Expect the temperatures to rise on track as big fields of international quality contest the much-prized APL Window Solutions CIK Trophy of New Zealand karting, in round two of both the KartStars and ROK Cup NZL Series at the Porter Group Park in Hamilton at the weekend.
After record numbers in last week’s opening round of the KartStars Series, there are further big fields with 138 karters – the second biggest in the history of the event – descending on the exciting Hamilton track.
The CIK Trophy and associated Challenge Cup Trophy event is rated second only to the National Sprint Championships, and makes its return to the KartSport New Zealand calendar after two years due to the COVID pandemic.
The CIK-FIA is the governing body of KartSport around the world and the event, at which CIK of NZ and Challenge Cup Trophies will be contested across a number of classes, has an annual fixture on the local karting calendar.
Previous Senior CIK Trophy winners include New Zealand’s 2003 World Karting Champion, Wade Cunningham and his younger brother Mitch, while previous Junior CIK Trophy of NZ winners include Mitch Evans and Nick Cassidy. Other Challenge Cup winners in the past include the likes of Brendon Hartley, Shane van Gisbergen, Marcus Armstrong and Liam Lawson.
FIA Formula 2 drivers Armstrong and Lawson will be back in action before they head to Europe for the racing season, no doubt with the bit between their teeth after some disappointments at the KartSport Auckland event last weekend.
They will contest the KZ2 class for the CIK Trophy where Auckland’s Daniel Bray reigned supreme last weekend ahead of Mt Wellington clubmate Joshua Parkinson. Joining the KZ2 field this weekend is six times class winner Ryan Grant.
Ayrton Williams won both the overall and final in the Vortex ROK DVS class last weekend – which is another CIK Trophy class. This week Williams will have competition from the likes of in-form Darren Walker, a double class winner last weekend, international motor racing star, Chris van der Drift and 2021 National Sprint Champion Michael McCulloch.
Hawkes Bay karter Tom Bewley was unbeaten in Auckland, and will go in favourite in the Vortex ROK DVS Junior class – a CIK Trophy category.
In other classes, Marco Manson and Miles Baker are drivers to beat in Vortex Mini ROK; Atto Bailey and Zach Hemphill in Cadet ROK; Walker in Rotax Max Light and Emerson Vincent and Sebastian Manson in Rotax Max Junior.
Practice is on Friday with racing on Saturday and Sunday.