Easter weekend at full throttle
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National karting titles, some of the final speedway championship events and the summer motor racing series finale all feature on a full-throttle Easter weekend motorsport calendar.
KartSport NZ traditionally runs its National Sprint titles over Easter weekend and the 2017 championship event will see title honours up for grabs in 10 classes near Invercargill.
The KartSport Southland club is hosting the nationals at its 700m-long Sandy Point track on Saturday and Sunday.
Headlining the holiday circuit race action is the final round of the IRC (Independent Race Classes) summer series at Taupo's Bruce McLaren Motorsport Park.
The Saturday-Sunday race programme includes the SS2000, Pro 7s, Formula First, NZ Six, Pre 65 saloons, Super Mini Challenge, Kiwi Sports Sedans and Central Muscle Car categories.
Speedway has a big holiday weekend programme as the 2016-2017 summer season nears its completion. Rotorua's Paradise Valley Raceway has one of the longest-established Easter events with the Easter Extravaganza headlined by Super Stocks, Stock Cars and Modifieds on Saturday and Sunday.
Auckland's Waikaraka Park Speedway has a Demolition Derby and the Auckland Saloon Car Champs on Saturday and Napier's Meeanee Speedway runs its traditional East Coast Champs weekend on Friday and Saturday.
There's also oval track championship action with the North Island Midget Car Championship at Huntly Speedway on Friday evening and a late change to the Speedway NZ calendar sees the North Island Super Saloon Car Championship shifted from Wellington's Te Marua Speedway -- after a sequence of rain-outs -- to Mt Maunganui's Baypark Speedway on Saturday evening.
In the South Island,the Central Motor Speedway at Cromwell will host the South Island Sprint Car Championship on Sunday.
The 2017 New Zealand Offroad Racing Championship began recently with the opening North Island regional round raced at Meremere. The South Island portion of the series begins with the Nelson Offroad Racing Club staging an enduro race on Saturday and short-course racing on Sunday at Tapawera.
There's car club gravel competition with Motorsport Bay of Plenty running the first round of its Day-Night Sprint Series on the 4km loop at the TECT All Terrain Park on Sunday.
The major motorcycling event is in Canterbury with the annual Mountain Thunder street race for classic and post-classic bikes on a tight 1km street circuit in Methven.
On the international stage the major events over Easter weekend are round three of the Formula 1 World Championship at Bahrain, while the 6 Hours of Silverstone, opening the FIA World Endurance Championship, sees Kiwi drivers Brendon Hartley, Earl Bamber and Richie Stanaway in action.