|press release||22 November 2016|
Kiwi karters Daniel Bray and Matthew Hamilton were both in the money at the 20th annual SuperKarts USA SuperNationals meeting in Las Vegas over the weekend, the pair finishing fourth and fifth respectively in the S1 Pro class.
There were mixed fortunes for the other two Kiwis competing at the meeting however. Tiffany Chittenden did well to work her way back up to 13th place at the flag after being penalised 10 grid places for having to change engines between the heats and main event in her class, S4 Masters.
Above: Matthew Hamilton (pic - Fast Company/Todd McCall)
James Blair, meanwhile, was injured in a high speed accident in the third S2 class heat and was not able to start his final on Sunday.
Bray, from Auckland, and Hamilton from Christchurch, went into the meeting - the biggest in the kart world with over 600 entries from around the world - as two of the drivers to watch in the S1 class, and they didn’t disappoint.
Hamilton, driving for the US-based Aluminos squad, was initially the quicker, qualifying fourth to Bray's sixth before the pair finished the first heat in the same positions.
Bray then finished fifth to Hamilton's dnf in the second heat and fifth again in the third to Hamilton's eighth.
That meant Bray started the final from the third row of the grid, Hamilton from the fifth.
Above: Daniel Bray (pic - Fast Company/Todd McCall)
Bray says that after struggling for an ultimate set up early on in the event things finally clicked ahead of the Final in which he got as high as third before being slotted back to fourth by second quickest qualifier and heat winner Jake French who went on to finish third behind race winner Danny Formal and runner-up, quickest qualifier AJ Myers.
" I was second fastest in warm up in the morning and I was fast in the opening half of the race but then my tyre pressures got a bit high," Bray said from the track on Sunday night. " I had the fastest race lap early on but French took that back off me as he got quicker and in the last five laps it was really hard holding Matt off as he came back through."
Where top female driver Tiffany Chittenden might have finished had she been able to start the S4 final from where her heat place finished dictated - ninth- is a moot point. The Christchurch-based British expat, driving for the Aluminos team, was sixth quickest in qualifying and was sixth in the first class heat, 11th in the second and 12th in the third.
Above: Tiffany Chittenden (pic - Fast Company/Todd McCall)
That meant she was ninth in the class pecking order ahead of US category stalwarts like Jimmy McNeill and Jordan Musser.
As it was Chittenden put in one of the drives of the event to work her way from as far back as P24 in the 34-strong field to 13th at the line.
Above: James Blair was injured in a preliminary race when a fellow competitor bumped him off the track (pic - Fast Company/Todd McCall)
20th annual SuperKarts USA SuperNationals Las Vegas Convention Centre carpark Las Vegas Nevada USA Wed-Sun Nov 16-20 2016
S1 Pro Moto
1. Danny Formal 20:39.624
2. AJ Myers +0.274 25
3. Jake French +0.381
4. Daniel Bray +5.055
5. Matt Hamilton +5.418
6. Jake Craig +6.222
1. Gian Cavaciuti 16:51.703
2. Antonio Perez +0.226
3. Ryan Kinnear +0.499
4. Chris Jennings +3.058
5. Jordon Musser +3.365
6. Alan Michel +4.110
13. Tiffany Chittenden +17.291