Fightback Drive Earns Wood NZ KZ2 Round Win

A stirring fightback drive from the back of the 19-strong Aarque Group KZ2 class Final field to a hard-earned fourth by the time the chequered flag came out earned fast-rising young Wellington karter Ryan Wood his first round win of the 2019 Toyota Racing ProKart Series in conjunction with Speedworks season in Auckland on Sunday.

Ryan Wood won the round in KZ2 (pic – Fast Company/Graham Hughes)

The teenager’s weekend got off to a good start with pole in qualifying, the quickest lap time in the Top 10 Shootout, and a win over Graeme Smyth in the first heat. However established class star Matt Kinsman won the second heat from international Daniel Bray with Wood third, multi-time former class champion Ryan Grant won the third from Wood and Kinsman, and Kinsman won the Pre-Final with Grant second and Wood again third.

That gave Wood P3 on the grid for the Final, held in the most difficult driving conditions imaginable, a wet but slowly drying track with the field running on treaded wet tyres.

Unfortunately for Wood, he came off second best in the rush for track position on the opening lap and ended up at the back. He then put in the drive of the race, however, to work his way up to P13 by half distance and finally P4 with a lap to go, setting the fastest race lap along the way.

KZ2 Masters winner Jared MacKenzie #73 (pic – Fast Company/Graham Hughes)

Mat Kinsman actually won the Final with a smooth unchallenged run in which he held the lead on every lap, but by getting up to 4th place Wood salvaged enough points to claim the round win from Kinsman by a single point, with one of the other fast-rising teenagers in the field, Josh Parkinson, third, and Daniel Bray fourth.

Bray went into the Auckland round with a narrow series’ points lead over Kinsman but after a round which saw a failed fuel pump wreck his kart’s engine early in qualifying then only complete 17 laps of the final thanks to another issue, he didn’t have quite the run he was hoping for.

Despite that Bray still earned enough points to share fourth place for the round with fellow Aucklander Graeme Smyth and Tauranga ace Sam Waddell. Second for the round, meanwhile, was enough for Mat Kinsman to catch but not pass Bray in the series’ points standings, the pair heading into the winter break now tied for the lead on 353 points, seven more than third placed Graeme Smyth (346), 20 more than fourth placed Rhys Tinney (333) from Hamilton and 21 more than Josh Parkinson and Ryan Grant who are tied on 332 points in fifth.

Garry Cullum won KZ4 (pic – Fast Company/Graham Hughes)

Zac Zamprogno ended up best of the two Australian competitors who crossed the Tasman for the meeting, the 16-year-old finishing the Final in an event-best third place and ending up 10th overall for the round.

Compatriot Kye Cavedon found the going tougher, the 17-year-old finishing an event-best 10th in the third heat but 15th overall for the round after a dnf in the Final.

In the other Aarque Group KZ2 classes, Jared MacKenzie continued on his winning way in Masters, while former KZ4 class title holder Garry Cullum used the slippery track conditions to his advantage to turn the tables on Rnds 1,2 & 3 winner Regan Hall in their class.

Dylan Giltrap, 1st Junior Rotax (pic – Fast Company/Graham Hughes)

The two Giltrap Group Rotax classes (Light and Junior) proved a happy hunting ground for Auckland brothers Ashton and Dylan Grant, while Palmerston North driver Ashley Higgins claimed his second class round win of the 2019 series in the Manawatu Toyota-backed Rotax Max Heavy category.

The full list of class round winners at the KartSport Auckland-organised meeting at Giltrap Group Raceway in Avondale was;

  • Aarque Group KZ2 – Ryan Wood (Wellington)
  • Aarque Group KZ2 Masters – Jared MacKenzie (Auckland)
  • Aarque Group KZ4 – Garry Cullum (Auckland)
  • Giltrap Group Rotax Max Light – Ashton Grant (Auckland)
  • Manawatu Toyota Rotax Max Heavy – Ashley Higgins (Palmerston North)
  • Giltrap Group Rotax Max Junior – Dylan Grant (Auckland)

The weekend’s round at Auckland was the fourth of sixth with a short mid-winter break now of seven weeks before the penultimate round at Tokoroa in early August and the final in Hamilton in early September.

