Marlborough karters may have had a small representation at the recent National Sprint Championships in Christchurch, but they certainly made their presence felt.
Just three members of Kartsport Marlborough made the trip south for the Easter meet, claiming three podium positions from the eight classes they contested.
Leading the way was rising star William Exton, who out-raced a world champion on his home track to win one of the most popular classes.
Exton, the reigning South Island champion, claimed the 2021 #1NZ title in the 125cc Rotax Max Light class.
The Marlborough driver won the New Zealand title in the 125cc Rotax Max Junior title the last time a NZ National Sprint title was held, Easter 2019, and completed a seamless transition to the senior ranks by qualifying on pole and winning two of the three heats as well as both the pre-final and final, all from legendary local driver Matthew Hamilton.
To his credit Hamilton – a four-time winner of the #1NZ plate in the 125cc Rotax Max Light class - beat Exton to win the first heat by 0.002 of a second. However, after that, Exton was unbeatable, eventually reaching the finish line in the final 0.386 of a second in front of Hamilton and almost three seconds ahead of third-placed Clay Osborne.
Exton also claimed a bronze medal in the Rotax DD2 class.
The second of the Marlborough contingent was Arthur Broughan, who finished second in the Vortex Mini ROK class, while young Charlie Botham came home eighth from 17 starters in the VMR class, picking up invaluable experience.