National grass kart champs a success

New Zealand Grass Kart Championships 2021 midget category, ages 5-9, winner Callum Arnold (8) at the event in Hedgehope during Easter weekend. Photo: Supplied

THERE is nothing quite like more than 200 karts roaring through a grass paddock to get your heart racing.

Those were the scenes at a Hedgehope farm during Easter weekend as petrolheads took to the field for the New Zealand Grass Kart Championships on April 3-4.

Southern Grass Kart Club secretary and committee member Callie Arnold said the competition was the biggest to date, with about 400 people attending, more than half of whom were racing.

“It’s an extremely family-friendly sport where there’s a lot of support.

“Everyone just gets stuck in and helps out, especially with the kids.”

Kart enthusiasts from Timaru to Christchurch, Otago and more made the journey to take part in the annual event.

Some had even been racing in the same competition for more than 25 years.

Arnold described it as a real “have a go” sport, run off a whole heap of energy.

Racers from age 5 upwards tried their hand at getting the dirt flying in a range of competitions during the two days. After the event was cancelled due to Covid-19 last year, it was a relief for the southern club to be able to host it in Southland having to race through rain, high winds and changing track conditions, she said.

A huge amount of work had gone into making the day a success.

“We had about seven people organising the event with plenty of late nights and stuff going on behind the scenes.”

There were about 13 classes for competitors to sign up to, including an all-female category, and everyone was welcome.

From music to food stalls, there was plenty for children and adults alike to get involved in on and off the track.

The festivities were wrapped up during an evening at the Ascot Park Hotel on Sunday, where entrants took part in the prizegiving ceremony and reminisced on the event.