Kiwi Eyes Aussie Superkart Title After New Year WinTweet
Wellington karter Karl Wilson has set his sights on the Australian SuperKart Championship after claiming his third International class title in as many years at the Racetech-backed 2013 New Zealand SuperKart Championship and Grand Prix meeting at Feilding's Manfield circuit on Saturday.
"That's the plan," said the 28-year-old former sprint class title holder who qualified quickest and set the fastest race lap on his way to winning all four International class heats at the first major New Zealand karting meeting of the New Year. "We've been looking at doing the Aussie titles for a couple of years now and this year looks like it's going to be the year."
Though he admits it will be a tough ask taking on Australia's top SuperKart drivers on their home circuits (Sydney Motorsport Park and Phillip Island) Wilson is already highly rated in international karting circles having claimed an impressive debut win at the annual Superstars of Superkarts meeting at Laguna Seca in the United States in September last year.
The International class title was one of four contested at this year's New Zealand championship meeting at the 3.033km Manfeild motor racing circuit. The others went to defending title holder Steve Wilton from Wellington (National), former Rotax Max Challenge sprint class winner and New Zealand representative Josh Hart from Palmerston North (Rotax Max Light), and Aucklander Daniel Sayles (Rotax Max Heavy).
Wilson and Hart also won their respective 2013 New Zealand Grand Prix races, Wilson the International/National one from International class runner-up Robin Wooldridge (Whangarei) and former New Zealand Superkart champion Paul Dunlop (Clydevale), Hart the Rotax Max one from Faine Kahia (Rotorua) and Caleb Hartley (Auckland).
The annual SuperKart championship meeting again attracted a strong entry from across the country with Wilson the obvious favourite but good depth in the premier International class field thanks to the entries of fellow category stalwarts Robin Wooldridge, Paul Dunlop, Tony Bowden and Tony Gestro.
Though both Gestro and Tony Bowden beat him to the line in the first heat, Wooldridge recovered to finish second behind Wilson in the three other heats and the GP to end up second overall with Gestro third, Dunlop fourth and Bowden fifth.
After qualifying quickest in the National class, Steve Wilton went on to win the first three heats but conceded the fourth to eventual class runner-up, Hawke's Bay driver Matthew Waugh. Third after a busy day in which he also contested the Rotax Max Heavy class was Palmerston North's Darryl Currie.
Few drivers attempt to run two classes at a SuperKart meeting but Currie not only did it he claimed podium placings in both, finishing second to 2012 class runner-up and 2013 class winner Daniel Sayles in Rotax Max Heavy as well as third in National.
Rotax Max Light, meanwhile, was an all-Palmerston North affair, with Josh Hart - who has been racing and working as a race engineer in Europe for the past four years - qualifying quickest and winning the three heats he entered to add a road race title to the many sprint ones he has accumulated over the years.
Faine Kahia qualified second and won the fourth heat but ended up third in the overall class standings behind Hart and former Junior class standout Josh Drysdale who qualified third but finished second -to either Hart or Kahia - in each heat.
The Racetech 2013 New Zealand SuperKart Championship and Grand Prix was organised by KartSport Wellington and run with the support of Racetech, Go Pro cameras, Wynns and MG Tyres.
Rotax Max Light
Rotax Max Heavy
Rotax Max GP
Pommie Trophy (aggregate over heat and GP positions)