Promising Kiwi karter Rianna O’Meara-Hunt got her first taste of the powerful KZ2 class over the weekend at Tokoroa, and she is eager for more.
O’Meara-Hunt has claimed national success in the Rotax class of karts but had yet to make a race debut in the KZ2 before last weekend.
The Wellington karter had tested the KZ2 a handful of times before having her first race meeting at the fourth round of the 2021 ProKart series.
O’Meara-Hunt came away with 11th in the KZ2 final out of a field of 19.
“It was a good experience,” O’Meara-Hunt told Velocity News.
“It was very challenging but broadened my knowledge of racing. It was a fun new challenge.
“I was racing against the best in Prokart, so I was thrown in the deep end a bit. To finish just outside the top ten was quite good, I think.”
KZ2 karts use a 125cc engine and six-speed sequential gearbox.
One of the most significant differences between the KZ2 and Rotax, besides the gearbox, is under braking.
The KZ2 permits front brakes, allowing drivers to go deep into corners before smashing the left peddle.
“I wasn’t really used to the front brakes,” she said.
“You can brake a lot later into the corner in a KZ2 than in a Rotax. And I thought I was braking as late as I could until I saw everyone else was braking about five metres later than I was.
“So, it was all good experience to learn.”
O’Meara-Hunt says the KZ2 was also a more taxing kart to drive, which demanded more strength to push through corners and race against others.
“[The KZ2] is very physically, so I’m a bit sore.
“You are changing down gears on the entry into the corners, so you are holding yourself up with just one hand on the wheel.
“But it was good fun. The first three or four laps I learnt it was a lot different from the Rotax, and the racing is quite aggressive. I was muscled past a few times.
“But I was soon doing the same back.”
The next round of the ProKart series is pencilled in to be in Hamilton on September 18-19, which O’Meara-Hunt intends to enter.
She says the next round will give a good indication to see if she could move into the class full-time in the future.