Spearheaded by Aucklanders Bond Roby and Marco Manson, the 11-strong contingent of Kiwi karters contesting Australia’s Sparco Rotax Pro Tour series this year are in Sydney preparing for the second round at the Sydney Motorsport Kart Club’s kart track at Eastern Creek this weekend.
Roby and Manson were the best performing Kiwi karters at the opening 2019 series round at Melbourne’s Todd Rd kart track over the Jan 26-27 Australia Day weekend, with both heading in the second round 3rd in class (Roby Rotax DD2, Manson Micro Max) in the series’ points standings.
As they were at the opening round in Melbourne in late January Bond and Roby will be joined at the second round this weekend by nine other resident Kiwis. In order of where they stand in the points after the opening series round, the group consists of top Kiwi female driver Rianna O’Meara-Hunt from Wellington, who is currently 6th in the Rotax Max Light class points standings, ahead of fellow Kiwis Jackson Rooney from Palmerston North (12th), Fynn Osborne from Hamilton 15th and Michael McCulloch from the Kapiti Coast 18th.
Josh Richmond from Auckland also enjoyed a strong start to his Australian campaign in Melbourne, heading to Sydney 7th in the Junior Max points standings ahead of Clay Osborne (8th) from Hamilton, and Bradley Hewson (9th) from Rotorua.
Rounding out the results as the Kiwis head into practise on Friday then qualifying and the first three of four heats on Saturday kart and now single-seater racer Josh Bethune is 10th overall in the Rotax DD2 class while Sebastian Manson (Marco’s older brother) is 12th in Mini Max.
As well as series points, also up for grabs this weekend are NSW state title plates in all the classes.
A change in the usual Rotax Pro Tour round format has also been made for the weekend with an extra heat (making it four instead of the previous three) per class.
Qualifying still determines the grid for the first two heats but then points accumulated from finishing positions in those first two heats determines the grid for the third.
Accumulated points from the first three heats then determines the grids for the fourth heat then the points tally after all four sets the grids for the Pre-Final. The finishing order of the Pre-Final then becomes the starting order of the Final.
Qualifying and the first three heat races for each class are on Saturday with the fourth heat, Pre-Finals and Finals on Sunday.
Kiwi fans can keep up with action at www.rotax.com.au or www.facebook.com/rotaxprotour with Sunday’s racing livestreamed.
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 03-04 Ipswich QLD
Rnd 4 June 21-23 Puckapunyal VIC
Rnd 5 Aug 09-11 Warwick QLD
Rnd 6 Sept 13-15 Albury VIC