Three New Zealand drivers have ventured to the motorsport mecca of Le Mans in France for the 2022 CIK-FIA KZ World Championship this weekend.
The first of two world championship events of the FIA Karting season include the eighth running of the KZ title on the new Le Mans International Karting Circuit which replaced the previous Alain Prost circuit in 2015.
Overall, there are five categories and more than 320 drivers from 56 nations taking part in the KZ World Championship, the KZ2 World Cup and the first edition of KZ2 Masters Super Cup for karters 35 years and over and the FIA Karting Historic Super Cup. The weekend also includes the third and final round of the FIA Academy Trophy series.
New Zealand is represented by Auckland teenager Nathan Crang in KZ2, well-known and experienced karter, David Malcolm in KZ2 Masters, while Nelson’s Lochy McGregor is competing in the third and final round of the FIA Academy Trophy series. He is joined by his parents for his final time in Europe and has been practising hard in Italy as well as taking in some of the great sights in Rome and Venice.
Crang and Malcolm will come under the watchful eye of N-Zed Motorsport team owner Daniel Bray, a massive name in the sport in this country and well known in Europe after 11 years there as a factory driver. He was placed twice on the podium in the KZ2 International Super Cup, runner-up in 2018 and third in 2013. He was perhaps best known from the 2012 final where he led early before being taken out by a very young Max Verstappen. Crang and Malcolm will also have the support of the factory Parolin Motosport Team.
“It’s going to be a fantastic experience for all of the three drivers,” said Bray. “It is quite an overwhelming place but important they get their heads around what they need to do.
“It is the first time for Nathan although he has at least had experience of racing in Australia this year.
“Dave retired and then has come back into the sport a few years ago and is loving it and this week will be racing against some of his idols.
“As a KartSport New Zealand accredited coach, I will also help Lochy where needed and he, of course, has already had two rounds of the Academy racing.”
The KZ field includes defending champion Noah Milell (SWE), 2021 International Super Cup winner Lorenzo Travisanutto (ITA) and 2015 winner at Le Mans, Jorrit Pex (NED).
Practice begins on Thursday (Europe time) with five qualifying heats on Friday and Saturday, a Superheat on Sunday before the final on Sunday afternoon.
There are 126 entries in the KZ2 class from 36 nations, 56 karters from 42 nations in the FIA Academy and 72 from 36 nations in the KZ2 Masters.
The top 36 in each class after the heats will contest the finals on Sunday afternoon. 19 laps of the 1.38km circuit for the Academy Trophy and 22 laps for the KZ2 and KZ2 Masters.
- The racing is all live-streamed https://dreamsports.tv/channel/kart-racing/