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Kart stars alongside championship hopefuls at Hampton Downs

This weekend’s championship motor racing at the Hampton Downs International Motorsport Park brings delivers a first with a karting category joining the top-tier Castrol Toyota Formula Regional Oceania Championship (CTFROC) internationals.


The fourth round of the 2024 Super Sprint MotorSport New Zealand Championship series, racing at the Waikato location features five competition categories and more than 100 teams.


Joining the schedule are Formula First, Pirelli Porsche and more than 60 cars in the TradeZone GTRNZ series.


For the Superkarters, the top-tier of motorsports entry level of karting, it’s a chance to see the next step of competition.

For the Formula First competitors, it’s a chance to show what the karters can graduate to.


“The good thing is there is a progression path from karts to Formula First, Formula Ford and then on to the Toyota category, and onward,” said Dennis Martin – talent coach and operator of the driving school that most of today’s top New Zealand drivers graduated from.


“First is about teaching them the patience of taking the steps through those categories.


“Jackson Culver is an example. He turned 12 just before the start of the summer series and joins us for the championship in Formula First.


“He’s coping really well.”


Culver had been racing in karts from aged six – and the freshly turned 12-year-old will be the youngest competitor at Hampton Downs, having just passed the minimum age threshold for a motorsport licence.


The youngster is expecting a visit from mentor Liam Lawson – a graduate of Dennis Martin’s Sabre Motorsport team.


Each of the category’s test on the Friday with qualifying and a first race on the Saturday.

Sunday has race action from 9:30am through to the 23-lap CTFROC race from 4pm in the afternoon.


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