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Karters Remember Jason Richards


Karters from around the country gathered in Nelson over the weekend to contest the third annual Jason Richards Grand Prix meeting in memory of the late kart and touring car star who died in 2011.

The meeting attracted 63 entrants across eight classes with drivers travelling from as far afield as Auckland and Christchurch.

Kartsport Nelson's club president Kevin Barker said the meeting was "a huge success"."Each year the event grows and each year we try and make the next one better again," he said. "It's also such an honour to have Jason Richards's parents Dave and Pauline attend the meeting and be part of prize giving".

Nelson's newest kid on the block, Lochiel McGregor, took a surprise win in the Cadet Rok class after qualifying on pole. He won the first three heats over clubmate Ollie Workman who went on to win the other two races, but McGregor collected enough points to win his first major event after being in the sport for less than six months.Workman was second with Marlborough's Arthur Broughan third.

The Vortex Mini Rok class also saw a close battle up the front between current New Zealand champion Jacob Douglas and Bo Hill from Nelson. Douglas won the first three heats but Hill took the overall win over Canterbury's Liam Pink and Douglas.

Marlborough's William Exton had a clean sweep in the Rotax Junior class from qualifying on pole and winning all 5 heats including the 40-lap Grand Prix. Canterbury's Jacob Mitchell finished the weekend second and club mate Adam Godwin was third.

Canterbury's Caleb Cross was the man to beat in the Rotax Light field. He won all the races expect the reserve grid heat across the weekend and event broke the lap record along the way. His club and team mate Jarred Cleghorn was close behind in second with Marlborough's Andrew Broughton rounding up the podium.

Current New Zealand champion and former world champion Ryan Urban won the Rotax Heavy class in style, even after a huge downpour of rain just before the top six shootout and 40 lap grand prix final. Nelson's Kevin Barker finished behind Urban in second with Duncan Barrett third.

Nelson's Tony Dyer qualified on pole in the Briggs Light class but slid down the order to finish fourth. Ben Stilborn stepped up on the top step of the podium alongside club mates Jamie Smith and David Pinkerton.

Competition was also close in the Briggs Heavy class and Canterbury's Nathan Clive qualified on pole. He broke the lap record in the first heat but couldn't hold off Nelson's Derryn French who took the overall win from Clive with Tasman's Jason Richards in third.

Chris Cox of Canterbury is the only driver to ever grab a back to back Jason Richards Grand Prix Championship in the Open class. Nelson's Matt Butchart came home second with Canterbury's Simon Moore rounding off the podium.

Article via The Nelson Mail