Long a favourite with the country’s top level karters, the CIK Trophy of New Zealand meeting is back on the competition calendar in 2019, set to be hosted at one of its former homes, the KartSport Hamilton club’s Speedworks Raceway facility opposite the city’s airport over the January 19-20 weekend.
The CIK-FIA is the governing body of KartSport around the world and the meeting – at which CIK of NZ and Challenge Cup Trophies are contested across a number of classes – was an annual fixture on the local karting calendar from 1998 to 2013.
Previous Senior CIK Trophy of NZ winners include New Zealand’s 2003 World Karting Champion Wade Cunningham (ICA/F100 2001, 2003 & 2006) and his younger brother Mitch Cunningham (F100 2007 & 2008), from Auckland, while previous Junior CIK Trophy of NZ winners include 2012 GP3 Series winner and now works Jaguar Formula E driver Mitch Evans (JICA 2007), and 2017 Japanese Super GT class champion Nick Cassidy (JICA 2008) (both from Auckland).
The list of winners of the various Challenge Cup trophies for the support classes also reads like a who’s who of top New Zealand racing drivers.
It starts with Toro Rosso Formula 1 driver Brendon Hartley (who won the Cadet class trophy in 1998) and includes 2016 Virgin Australia Supercars series champion Shane Van Gisbergen (Junior Yamaha class winner in 2003), current European Formula 3 championship points leader Marcus Armstrong (Junior Yamaha winner in 2013) and current German Formula 4 Championship race winner Liam Lawson (Cadet class winner in 2012 and Junior Restricted Yamaha class winner in 2013).
It also includes the driver with the most CIK Trophies to his name, Aucklander Ryan Grant (seven) and the driver who has enjoyed the most success internationally in the KZ2 class, Daniel Bray, both again from Auckland.
For several years some of Australia’s best karters also crossed the Tasman for the CIK Trophy meeting with Matthew Wall claiming two class wins (F100 in 2005 and KZ2 in 2006) and Matthew Waters one win (KF2 in 2012). Plans are underway to attract top Australian karters to the 2019 event.
Between 2005 and 2013 the CIK Trophy of NZ was contested by drivers in 125cc/6-speed ICC/KZ2 class karts, 100cc direct drive ICA/Formula 100 and 125cc KF2 karts and the Junior CIK Trophy by drivers using 100cc Junior ICA and latterly 125cc KF3 class karts.
One of the catalysts behind the reintroduction of the CIK Trophy of New Zealand meeting has been the recent addition of two new kart classes, Vortex ROK DVS (Senior) and Vortex ROK DVS Junior to KartSport NZ’s official roster. The spec Vortex ROK DVS engine is very closely based on the current CIK-FIA OKJ class engines and is the same as used for the CIK-FIA Academy class, which runs at major CIK-FIA events in Europe and in a number of other countries.
The result is that there will be three separate CIK Trophies (KZ2 and Vortex ROK DVS Senior & Junior) and three Challenge Cups (for the Rotax DD2, Cadet ROK & Vortex Mini ROK support classes) up for grabs at the January19-20 meeting.
The big attraction for Kiwi competitors in the senior Vortex ROK DVS class will be the two entries, including kart, engine and travel package, to the annual ROK Cup International meeting in Italy in November 2019 for the class winner and runner-up at the event.
The meeting will also double as the opening round of the 2019 ROK Cup New Zealand Series (which also includes the National Sprint Championships at KartSport Hamilton at Easter 2019).
More information on the 2019 CIK Trophy of NZ meeting at Hamilton as it comes to hand.