Payne Shows Pace In ‘Big Time’ Debut

Kiwi kart international Daniel Bray enjoyed another strong weekend at the second (and final) round of this year’s CIK-FIA European KZ2 Championship meeting in Italy over the weekend, finishing 12th in the Final at the South Garda Karting circuit and 10th equal in the overall 2018 championship points standings.

His young teammate on the works GP Karts/Aluminos Group/TM Racing/LeCont squad, fellow Aucklander Matthew Payne, also impressed with his pace early on in the three-day event, but fell foul of the greater intensity of racing at a world level in the heats and did not qualify for the Final.

Matthew Payne was quick but failed to make the Final on his European debut (pic – Fast Company/Sportinphoto Agency)

Bray was full of praise for the teenager though and says the lessons the 15-year-old student from Papakura’s Rosehill College learned at Lonato will stand him in good stead the next time he travels to Italy to race,

“He did really well. Unfortunately he was involved in two accidents not of his making which cost him places which at this level you just can’t make up. There were over 90 entries and only 34 places on the grid in the Final. So all it can take is one bad heat and you are off for an early shower.

“Matt showed he’s a quick learner though, because in our warm-up (races) on Saturday I was 15th and he was 16th and he went the quickest he had all weekend in qualifying which is a good sign. All he needs is a bit more time on the track racing at this level and a bit of luck…..”


Though he reckons he didn’t qualify (P20) as well as he had hoped to, Bray carded two sixths and a seventh, eighth and tenth placings in his heat races to qualify 15th for the Final.

He then got what he described as ‘a great start, just a little bit blocked in’ only to ‘get fed to the weeds a lap in and find myself back in 18th place.’

Undeterred, he put his head down, setting the seventh quickest lap of the race to cross the finish line in 12th place.

Daniel Bray finished 12th in the KZ2 class Final at Lonato (pic – Fast Company/Sportinphoto Agency)

Rnd 1 2018 CIK-FIA European KZ & KZ2 Champs Rnd 2 Lonato Italy July 13-15 2018

KZ2 class
1. Emilien Denner (Fr) KaliKart
2. Giuseppe Palomba (It) Intrepid
3. Riccardo Longhi (It) Birel
4. Matteo Vigano (Tony Kart)
5. Giacomo Pollini (It) Formula K
6. Alessio Piccini (It) Tony Kart
12. Daniel Bray (NZ) GP/Alum

2018 CIK-FIA European KZ Champs
Final placings
1. Adrien Renaudin (Fr) 46
2. Giacomo Pollini (It) 37
3. Emilien Denner (It) 35
4. Guiseppe Palomba (It) 34
5. Riccardo Longhi (It) 34
6. Alessio Piccini (It) 34
10=. Daniel Bray (NZ) 12