Hamilton Wins NZ KartStars Round 1

press release

A heartbreak for young Auckland driver Simon Evans handed TotalSpan 125cc Rotax Max Light class victory to experienced Christchurch driver Matthew Hamilton at the opening round of the 2009 KartStars Gen-i Challenge at KartSport Manawatu's annual day/night meeting in Palmerston North on Saturday night, 21st Feb.

After qualifying fourth then finished third in each heat and second in the Pre-Final, Evans, the 18-year-old son of New Zealand motorsport identity Owen Evans, grabbed an early lead in the winner-takes-all-Final only to fall foul of the rules when his kart's nose-cone came loose and eventually fell off.

Above: Mathew Hamilton
pic - Fast Company/Dave Ayres

Though he was able to hold off Hamilton and take the chequered flag Evans was immediately excluded from the results, gifting the win to Hamilton from young Auckland drivers Kane Taylor and Mathew Kinsman.

It was an unfortunate end to what looked like turning into the perfect day for Evans, who had been the pace-setter in the heats and Pre-Final.

If anyone deserved to inherit the win however it was Hamilton who having joined pole sitter Niki Urwin on the front row of the grid for the two heat races then won the second heat from Urwin and Evans and the Pre-Final from Evans, with Urwin third and Mathew Kinsman fourth.

The Kinsman name was also to the fore in the Arai Formula Junior class as Mathew's younger brother Daniel completed the round's only clean sweep, beating defending joint title holder Nick Cassidy to pole position in qualifying then to the chequered flag in the two heats, the Pre-Final and Final.

Auckland's Aaron Hodgson qualified third then finishing third in the heats and Pre-Final but ended up fourth overall after being beaten to third place in the Final by Cambridge's Andy Schofield.

Arguably the most competitive class at the annual day/night meeting however was Strata Networks 125cc Rotax Max Heavy where Dunedin's Paul Booth eventually prevailed over Auckland's Bradley Alexander and Hamilton's Michael Grimshaw.

With a different scoring system - which took the performance across all five races rather than just the Final into account - Booth came out on top with a combination of speed and consistency, winning two of the five heats and finishing no lower than third in the other three.

Michael Grimshaw also won two heats - the second and the third - but ended up third overall behind Booth and Alexander after slipping to eighth place in the fifth heat.

The 2009 Kartstars Gen-i Rotax Max Challenge is brought to you with the support of Gen-i, TotalSpan, Arai Helmets, Strata Networks and Right Karts. The Bay of Plenty Kart Club hosts the next round at its Fagan's Valley Raceway track over the April 25-26 weekend.

2009 KARTSTARS GEN-I ROTAX MAX CHALLENGE OF NEW ZEALAND Rnd 1 Kart in the Dark meeting Manawatu Toyota Raceway Shirriffs Rd Palmerston North Sat Feb 21


TotalSpan 125cc Rotax Max Light

1. Matthew Hamilton; 2. Kane Taylor; 3. Mathew Kinsman; 4. Ryan Urban; 5. Mason Armstrong; 6. Tim Vickers

Arai Formula Junior

1. Daniel Kinsman; 2. Nick Cassidy; 3. Andy Schofield; 4. Aaron Hodgson; 5. Shaun Morris; 6. Mitchell Keys

Strata Networks 125cc Rotax Max Heavy

1.Paul Booth 6 points; 2. Bradley Alexander 13; 3=. Michael Grimshaw/Brendon Hart 14; 5. Daryl Currie 15; 6. Nick Rodgers 16



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