Preview: Kiwis at KZ Worlds


If they can qualify well there is no reason why young Kiwi karters Matthew Payne (Ricciardo Kart/Vortex/Bridgestone) and Dylan Drysdale (Birel Kart/Vortex/Bridgestone) cannot do well at this weekend’s big FIA Karting International Super Cup (KZ2) meeting in Italy says someone who should know, 2018 event runner-up Daniel Bray.

Matthew Payne (pic – Fast Company/Umberto Fraenkel-Sportinphoto)

Aucklander Bray, now 32 and in demand as much for his abilities to mentor the next generation of drivers and engineer their karts as he is his own ability behind the wheel, decided against competing again himself this year. But the multi-time NZ champion, who has also won titles in the US and twice podiumed the annual International Super Cup (KZ2) event in Europe, has every faith in his two KZ2 class proteges, former NZ#1 Dylan Drysdale, 19, and current NZ champion Matthew Payne, 16.

“Both will definitely have the speed,” said Bray this week “Dylan has been fast in testing these past few weeks and has been living just up the road (from the Lonato track) since he moved to Italy at the start of the year so he should have as good a show as any of the other top drivers. The same goes for Matt. South Garda was his home track when he was living up there earlier in the year as well.


Dylan Drysdale (pic – Fast Company/Cooper’s Photography)

“The only problem I foresee is that unlike last year, when the Super Cup event was held at Ghenk in Belgium, it’s going to be harder to come up with any sort of advantage this time around because South Garda is the track all the big teams test at so – if you like – everybody will be fast.”

As it did last year, when Daniel Bray finished second to top Italian karter Matteo Vigano in the 2018 International Super Cup (KZ2) event at Ghenk, the 2019 title race again shares the promo bill with the final round of FIA Karting’s Academy Trophy Series, and the 2019 FIA Karting World Championship round for the premier KZ class.

That alone makes it arguably the most prestigious meeting on the global karting calendar. It is definitely one of the biggest in terms of entries, with a record 48 drivers from 22 countries across four continents entered in the KZ category, and a frankly incredible 126 entered in KZ2, including drivers from eight new nations like South Africa, Mozambique and Mexico.

Joining Drysdale and Payne at the meeting is 14-year-old compatriot Jacob Douglas from Christchurch who is also looking for a top finish, in his case in the FIA Karting Academy Trophy class.