Last weekend, 95 Giltrap Group ProKart Series competitors faced a mix of conditions at the rescheduled second round of their COVID-19-interrupted 2020 series at the KartSport Tokoroa club’s Stihl Shop Tokoroa Raceway.
Testing at the track on Friday saw sun, rain, wind and even some hail towards the end of the day. This always adds an extra challenge for not only the competitors but also the crew as they are always having to keep an eye on the kart set up and which tyres to run for the practice sessions.
Come Saturday and in the always fast and competitive KZ2 class, multi-time former ProKart Series winner Ryan Grant grabbed pole position on the final lap of qualifying over Mat Kinsman and Graeme Smyth.
Veteran Auckland-based KZ2 category stalwart Grant then carried over his qualifying pace into the first heat race of the weekend, taking the victory over Smyth and Kinsman. However Sodi Kart team leader Mat Kinsman proved more than up to the challenge with classy victories in the remaining races of the weekend.
The KZ2 final was action packed as usual, with sun and rain showers coming into play. Kinsman took the win over Grant by 3.6 seconds, however, after Smyth was caught up in racing incidents which saw him retire early from the final.
Youngster Connor Davison took the final step of the podium for the round, showing that a new generation of KZ2 drivers is more than capable of taking the more experienced KZ2 drivers to task.
KZ2 Masters qualifying was dominated by Pukekohe driver Kevin Storr, who went on to show strong speed over the weekend. He was unlucky at the beginning of the final, however after being turned around putting him more than half a lap behind the entire field.
Despite the handicap Storr then showed why he qualified on pole position in the KZ2 Masters class as he drove back up through the field before making a final last corner pass on ProKart Series promoter Steve Brown to join Jared Mackenzie and David Malcolm on the podium.
Long time Rotax DD2 class driver Jason Lee, made the jump over to the KZ4 field at Tokoroa, showing his potential with pole position over category specialist Regan Hall. Hall went on to show his race experience in the class, however, by taking wins in all four heats including the pre final and final. Hall had rather dominant gaps when taking his victories over the weekend with Lee coming home in second place for the round ahead of final runner-up Tony Walker who ended up third,
In the support classes 125cc Rotax Max Light was another class that saw the qualifying session being extremely close, Aucklander Ryan Crombie was the driver to come out on top over Brad Hewson and Fynn Osborne. New Zealand champion Fynn Osborne took two heat races victories over the weekend, with Crombie and Fynn’s brother Clay Osborne taking the other two heat races. Clay Osborne was looking like he was going to take victory in the final, however Ryan Crombie was able to challenge for and take the lead and win that race from Clay Osborne and young Aucklander Josh Richmond.
Current North Island Champion Marco Giltrap once again dominated the Rotax Heavy class, taking pole position and going on to dominate all four heat races as well as the pre-final and final, winning the latter by 9.1 seconds over Darren Walker with Aaron Tahu.
SpeedSport Scholarship winner Dylan Grant was the one to chase in the Rotax Max Junior class qualifying session, grabbing pole position over Mitchell Sparrow and Jay Urwin. Newcomer to the Rotax Junior class Sebastian Manson proved that he had the pace in the heats, winning three, including the pre-final by 5.6 seconds.
The Rotax Junior field started the final with the sun shining and Manson extended his lead until the rain started to fall allowing namesake Logan Manson through to claim race victory over Ayrton Williams and Hayden Lines
Finally, the youngest of the ProKart Series’ competitors put on an action packed show in the Vortex Mini ROK class at Tokoroa. Fastest qualifier Mitchell Corin backed up his qualifying pace with two heat race wins, the others going to Miles Baker and Cole Turney. Come final time however, NZED Motorsport driver Jamie Thompson made his way forward from position three and on lap three he made the pass for the lead, stretching it out over the 19 -lap distance to win by 4.2 seconds over Ethan Church and Blenheim ace Arthur Broughan.
Round – 1 . at Kinsman; 2. Connor Davison; 3. Ryan Grant; 4. Graeme Smyth; 5; Joshua Parkinson; 6. William Exton.
Series after Rnd 2 of 5 – 1. Mat Kinsman 182 points; 2. Joshua Parkinson 174; 3. Graeme Smyth 171; 4. Sam Wright 167; 5. William Exton 165; 6. Michael Adolp 163.
Round – 1. Kevan Storr; 2; Andrew Grant; 3. Dave Malcolm; 4. Jared Mackenzie; 5. Steve Brown; 6. Glenn Ellis.
Series after Rnd 2 of 5 – 1. Kevan Storr 182 points; 2. Jared Mackenzie 175 3. Steve Brown 170; 4. Dave Malcolm 169; 5. Andrew Hunt 167; 6. Darren Aislabie 162.
Round – 1. Regan Hall; 2. Jason Lee; 3. Tony Walker; 4. Marcus Carlyle; 5. Mitch Brown; 6=. Gerhard Benadie & Nick Tombleson
Series after Rnd 2 of 5 – 1. Regan Hall 183 points; 2. Mitch Brown 169; 3=. Nick Tombleson & Tony Walker 167; 5. Marcus Carlyle 165; 6=. Aaron Wooley, Clint Beaumont & Shawn O’Hara 163.
125cc Rotax Max Light
Round – 1. Fynn Osborne; 2. Clay Obsorne; 3. Ryan Crombie; 4. Josh Richmond; 5. Brad Hewson; 6. Zac Stichbury.
Points after Rnd 2 of 5 – 1. Clay Osborne 179 points; 2. Fynn Osborne 174; 3. Riley Spargo 164; 4, Ashton Grant 163; 5. Zane Hills 15; 6. Ian Smith 157.
125cc Rotax Max Heavy
Round – 1. Marco Giltrap; 2. Darren Walker; 3. Aaron Tahu; 4. Ashley Higgins; 5=. Simon McRae & Dominic Williams
Points after Rnd 2 of 5 – 1. Marco Giltrap 181 points; 2, Ashley Higgins 176; 3. Darren Walker 173; 4. Simon McRae 167; 5. Dominic Williams 166; 6=Luca Burns & Aaron Tahu 86.
Rotax Max Junior
Round – 1. Sebastian Manson; 2. Logan Manson; 3. Ayrton Williams; 4=. Luke Thompson & Kiahn Burt; 6. Dylan Grant.
Points after Rnd 2 of 5 – 1. Sebastian Manson 178 points; 2. Dylan Grant 175; 3. Logan Manson 172; 4. Kiahn Burt 170; 5. Luke Thompson 165; 6. Hayden Lines 162.
Vortex Mini ROK
Round – 1. Jamie Thompson; 2. Mitchell Corin; 3. Carson Daly; 4. Miles Baker; 5. Ethan Church; 6. Cole Turney.
Points after Rnd 2 of 5 – 1=. Jamie Thompson & Arthur Broughan 170 points; 3. Mitchell Corin 166; 4, Ethan Church 165; 5. Cole Turney 163; 6. Jacob Bellamy 161.
2020 Giltrap Group ProKart Series (revised calendar)
- Rnd 1: Manawatu Toyota Raceway, Palmerston North Feb 22-23
- Rnd 2: Stihl Shop Tokoroa Raceway, Tokoroa Aug 8-9
- Rnd 3:Porter Group Park Hamilton Aug 29-30
- Rnd 4: Visi Line Raceway Te Puke, Bay of Plenty Sept 19/20
- Rnd 5: Century Batteries International Raceway, Rotorua Oct 03/04