Super-slick young guns will take on some wily veterans in the opening round of the Toyota Gazoo Racing New Zealand ProKart Series that gets underway in Tokoroa this weekend.
It is the first of four rounds followed by Rotorua (19-20 March), Te Puke (30 April 1 May) and the finale in Hamilton (21-22 April).
Promoter Steve Brown says that consistency is the key to success, with performances in every race and qualifying counting to the overall points for the title.
“Being fast is obviously important, but consistency is the absolute key in this series,” said Brown. “The champion will be the karter who is consistently at the sharp end of the race. Remember we are racing on four different tracks all with different layouts and which require different skills, in four different weather conditions.
“It’s the one who can do the best over 20 races and four qualifiers who will earn the crown.”
Leading the young guns in the KZ2 class will be 18-year-old Josh Parkinson from Auckland, who finished runner-up to Daniel Bray at the City of Sails battle, and flashed home with a remarkable drive to finish runner-up to Matt Kinsman at the CIK Trophy of NZ final. After qualifying fifth fastest, Parkinson suffered a jammed throttle that led to a dnf in the pre-final, which resulted in draw No 12 near the back of the grid for the final. His drive through the field on to the podium was eye-catching to say the least.
He will have to overcome the might of fellow Mt Wellington clubbie Daniel Bray among others.
Bray needs no introduction as a two-time KZ2 podium placegetter at CIK-FIA KZ2 Super Cup events (in 2013 and 2018) and a multi-New Zealand champion. Bray was untouchable in claiming the City of Sails title and was seventh at the CIK Trophy of NZ, and he has experience in what it takes to win ProKart, prevailing to claim the overall honours back in 2014.
With Kinsman supporting his customers on the grid at Tokoroa rather than the racing seat, the early running in the series is up for grabs.
There is racing in KZ2, KZ2 Masters, KZ4, Vortex Mini ROK and Rotax Max Junior, which has attracted over 20 entries including City of Sails Vortex ROK DVS winner Tom Bewley from Hawkes Bay with Jamie Thompson (Auckland), Jay Urwin (Tokoroa) and Emerson Vincent (Auckland), all on the podium at the same meet and expected to throw out the challenge this weekend.