|press release||3 March 2017|
The 2016/17 Manawatu & TRC Toyota WPKA Goldstar Series bursts back into life in Wellington on Sunday with a bumper entry and promise of clear skies and balmy late summer weather.
Wellington Provincial Karting Association (WPKA) President Chris Rooney confirmed on Thursday that he had over 80 entries, with the Junior classes again the standout.
Above: Andrew Hoare (#27 Open) leading Jacob Cranston and Brendon Jury at the opening round in November (pic - Fast Company/Vicky Jack)
"Vortex Mini ROK is our biggest single class with over 20 entries then we have 15 in Rotax Max Junior and 13 in Cadet ROK. We also have good fields in the Senior classes with 10 in Open and as many as 12 or 13 with the Briggs and Stratton LO206 guys joining with the ClubSport 120 class for the first time."
After a long, high summer break, karters across all the classes will be keen to renew rivalries forged at the first round of the 2016/17 series in Taranaki in November.
In Vortex Mini ROK there are at least eight youngsters with the ability to win including Aucklanders Liam Sceats and Mason Potter, Zak Christensen from Christchurch, Logan Manson from Levin, and Wellington's Ben Stewart.
In Cadet ROK, meanwhile, Tom Bewley from Havelock North and Emerson Vincent from Pukekohe are expected to again take the battle to first round class and class GP winner Louis Sharp from Christchurch.
To Rotax Max Junior and top local driver Ryan Wood claimed first round honours in Taranaki but Jackson Rooney from Palmerston North, William Exton from Picton and second-generation racers Zac Stichbury and Ronan Murphy from the Hawke's Bay are all ready to pounce this weekend.
Above: South Island class title holder Louis Sharp (#SI) leading his North Island counterpart Kiahn Burt (#NI) in Cadet ROK (pic - Fast Company/Vicky Jack)
In Open, Chris Cox from Rangiora, Jacob Cranston from Palmerston North and Brendon and Mike Jury from New Plymouth are expected to renew their rivalry. While in the combined Rotax Light/Heavy senior class first round winner Scott Manson from Rangiora will start with favourite status but strong competition expected to come from Palmerston North pair James Higgins and John Wallace, and New Plymouth's Campbell Jamieson.
Palmerston North driver Braden Parsons looks hard to beat in ClubSport 120, with extra interest injected in that class by the inclusion for the first time of at least three of the new 4-stroke Briggs & Stratton-powered LO206 class karts.
2016/17 Manawatu & TRC Toyota WPKA Goldstar Series
Rnd 1 Nov 20 2016 Todd Energy Raceway Waitara Taranaki
Rnd 2 March 05 2017 George Refrigeration & Air Conditioning Raceway Kaitoke Wellington
Rnd 3 May 07 2017 Chemz Raceway Roy's Hill Hastings Hawke's Bay
Championships round June 04 2017 Manawatu Toyota Raceway Palmerston North Manawatu