Cold winds and wet weather challenged drivers and crew members alike at the latest Top Gear Top Half kart series round at Tokoroa’s Stihl Shop Tokoroa Raceway over the weekend,
It didn’t stop many of the Junior drivers in particular turning up the heat in their classes however.
The organising club, KartSport Tokoroa, did a very efficient job of ensuring that all 130 entrants got their heat racing done and dusted to allow time for the Giltrap Group Dash for Cash race (which at this round was contested by the Vortex Mini ROK class).
Some race it turned out to be too, being won by Whangarei driver Harry Scott – who took the lead over Hamilton driver Jacob Lucas with 4 laps to go – with fast-closing class round winner Sebastian Manson and runner-up Jay Urwin 3rd and 4th respectively.
With a heat win apiece the round win in the Vortex Mini ROK class was all about consistently high finishes in the other four, Aucklander Sebastian Manson grabbing the win by just one point over Bay of Plenty driver Jay Urwin. Another young Auckland driver, Ashton Phipps, finished 3rd, with top South Island competitor Ollie Workman from Nelson making the trip north worth it by finishing 4th for the weekend.
In Cadet ROK, meanwhile, youngster Miles Baker definitely brought his A game to Tokoroa, showing how much he has improved over the series so far by taking a heat race win alongside consistent finishes in the other four to win the day. Aucklander Marco Manson was not far behind finishing 2nd for the round followed by Cole Turney and Carson Daly.
Rotax Max Junior proved to be one of the most competitive classes throughout the weekend, with four different race winners – Tayler Payne, Clay Osborne, Declyn Goffin and Ayrton Williams – across the four heats raced.
For the second round in a row, it was Clay Osborne (#3 main picture) who ended up on the top step of the podium, putting himself in a prime spot for overall series honours. Manawatu’s Logan Manson came away with second for the round, while Rotax newcomer Ryan Bell of Rotorua showed his potential with third overall for the round.
Rotax Max Light saw Auckland’s Charlie Coleman taking an impressive opening race win. It was reigning NZ#1 Fynn Osborne, however, who continued his strong showing taking two heat race wins as well as the round win (by an 11-point margin), the latter from Sodi driver Ashton Grant and Rotorua ace Bradley Hewson..
Rotax Max Heavy saw the return of class stalwart Aarron Cunningham, though it was Caleb Hartley who showed strong form early in the weekend with two wins in the opening two races. Cunningham showed no signs of rust, with a heat 3 win over Hayden Knight but with wins in the final two heats it was Kartzone driver Adam Bell who took the round win by 3 points over Hartley with Cunningham in 3rd.
In Rotax DD2 Sam Waddell and Josh Bethune claimed two heat wins apiece but the round win went to Waddell from Bethune and Sodi driver Jason Lee continuing to show his pace with third overall for the round.
Long-time KZ2 class competitor Graeme Smyth again showed why he is one of the top shifter drivers in the country, with four heat wins from five to claim the class round win from youngster Sam Wright (the only other driver to win a KZ2 heat race on the day) and fellow Aucklander Regan Hall.
Finally, Shannon Noble continued his strong pace from round 2 into round 3 in the ClubSport 120 class. With two heat wins as well as 2nd, 3rd and 4th placings across the other heat races Noble took the round win by 9 points from the consistent Cliff Walsh and Ht 4 winner, and usual class pace-setter, Stephen Muggeridge.