Former New Zealand Grand Prix Champion Andy Knight of Christchurch and ten-time New Zealand karting titleholder Ryan Grant of Auckland joined forces to score victory over a star studded line-up in the Open Class of the Big Ben Pies Enduro at Christchurch's Powerbuilt Tools Kart Raceway at the weekend
The duo were competing against the cream of Australasia's circuit and kart racing drivers. Drivers of the calibre of Australian V8 Supercar star Jason Richards, former New Zealand A1GP star Jonny Reid, NZ Formula Ford Champion Richie Stanaway and other top level kiwi circuit racing stars such as Hamish Cross, Adam Brook and Matthew Hamilton were on the grid. The karting fraternity featured two Australian aces plus numerous New Zealand karting champions including the current National Champion in the class, Graeme Smyth.
Knight and Grant shared the qualifying duties before Knight grabbed pole in the two lap pole shuffle for the top ten. The pair then went on to lead from start to finish covering 233 laps, six more than the previous race record on their way to securing the win over a field of twenty-eight starters.
Grant did the first stint of just over one-hour and handed over to Knight who then brought the kart home to victory. Grant opened an early gap and then nursed the Vortex 125cc Maranello RS7 shifter through his stint to conserve the tyres. When Knight took over he was able to push on and lapped the second placed team twice due to the good condition of the tyres.
Knight and Grant crossed the line well ahead of Chris Cox of Christchurch and Invercargill driver Jamie Conroy with Jason Richards and Hamish Cross third.
Knight, a former Toyota Racing Series Champion and a current NZV8 Championship competitor on the country's motor racing circuits, has done little karting in recent times but prior to embarking on his successful motor racing career he had won several kart titles. Since switching to cars he has raced throughout New Zealand, Australia and the United States with success in a wide variety of machinery.