Kiwi karters Liam Sceats and Louis Sharp are off to Melbourne again later this year after sealing ROK class wins at the final round of the 2016/17 Manawatu & TRC Toyota WPKA Goldstar Series in the Hawke's Bay over the weekend.
For the past three years the overall series' winners of the Vortex Mini ROK and Cadet ROK classes have earned entries to, and karts to use at, the annual City of Melbourne kart meeting in August thanks to NZ Tony Kart and ROK engine importer Maurice Frost of Supreme Kart Supplies & Engines of New Plymouth, and this year Gary Douglas Engineers of Palmerston North.
For each driver it will be a second trip to the meeting. Current South Island and New Zealand champion Louis Sharp first went in 2015 when he won the Goldstar Cadet ROK title for the first time, while Liam Sceats went last year when he won the Cadet ROK class title.
This year Sharp won back the Goldstar Cadet ROK title while Sceats (who has moved up an age group) won the Vortex Mini ROK one.
Other series' class winners decided at the final round in Hawke's Bay on Sunday, were Jackson Rooney (Rotax Max Junior), Campbell Jamieson (Rotax Max Light), Braden Parsons (ClubSport 120) and Jacob Cranston (Open).
Prizes for them included free entry to next year's Rotax Max Challenge series courtesy Rotax engine importer and series organiser Right Karts (Jackson Rooney), a Hot Lap and two tickets to a day at a race meeting with Simon Evans and Smeg Racing (Campbell Jamieson and Braden Parsons), and free entry to next season's series for the winner of the Open class (Jacob Cranston).
This season's Goldstar series again produced some of the best and closest racing in the country, with the final round no exception.
With four wins from five heats Palmerston North teenager Jackson Rooney claimed his second round win from three in fine style, claiming Rotax Max Junior class honours from William Exton from Picton, Riley Jack from Palmerston North and local duo Zac Stichbury and Ronan Murphy.
New Plymouth ace Campbell Jamieson earned his first series round win in Rotax Max Light, pipping Michael McCulloch from the Kapiti Coast by one point and claiming the series win on countback after the pair both ended up with 172 series' points. Olivia Yardley from Christchurch kept the flag flying high for the country's female drivers in third with Palmerston North's John Wallace fourth and Tauranga speedway champ Sam Waddell fifth.
Round honours in the Open class went to multi-time New Zealand champion Mathew Kinsman though the stand-alone Senior Grand Prix race went to Open class series' winner Jacob Cranston from Palmerston North.
Local driver William Pearson claimed round honours in the ClubSport 120 class, though runner-up Braden Parsons from Palmerston North - the class winner at the first two rounds - earned the series' title from clubmate Brent Hickmott and New Plymouth's Stuart Frew.
Also impressing was Wellington's Brent Melhop who top-scored in the LO26 Briggs & Stratton 4-stroke-engined class-within-a-class.
Where the racing was closest and the depth greatest, however, was in the two ROK-engined Junior classes.
In his first appearance at a Goldstar round this season young Hamilton driver Clay Osborne won the day in Vortex Mini ROK though second place was more than enough for Liam Sceats to take the series' title. Palmerston North driver Jenson Bate had one of his best days to date with third overall from Logan Manson from Levin and Sebastian Manson from Auckland.
Recently-crowned class NZ Sprint champion Louis Sharp from Christchurch finally met his match in Cadet ROK, ending up third on the day behind Pukekohe's Emerson Vincent and top local driver Thomas Bewley. It was close though, with Vincent and Bewley both claiming two heat wins apiece and second and third placings going to countback after Bewley and Sharp ended up tied on points.
With wins at both previous rounds, the Cadet ROK class series win was Sharp's for the taking with Vincent second, Bewley third and Judd Christianson from Palmerston North fourth.
The standalone class Grand Prix races are a key part of every Goldstar round and points are also collated across the three rounds to find the series' GP winners.
This year round GP wins at Hawke's Bay went to Jacob Cranston (Senior), Jackson Rooney (Junior), Clay Osborne (Vortex Mini ROK) and Emerson Vincent (Cadet ROK). Cranston, Rooney and Vincent also took series' GP honours in their respective classes, with the other series' title (in Vortex Mini ROK) going to Liam Sceats.
The weekend round in Hawke's Bay was the final series' one for this season's Manawatu & TRC Toyota WPKA Goldstar Series. The KartSport Manawatu club now runs the annual standalone 'WPKA Championships' meeting in Palmerston North on Sunday June 04.
