First race for Manawatu & TRC Toyota WPKA Goldstar Series at the Todd Energy Raceway.
Young New Plymouth karter Thomas Boniface had to work hard for his Vortex Mini ROK class win at the opening round of the 2016/17 Manawatu & TRC Toyota WPKA Goldstar Series at Todd Energy Raceway in Waitara on Sunday.
Palmerston North's Andrew Hoare (Open), and Louis Sharp from Christchurch (Cadet ROK), dominated their respective classes, each winning four of their five heats as well as their stand-alone class Grand Prix races.
In the class with the most entries (20), however, Boniface was one of four heat winners and ended up third in the class Grand Prix behind day runner-up Liam Sceats and recently crowned South Island class champion Zac Christensen.
Christensen won two of the five heats but a more consistent run (finishing no lower than sixth compared with an 18th for Christensen) saw Boniface claim the round win from Liam Sceats and Mason Potter from Auckland, and Asten Addy from Hamilton.
The meeting attracted 60+ entries from across the North Island and as far south as Christchurch. The big news in the Open class was the winning return of Andrew Hoare, who won the round from New Plymouth's Brendon Jury and Rangiora's Chris Cox, and the Open Grand Prix race from Clint Beaumont from Palmerston North, Cox and Brendon Jury.
There was a surprise, meanwhile, in 125cc Rotax Max Light, with Christchurch's kart-turned-stock-car star Scott Manson staging a winning return to his roots to claim round honours from locals Logan Boyde and Campbell Jamieson.
Braden Parsons went one better in the other Senior class, ClubSport 120, three heat wins from five starts seeing last season's series' runner-up win the day from Derek Lawrence and Ivan Smith.
Ryan Wood from Wellington was another driver to claim a class and GP race win, this time in the Rotax Junior class. But with both last season's Vortex Mini ROK class winner Jackson Rooney, and inaugural New Zealand ROK Cup Vortex Mini ROK title holder William Exton, now running in the Rotax Junior class Wood's job is not going to get any easier.
Both he and Rooney claimed two heat wins apiece and both ended up with the same score, the final result having to go to countback with Wood getting the nod from Rooney, Exton and second-generation Hawke's Bay racers Zac Stichbury and Ronan Murphy, a result which was mirrored in the class Grand Prix race.
How close it was between Wood and Rooney - the latter in his debut drive in the Rotax Junior class - can be seen in the numbers. Rooney twice broke the class lap record during the day and scored the same number of wins, seconds and thirds as eventual winner Wood.
Even on the final countback there was only one placing in it, Wood with a fourth, Rooney a fifth.
Finally, taking up where he left off at the end of the 2015/16 Bayleys WPKA Goldstar Series was young Christchurch driver Louis Sharp who claimed class and Grand Prix honours in the Cadet ROK class.
Second in class was Tom Bewley from Hawke's Bay, third Emerson Vincent from Pukekohe and fourth recently crowned North Island champion Kiahn Burt from Palmerston North.
After a break through the high summer the 2016/17 Manawatu & TRC Toyota WPKA Goldstar Series will resume at the KartSport Wellington club's George Refrigeration & Air Conditioning Raceway at Kaitoke on Sunday March 05.
RESULTS - 2016/17 Manawatu & TRC Toyota WPKA Goldstar Series Rnd 1 Todd Energy Raceway Waitara Taranaki Sun Nov 20 2016
1. Andrew Hoare; 2. Brendon Jury; 3. Chris Cox; 4. Jacob Cranston; 5. Mike Jury; 6. Clint Beaumont
1. Scott Manson; 2. Logan Boyde; 3. Campbell Jamieson; 4. John Wallace; 5. James Higgins; 6. Brent Symes
1. Braden Parsons; 2. Derek Lawrence; 3. Ivan Smith; 4. Roger Pepperell; 5. Garth Lacey ; 6. Richard Krogh
1. Ryan Wood; 2. Jackson Rooney; 3. William Exton; 4. Zac Stichbury; 5. Ronan Murphy; 6. Riley Jack
Vortex Mini ROK
1. Thomas Boniface; 2. Liam Sceats; 3. Mason Potter; 4. Asten Addy; 5. Logan Smith; 6. Logan Manson
1. Louis Sharp; 2. Tom Bewley; 3. Emerson Vincent; 4. Kiahn Burt; 5. Hugo Neale; 6. Ollie Workman
1. Andrew Hoare 8:41.846
2. Clint Beaumont +4.373
3. Chris Cox +7.714
4. Brendon Jury +9.995
5. Jacob Cranston +10.108
6. Mike Jury +11.038
Rotax Junior GP
1. Ryan Wood 7:13.606
2. Jackson Rooney +0.143
3. William Exton +0.408
4. Zac Stichbury +0.552
5. Ronan Murphy +0.841
6. Jamie van den Berk +3.082
Vortex Mini ROK GP
1. Liam Sceats 6:17.757
2. Zac Christensen +1.988
3. Thomas Boniface +3.569
4. Logan Smith +3.760
5. Mason Potter +5.203
6. Jacob Douglas +5.463
1. Louis Sharp 6:26.832
2. Kiahn Burt +0.397
3. Emerson Vincent +4.416
4. Tom Bewley +4.619
5. Ollie Workman +8.373
6. Judd Christianson +8.981
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