Wednesday, Sep 11 09:49am
AUTHOR: Simon Chapman

Kinsman comes out on top, but Davison does the business on the day

Established Kiwi kart star Mat Kinsman wrapped up another Aarque Group KZ2 class title with a second win in as many meetings at the final round of this year’s Toyota Racing ProKart Series in conjunction with Speedworks Events at Hamilton on Sunday.


Though Kinsman qualified quickest and won one of the four heats plus the Pre-Final, his biggest threat on the day came not from fellow class veterans Daniel Bray or Ryan Grant but from a new-generation of teenagers, led by 15-year-old Ryan Wood from Wellington.


Reigning NZ#1 in the Rotax DD2 class, and a veteran himself now of several years crossing the Tasman to compete against Australia’s best, Wood set the third quickest qualifying time on Saturday before winning the third and fourth heats then driving through the field from P15 to 2nd behind fellow teen Connor Davison, who won the Final.


Though he now harbours serious ambitions in the Toyota 86 Championship, Davison obviously still has a serious soft spot for karts. Having qualifying seventh quickest, he followed that up with a pair of eighth place finishes in the first two heat races. The local ace just got better and better, launching his winning run in the Aarque Group KZ2 class Final after a P3 finish in the Pre-Final.


Davison and Wood were by no means the only members of the class’s new-generation to shine in the wet, greasy conditions either. Young Palmerston North driver Riley Jack enjoyed his best finish of the weekend in the Aarque Group KZ2 class Final, finishing fifth.


Eighth place in the Final, meanwhile, was enough to earn another 15-year-old, Josh Parkinson from Auckland, fifth place for the round and fourth place in the overall series’ points standings, giving him victory in the series’ class Youth (Under 17-years) division from fellow Aucklander Sam Wright, and Brandon Lambert from Mangakino.


For his part Wright won the Allan Wilson Memorial Trophy (for the most improved under-17-year-old), and with it a trip with the class category winners to next month’s big KZ2 category-based Race of Stars meeting on Australia’s Gold Coast.


Fourth place for the round – between Connor Davison and Josh Parkinson – was still good enough, however, for one of the other established class stars, Graeme Smyth to slot into second place behind Mat Kinsman and in front of Daniel Bray in the series’ points standings.


In the other Aarque Group KZ2 classes, Jared MacKenzie was back to his best in the Masters division, claiming his fifth round win out of six with the quickest qualifying lap, three heats wins out of the four and wins again in both the Pre-Final and Final.


Eventual round and series class runner-up Kevan Storr followed MacKenzie home in the first three heats and won the fourth, but was beaten in both the Pre-Final and Final by MacKenzie and fellow Aucklander Andrew Hunt.


Early season pace-setter and now 2019 class champion, Regan Hall, was beaten to round victory for the second time this year by former class title winner Garry Cullum in Aarque Group KZ4. However  the two-point deficit hardly made a dint in Hall’s series-winning points tally, the final margin eight points (over Cullum) with third placed Aaron Wooley from Hamilton a further 21 points back.


In the Rotax Max support classes there was a fifth winner – Auckland’s Josh Richmond - out of six rounds in Giltrap Group Rotax Max Light. A heat win and fourth place in the Final was enough for the winner of the class at Rounds 4 & 5, Ashton Grant to take the series title, however, from Hamilton Final winner Marco Giltrap, and Shaun Johnston.