Class winners at the third and final round of the Manawatu & TRC Toyota WPKA Goldstar Series in the Hawke's Bay on Sunday included Jackson Rooney (#30) seen here leading Riley Jack (#31) and William Exton (#42) in a Junior Rotax Max heat, Emerson Vincent (#10) who here leads Thomas Bewley (#4) in a Cadet ROK class race), Vortex Mni ROK round winner Clay Osborne (#2) leading series class winner Liam Sceats (#23), and Rotax Max Light class protagonists Campbell Jamieson (#50) and Michael McCulloch (#70). Photo credit: Fast Company/Vicky Jack
1. Mathew Kinsman; 2. Jacob Cranston; 3. Brendon Jury; 4. Clint Beaumont; 5. Quin Clark; 6. Niki Urwin
Rotax Max Light
1. Campbell Jamieson; 2. Michael McCulloch; 3. Olivia Yardley; 4. John Wallace; 5. Sam Waddell; 6. James Higgins
1. William Pearson; 2. Braden Parsons; 3. Brent Hickmott (M); 4. Chris Parkinson; 5. Stuart Frew; 6. David Hammond
1. Brent Melhop (M); 2. Shaun Hibbs; 3. Shane Sayer; 4. Shaun Croskery.
1. Jackson Rooney; 2. William Exton; 3. Riley Jack; 4. Zac Stitchbury; 5. Ronan Murphy; 6. Jackson Whitfield
Vortex Mini ROK
1. Clay Osborne; 2. Liam Sceats; 3. Jenson Bate; 4. Logan Manson; 5. Sebastian Manson; 6. Ayrton Williams
1. Emerson Vincent; 2. Thomas Bewley; 3. Louis Sharp; 4. Judd Christiansen; 5. Jay Urwin; 6. Ollie Workman.
1. Jacob Cranston 19 laps; 2. Mathew Kinsman +0.921; 3. Clint Beaumont +10.172; 4. Brendon Jury +10.356; 5. Quin Clark +14.444; 6. James Higgins +22.892
1. Jackson Rooney 15 laps; 2. William Exton +1.240; 3. Zac Stitchbury +1.459; 4. Riley Jack +1.906; 5. Dylan Anderson +17.046; 6. James van den Berk +17.168
Vortex Mini ROK GP
1. Clay Osborne 12 laps; 2. Harry Bewley +0.268 ; 3. Jenson Bate +1.650; 4. Liam Sceats +1.980; 5. Ben Stewart +2.501; 6. Logan Manson +2.747
Cadet ROK GP
1. Emerson Vincent 12 laps; 2. Thomas Bewley +1.567; 3. Judd Christiansen +2.358; 4. Jay Urwin +3.181; 5. Louis Sharp +4.147; 6. Kiaihn Burt +5.239
Final series points
1. Jacob Cranston 174 points; 2. Brendon Jury 173; 3. Michael Jury 161; 4. Ashley Higgins 159; 5. Quin Clark 112; 6. Clint Beaumont 110.
Rotax Max Light
1. Campbell Jamieson 172 points; 2. John Wallace 172; 3. James Higgins 165; 4. Ashton Baird 160; 5. Scott Manson 117; 6. Logan Boyde 58
1. Braden Parsons 178 points; 2. Brent Hickmott 168; 3. Stuart Frew 163; 4. Roger Pepperell 113; 5. Richard Krogh 109; 6. David Hammond 108
Rotax Max Junior
1. Jackson Rooney 178 points; 2. William Exton 172; 3. Riley Jack 169; 4. Zac Stichbury 168; 5. Ronan Murphy 165; 6. Jackson Whitfield 160
Vortex Mini ROK
1. Liam Sceats 176 points; 2. Mason Potter 165; 3. Asten Addy 163; 4.Logan Manson 163; 5. Jenson Bate 161; 6. Ben Stewart 155
1. Louis Sharp 177 points; 2. Emerson Vincent 174; 3. Tom Bewley 171; 4. Judd Christianson 165; 5. Kiahn Burt 162; 6. Ollie Workman 161
GP Series points
1. Jacob Cranston 145 points; 2. Brendon Jury 140; 3. Ahsley Higgins 125; 4. Camphell Jamieson 125; 5. Braden Parsons 112; 6. Clint Beaumont
Rotax Max Junior GP
1. Jackson Rooney 148 points; 2. William Exton 143; 3. Zac Stichbury 140; 4. Jakson Whitfield130; 5. Ronan Murphy 128; 6. Dylan Anderson
Vortex Mini ROK GP
1. Laim Sceats 139 points; 2. Jenson Bate 135; 3. Logan Manson 134; 4. Logan Smith 132; 5. Ben Stewart 126; 6. Mason Potter 125
Cadet ROK GP
1. Emerson Vincent 147 points; 2. Louis Sharp 142; 3. Tom Bewley 140; 4. Kiahn Burt 137; 5. Ollie Workman 132; 6. Judd Christianson
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
WPKA Championships June 04 2017 Manawatu Toyota Raceway Palmerston North Manawatu