Easter treats us to massive weekend of Kiwi motorsport
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Easter weekend offers some motorsport contrast, with the stars of tomorrow competing at the KartSport national championship and the cars of yesterday racing down the quarter-mile strip at Meremere Dragway.
KartSport NZ is hosting the Giltrap Group 2018 National Sprint Championship title over a three-day format at KartSport Rotorua’s 1.2km Century Batteries International Raceway at Mamaku.
Seven class titles have attracted more than 140 entries with fields especially strong for the Junior (under-17) age groups including the Vortex Mini ROK (9-12 years), Rotax Junior (12-16) and Cadet ROK (6-10) categories.
Racers in the Vortex Mini ROK class have additional incentive with a trip to the annual ROK Cup International meeting in Italy in October on offer to the Nationals winner.
Senior racing will see the best of the nation’s karting talent and a handful of Australian challengers contesting the 125cc Rotax Max Light and Heavy classes, along with shifter kart competition for the Rotax two-speed DD2 racers and the 125cc six-speed KZ2 category.
Qualifying for all classes will be held on Good Friday afternoon with heats on Saturday and pre-finals, finals and prizegiving at the track on Sunday.
Racing starts at 9.30am both days.
Meanwhile. the World’s End Nostalgia Drags, hosted by the Bay Rodders, at Meremere on Saturday, will be deliver its annual tribute to the early years of drag racing.
This year’s special attraction is a transtasman Classic Gasser challenge with four Australian cars shipped in to take on four Kiwi Gassers.
Gassers are typically modified 1930s to 1960s steel body cars with a straight front axle and a nose-high stance to achieve weight transfer — and crowd-pleasing wheel stands — under acceleration. The Gasser name comes from an era before methanol and nitro were commonplace in drag racing and Avgas was a common fuel choice.
Part of the Kiwi side for the challenge will see the return to racing of the Pandemonium 65 Dodge Coronet of Hamilton’s Daz Selwyn.
The Nostalgia Drags include a FED (front-engine dragster) Challenge which carries a $5000 prize fund along with competition cars, pre-48 hot rods and pre-72 muscle car eliminations.
There will be nitro racing with the Nitro Flashback Chev Vega funny car of Karl Boniface, Dave Gauld’s Nitemare 34 Ford Coupe altered and the Hombre Fiat Topolino restored last year by Hawera’s Grant Stables.
On Sunday, the quarter-mile racing continues with inter-club competition at the annual NZ Hot Rod Magazine/Classic Cover Club Champs for hot rods and street machines.
Along with the karting nationals, it’s a busy weekend in Rotorua with the traditional Easter Extravaganza speedway double-header at Paradise Valley Raceway featuring Super Stock, Stock Car and Modifieds as the drawcard classes. Racing starts at 6pm on Saturday and Sunday.
The other major oval track event of the holiday weekend is the North Island Sprint Car Championship at Mt Maunganui’s Baypark Speedway. The title was originally scheduled to be raced in February and rescheduled due to bad weather. Racing starts at 6.30pm.
Auckland’s Waikaraka Park has a demolition derby, fireworks, and the Auckland Saloon Car Champs set for a 6pm start on Saturday.
Pukekohe Park Raceway is the venue for the holiday weekend circuit racing with the final round of the Speedworks Events summer series running Saturday and Sunday at the Counties circuit.
The line-up of race categories for the final championship round includes the Porter Group V8 Utes, NZ Super Trucks, Pirelli Porsche Championship, the four Tradezone GTRNZ classes, Hi-Q Components Formula First and Nexen Tyre Pro 7 Mazda Racing.