Ashton Giltrap, 1st Rotax MAX Light (pic – Fast Company/Graham Hughes)

RESULTS2019 Toyota Racing ProKart Series in conjunction with Speedworks

Aarque Group KZ2

Round

  1. Ryan Wood; 2. Mat Kinsman; 3. Josh Parkinson; 4=. Daniel Bray, Graeme Smyth & Sam Waddell.

Points after Rnd 4 of 6

1=. Daniel Bray & Mat Kinsman 353 points; 3. Graeme Smyth 346; 4. Rhys Tinney 333; 5=.Josh Parkinson & Ryan Grant 332.

Aarque Group KZ2 Masters

Round

  1. Jared MacKenzie; 2. Kevan Storr; 3. David Malcolm; 4. Andrew Hunt; 5. Jason Gunn.

Points after Rnd 4 of 6

  1. Jared MacKenzie 368 points; 2. Kevan Storr 346; 3. Andrew Hunt 343; 4. Jason Gunn 334; 5. David Malcolm 261; 6. Tim Loughran 256.

Aarque Group KZ4

Round

  1. Garry Cullum; 2. Regan Hall; 3.  Shaun Curran; 4. Aaron Wooley; 5. Nick Tombleson; 6. Sam Dashfield.

Points after Rnd 4 of 6

  1. Regan Hall 364 points; 2. Garry Cullum 356; 3. Aaron Wooley 343; 4. Sam Dashfield 338; 5. Shaun Curran 337; 6=. Kevin MacDonald & Brendan Benadie 324.

Giltrap Group 125cc Rotax Max Light

Round

  1. Ashton Grant; 2. Ryan Crombie; 3. Marco Giltrap; 4. Zane Hills; 5. George Sampson; 6. Ian Smith.

Points after Rnd 4 of 6

  1. Ashton Grant 348 points; 2. Marco Giltrap 334; 3. Shaun Johnston 322; 4. Ryan Crombie 266; 5. Fynn Osborne 263; 6. George Sampson 250.

Manawatu Toyota 125cc Rotax Max Heavy

Round

  1. Ashley Higgins; 2. Darren Walker; 3. Brendon Hart; 4. Henry Gelb; 5. Simon van der Drift; 6. Craig Holmwood.

Points after Rnd 4 of 6

  1. Darren Walker 355 points; 2. Henry Gelb 302; 3. Ashley Higgins 270; 4. Brendon Hart 257; 5. Simon van der Drift 247; 6. Craig Holmwood 244.

Giltrap Group  125cc Rotax Max Junior

Round

  1. Dylan Grant; 2. Riley Spargo; 3. Mitchell Sparrow; 4. Nathan Crang; 5. Hayden Bakkerus; 6. Leo Scott.

Points after Rnd 4 of 6

  1. Riley Spargo 356 points; 2. Dylan Grant 343; 3. Nathan Crang 332; 4. Gemma Winters 327; 5. Hayden Bakkerus 326; 6. Logan Manson 322.

CALENDAR

  • Rnd 1: Manawatu Toyota Raceway Palmerston North Sat-Sun Feb 16-17
  • Rnd 2: Century Batteries International Raceway Rotorua Sat-Sun March 16-17
  • Rnd 3: Visi Line Raceway Te Puke Sat-Sun May 18-19
  • Rnd 4: Giltrap Group Raceway Auckland Sat-Sun June 15-16
  • Rnd 5: Stihl Shop Tokoroa Raceway Tokoroa Sat-Sun Aug 03-04
  • Rnd 6: Porter Group Park Hamilton Sat-Sun Sept 07-08
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