Preview: The Kiwis at Pro Tour

KIWI KARTERS UNDER THE SPOTLIGHT IN QUEEENSLAND THIS WEEKEND

One of the largest groups of New Zealand karters ever to cross the Tasman for a single meeting will join their Australian counterparts racing under lights for the first time at the third round of this year’s Sparco Rotax Pro Tour at Ipswich in inland Queensland this weekend.

With leading young female Junior driver Breanna Morris from Auckland joining 2019 series regulars Bradley Hewson, Clay Osborne and Josh Richmond in the Junior Max class, and former class winner and NZ rep Fraser Hart re-joining the popular Australian series in Rotax DD2 Masters there will be 14 Kiwis competing at the meeting.

Bradley Hewson (#35 Junior Max) from Rotorua and Josh Richmond (#6 Junior Max) from Auckland (pic – Fast Company/Cooper’s Photography)

They’re a battle-hardened group as well with Wellington’s Ryan Wood (Rotax DD2) and Hamilton’s Fynn Osborne (Rotax Light) both earning NZ#1 titles at the Porter Group KartSport New Zealand National Sprint Championships meeting at Easter, and three others – Josh Richmond (NZ#2 125cc Rotax Max Junior), Clay Osborne (NZ#3 125cc Rotax Max Junior), and Bond Roby (NZ#3 Rotax DD2) – claiming podium placings.

Usually the programme at a round of the Sparco Rotax Pro Tour sees qualifying and heats run on Saturday then the Pre-Finals and Finals on Sunday.

Marco Manson from Auckland, #25 Micro Max (pic – Fast Company/Cooper’s Photography)

This weekend though, Qualifying and the first round of heats starts on Friday, with the rest of the heats and Pre-Finals on Saturday then the Finals under lights on Saturday evening.

“Racing under lights just adds to the excitement, it’s not something drivers get to do often, some even have never done it, so it’s a great opportunity to try something new and a way to mix things up,’ says Ipswich Kart Club President and DD2 Masters class driver Scott Howard.

Also up for grabs are Queensland State titles across the Rotax classes, providing an added incentive for Aussie and Kiwi drivers alike.

Rianna O’Meara-Hunt #6 and Fynn Osborne #69, Rotax Light (pic – Fast Company/Cooper’s Photography)

After the first two (of six) rounds of the 2019 Pro Tour youngster Marco Manson from Auckland is the best placed on the flying Kiwis, currently lying third in the points standings in the Micro Max class.

Josh Bethune, also from Auckland, is next best in Rotax DD2, in fifth place, then Clay Osborne from Hamilton (Junior Max) and Jackson Rooney from Palmerston North (Rotax Light) are currently sixth overall in their classes.

Clay Osborne from Hamilton, #15 Junior Max (pic – Fast Company/Cooper’s Photography)

Then comes Aucklanders Bond Roby (8th in Rotax DD2) and Josh Richmond (9th in Junior Max), Michael McCulloch from the Kapiti Coast (10th in Rotax Light), Bradley Hewson from Rotorua (11th in Junior Max), Sebastian Manson from Auckland (11th in Mini Max), Wellington’s Rianna O’Meara-Hunt (14th in Rotax Light) and Hamilton’s Fynn Osborne (15th in Rotax Light).

2019 Australian Rotax Pro Tour Calendar

  • Rnd 1 Jan 24-27 Todd Rd Melbourne VIC
  • Rnd 2 March 8-10 Eastern Creek Sydney NSW
  • Rnd 3 May 03-05 Ipswich QLD
  • Rnd 4 June 21-23 Puckapunyal VIC
  • Rnd 5 Aug 09-11 Warwick QLD
  • Rnd 6 Sept 13-15 Albury VIC
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