New Zealand’s Super Seven did Kartsport New Zealand proud with outstanding performances at the annual Vortex Rok Cup Superfinal at Italy.
The Rok Cup Superfinal attracted 373 karters, from 49 countries in seven classes, who qualified for the annual event staged by Italian-based engine manufacturer Vortex, hosted at Lonato, halfway between Venice and Milan. With a prize pool of over NZ$87,000, the event is keenly contested.
The kiwi contingent, under the direction of SP Tools KartSport New Zealand Academy Director, Tiffany Chittenden, worked their way through challenging conditions and fierce competition during the week.
Team Captain, Morrinsville’s Clay Osborne, who has tasted international podium success before, unfortunately had a moment in a key heat which saw him back in 29th from 36 starters on the grid for the Superfinal of the Senior Rok class.
He produced a stunning effort in the final to drive up 11 spots to finish 18th overall.
“We thought the weather might just help Clay as it started to rain lightly on the grid,” said Tiffany. “His final placing did not reflect the number of overtakes he made throughout the event after initially qualifying 44th, from a driver who was an amazing role model for the younger members of the team.”
Auckland’s Sebastian Manson and Canterbury’s Dylan Jessop-Collins missed out on the Junior Superfinal but both qualified for the Levanto Trophy (B final) in Junior Rok. Manson showed his class to push on to the podium, finishing third after moving up 12 spots and fighting off plenty of challengers over the closing stages. Jessop-Collins, in his first international competition, finished eighth.
Outstanding young karters Zach Tucker and Marco Manson had excellent drives in the 12-lap Mini Rok Superfinal, after both started near the rear of the grid.
Tucker made up 14 positions to finish 13th while Marco made seven overtakes to finish 15th in eye-catching displays. Tucker’s performance to just make it the Superfinal grid was especially impressive considering the tyre issue he had in qualifying which saw him qualify 68th from 89 competitors and start all of his heats near the back of the grid.
Hawkes Bay karter James van den Berk was equally impressive in the Super Rok category Superfinal, finishing 14th after jumping up 10 places while Canterbury’s William McDonald finished 17th.
The team return to New Zealand proud of their performances and much richer for the experience against the best in the world.
The New Zealand team is supported by Academy Sponsor SP Tools NZ, plus KartSport NZ Travel Sponsor Sixt, with additional support by Giltrap Group, Racer Products, Supreme Kart Supplies, Lascom Motorsport and Motul NZ.