Undeterred by cool, damp weather and changeable track conditions Vortex category karters Clay Osborne (Vortex Mini ROK) and Liam Sceats (Cadet ROK) raced their way to class victories at the opening round of this year's CRC Speedshow-sponsored Top Half Series at the KartSport Tokoroa club's Holsters Trade Zone Raceway at Tokoroa on Sunday.
Osborne's win came against the biggest class field at the meeting and came thanks to two heat wins, a third and two fifths. Fellow Hamiltonian Connor Davison won two of the other heats but ended up second overall for the round five points back with Josh Richmond third and Blake Austin fourth.
The battle for top spot in the Cadet ROK class was between two young Auckland drivers, Liam Sceats and Kaden Probst. Sceats won three heats and finished third in the two others for the round win but Probst ended up only five points back in second with three second placings and a fifth and sixth, with the consistent Ryan Bell just three points back for third overall.
Lee Zeltwanger proved the driver to beat in the other Junior class, Rotax Max Junior, winning three heats to lead home fellow Auckland drivers Taylor Hurst and Joshua Parkinson.
As far as close finishes go, the closest came in the 125cc Rotax Max Light class where Corey Green from Tauranga beat fellow teen Caleb Huston from Rotorua to the round win by one point! Green won three of the heats but Huston's consistency (three seconds, a third and a fourth) saw him claim second place from Elliott Malcolm and Taylor Harte.
In the combined DD2/125cc Rotax Max Heavy class races four heat wins from five starts gave Sam Waddell from Tauranga the DD2 win from Alex Newlove and Warren Parris, while three heat wins set Caleb Hartley up for a good win in Rotax Heavy from Ashton Baird with Darren Walker and Simon McRae tying for third.
Category stalwart Graham Knight, the President of the KartSport Eastern Bay of Plenty club, enjoyed a dominant victory in the 120 Clubsport class, winning four of the five heats with Dean Oliver second and the winner of the fourth heat, Steve Muggeridge, the Vice President of the Eastern Bay of Plenty club, third.
The opening round of the series also saw the introduction of a Dash for Cash GP race at each round with a reverse grid starting format based on results from the five class heats and $500 cash for the winner. The first Junior one was won by Cullern Thorby from Ashton Grant and Joseph Terry.
This year's CRC Speedshow Top Half series has a prize pool including a minimum of $8,000 in prize money, $6,000 in CRC product giveaways, four sets of MG tyres and a custom-painted Arai SK-6 helmet complete with helmet bag courtesy Arai NZ, Headcase Designs and Lightning Racegear valued at $2000.
The four-round series kicked off at Tokoroa on Sunday and heads to the Bay of Plenty in May, and Auckland in June (Mt Wellington club) and July (Auckland club).
CRC Speedshow is New Zealand's premier automotive and motorsport expo and this year will be held at Auckland's ASB Showgrounds over the July 16-17 weekend.
More information on this year's CRC Speedshow Top Half series can be found on KartSport New Zealand's website
http://www.kartsport.org.nz/events/2016-top-half-series and Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/TopHalfSeries/
Class sponsors this year are KartZone from Tauranga (Cadet ROK), Supreme Kart Supplies from New Plymouth (Vortex Mini ROK), Spartan 4Toyota in Auckland (Rotax Max Junior), Lascom Motorsport Auckland (125cc Rotax Max Light), Barfoot & Thompson Pukekohe (125cc Rotax Max Heavy), WRB Karting Supplies Whangarei (Raket 120), and Right Karts Auckland, (DD2).
2016 CRC Speedshow Top Half Series - Calendar:
- Rnd 1: Sun April 10 Holsters Trade Zone Raceway Tokoroa
- Rnd 2: Sun May 29 Te Puke Auto Electric Raceway Te Puke
- Rnd 3: Sun June 26 Windward Properties Raceway Mt Wellington, Auckland
- 2016 CRC Speedshow Sat-Sun July 16-17 ASB Showgrounds Auckland
- Rnd 4: Sun July 31 Strata Networks Raceway, Avondale Auckland