmond was the star performer on the first day of competition at this year’s Porter Group KartSport NZ National Sprint Championship meeting at Hamilton today, qualifying quickest in both classes he has entered. 125cc Rotax Max Junior and Vortex ROK DVS Junior.
Special guest driver, Virgin Australia Supercars champion and runaway 2019 series points leader, Scott McLaughlin, also proved he is a bona fide title prospect in the 125cc Rotax Max Heavy class, setting the second quickest lap time in his qualifying session, just 00.084 of a second behind two-time former class champion Ryan Urban from Auckland.
Practice and qualifying across eight NZ Championship classes was held in near perfect conditions at the KartSport Hamilton club’s Porter Group Raceway opposite the city’s international airport today.
It was very much a case of youth versus experience in the Senior classes with Matthew Payne quickest in KZ2, Ryan Crombie from Auckland and Zac Stichbury from Hawke’s Bay pipping defending class title holder Daniel Kinsman in 125cc Rotax Max Light, and fellow teen Ryan Wood from Wellington beating multi-time New Zealand title-holder Matthew Hamilton to the #1 qualifying spot in Rotax DD2.
Hayden Lines, meanwhile, stepped up to set the fastest lap time in the Vortex Mini ROK junior class, while reigning South Island class title holder Arthur Broughan from Blenheim was comfortably quickest in Cadet ROK.
Action on track continues for the next two days with three heat races per class tomorrow (Saturday) and Pre-Finals and Finals on Sunday.
For those who can’t make it to Hamilton, the event will be livestreamed on Easter Saturday and Sunday both here: https://livestream.com/i-filmsport/KartSportNationalSprintChamps2019 and on the KartSport New Zealand Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/KartSportNZ/
Event Timetable and Entry List is here: http://www.kartsport.org.nz/events/2019-national-sprint-championships