Organisers of the Toyota Gazoo Racing New Zealand ProKart Series are excited at the emerging talent from young karters in action in the second round of the series in Hamilton.
Seventy karters were in action over the two days of racing in the Covid-enforced rescheduled event at KartSport Hamilton’s Porter Group Park track.
Most attention went on tomorrow’s stars with 27 karters competing in Rotax Max Junior class and 16 in Vortex Mini Rok category.
“The young guys in Rotax Max Junior with big fields just went at it throughout the weekend. The quality of the racing and the closeness of the competition was incredibly impressive considering the age of these young teenagers,” said promoter Steve Brown.
Leading the way was Tokoroa club racer Jay Urwin, last year’s national schools champion in this class, who has already tasted international success as Rotax Micro Max Grand Finals Champion in Italy in 2019.
Urwin, in his Kosmic kart, claimed the final of the Rotax Max Junior. But he had to fight hard for the round final, not claiming the lead until four laps from the finish of the 21-lap final, after working his way from fifth on the grid. Auckland’s Ashton Phipps (Mt Wellington) was awarded second ahead of Bay of Plenty’s Mitchell Corin.
The Vortex Mini ROK class proved another massive battle between Christchurch’s Zach Tucker and Hamilton’s Miles Baker, after they finished one-two in the opening round in Tokoroa.
Tucker, fastest in qualifying and with a win and three second placings in the heats, edged Baker by a single point, after the rising Hamilton karter scored two heat wins. But Baker rose to the challenge in the final, fighting his way from fifth to the front of the field by lap 15 and going on to win ahead of fellow Hamilton club karter Carson Daly and Auckland’s Marco Manson.
The battle of the big boys in KZ2 proved a showdown between first round winner Daniel Bray and 2022 CIK Trophy of NZ winner Mat Kinsman, both with considerable international pedigrees and both now finding time to drive competitively alongside building successful karting businesses and tuition.
Kinsman claimed two wins and a second in heats and the pre-final where he passed Bray late in the race. Starting third on the grid for the final, Palmerston North’s Jackson Rooney was in no mood to step aside for the more experienced karting royalty with Kinsman and Bray on the front of the grid.
The teenager pushed to second on lap eight and grabbed the lead on lap 14, which he held over a torrid final seven laps to win from Mitchell Sparrow (Hamilton) and Michael Adolph (Auckland) while Bray and Kinsman managed fifth and tenth respectively.
The KZ2 Masters and KZ4 combined class was dominated by local Hamilton club karter Tony Walker (KZ4) who won all four heats, the pre-final and final in a dominant display ahead of Auckland’s Connor Wilson (KZ4) and Tokoroa’s Kevin Storr (KZ2 Masters).
Organisers will confirm the venue for the third round shortly, but the final round is locked in for Rotorua on 18-19 June.