Rianna O’Meara-Hunt is flying the flag for the girls in her kartracing class.
The Whitby 11-year-old is in her first season of the junior restricted 100cc Yamaha class, after 18 months in the cadet ranks. She has a way to go, dad Martin says, but can only improve after a ninth-place finish in the final of the CIK Trophy event at Kaitoke last month.
‘‘She was nervous at the beginning of the weekend [ January 26-27] but by the end you could see Rianna had found a lot more confidence,’’ he said. ‘‘ Through each of the races she was always further forward on the grid.’’
O’Meara-Hunt had two qualifying sessions and three heats on the Saturday before a pre-final and final on the Sunday.
It is all great experience in the kart, against older drivers, Martin says. They wanted a top-10 finish and that’s what O’Meara-Hunt achieved, and she ‘‘ absolutely loves’’ beating the boys.
This year her focus will be on the nationals at the end of March, and the North Island champs in October. Both are in Kaitoke, a fantastic venue for this region’s kart-racers, Martin says.
In other classes, Takapu Valley sisters Maddy and Ashleigh Stewart came 13th and 19th respectively in the junior 100cc Yamaha final, while Brent Melhop from Tawa was ninth in the 125cc Rotax Max Light final.
The meet attracted more than 100 entries across all classes and highlights will be shown on TV3 on March 31 and April 28 at 3pm.
Crowd favourite: All Black Sevens star Lote Raikabula showed what he’s made of at a training match against Portugal at Porirua Park last Wednesday.