|by Lindsay Beer||12 April 2017|
Excitement is building as Invercargill prepares to host the 2017 KartSport New Zealand National Sprint Championships meeting over Easter.
One man looking forward to the event is Southland’s most recent KartSport NZ national sprint champion, Regan Carter of Invercargill.
Carter won three National Sprint titles in a stellar karting career. His first was the 100cc Yamaha Heavy class title at Christchurch in 2002, an achievement he repeated at Hamilton a year later.
Above: Regan Carter competing on his home track in 2005 (pic - Fast Company/KartSport NZ file)
He then went on to take his third and final national championship - in the Open class - on his home circuit in 2005.
On that occasion he also placed second in the Rotax Max Light class and third in the 100cc Yamaha Light class. Remarkably the title was won using a home-made kart, to the best of Carter’s knowledge the only time that has been accomplished.
Carter gave away competition not long after winning the Open title in 2005 after several back surgeries. Now, as the father of two young girls, he simply no longer has the time to dedicate to racing.
While he no longer competes Carter will be in the pits helping out at the Sievwright Blasting Panel Paint KartSport New Zealand National Sprint Championships at the Invercargill Oil Shop Raceway at Sandy Point on the outskirts of Invercargill this weekend.
He still has many friends in the sport and will be helping former Southlander Mark Elder, the current North Island Open champion. Carter would dearly love to see a Southlander repeat his feat of winning a title at home and says Scott Waters and George Keast in the Rotax Max Heavy Class could be a shot to do it. He praises Kartsport Southland, saying the track and facilities are looking good.
There is a star studded line up heading south for the champs and Carter recounts that many of those he raced against in his prime went on to star in motor racing. Included are Wade Cunningham who won the 2003 World Karting Championship before embarking on a motor racing career at the highest level in the United States, and Matt Hamilton, who has raced all over the world.
Carter fully recommends karting as a sport.
“You won’t find any racing that is closer.”
He doesn’t rule out returning to the sport when the family is all grown up either, and although he wouldn’t push them into it, if his girls wanted to try the sport it would be “all good” with him.
The Sievwright Blasting Panel Paint KartSport New Zealand National Sprint Championships take place at the Invercargill Oil Shop Raceway at Pit Road, Sandy Point, Invercargill over Easter with qualifying on Good Friday followed by racing on both Saturday and Sunday.
On track action will feature from 9am to 4pm each day. The public are very welcome to attend and admission is free.