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Tuesday, Jun 18 03:30pm
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Kinsman takes the final but Wood wins the round in ProKart Series

Wellington-based up-and-comer Ryan Wood looked like the man to beat in the Aarque Group KZ2 division, but he had to fight for his first Toyota Racing ProKart Series round wn.

 

The teenager’s weekend got off to a good start at Giltrap Group Raceway in Auckland with pole in qualifying, the quickest lap time in the Top 10 Shootout, and a win over Graeme Smyth in the first heat.

 

However, established class star Mathew Kinsman won the second heat from international ace Daniel Bray with Wood third. Former class champion Ryan Grant won the third hear from Wood and Kinsman, and Kinsman won the Pre-Final with Grant second and Wood again third. 

 

That gave Wood third on the grid for the Final, held in the most difficult driving conditions imaginable, a wet but slowly drying track with the field running on wet weather tyres.

 

Unfortunately for Wood, he came off second best in the rush for track position on the opening lap and ended up at the back. He then put in the drive of the race to work his way up to 13th by half  distance and finally fourth with a lap to go, setting the fastest race lap along the way. 

 

Mat Kinsman actually won the Final with a smooth unchallenged run in which he held the lead on every lap, but by getting up to fourth place Wood salvaged enough points to claim the round win from Kinsman by a single point. Josh Parkinson, one of the other fast-rising teenagers in the field, was third and Daniel Bray fourth.

 

Bray went into the Auckland round with a narrow series’ points lead over Kinsman but after a round which saw a failed fuel pump wreck his kart’s engine early in qualifying then only complete 17 laps of the final thanks to another issue, he didn’t have quite the run he was hoping for.

 

Despite that Bray still earned enough points to share fourth place for the round with fellow Aucklander Graeme Smyth and Tauranga ace Sam Waddell.

 

Second for the round, meanwhile, was enough for Mat Kinsman to catch but not pass Bray in the series’ points standings, the pair heading into the winter break now tied for the lead on 353 points, seven more than third placed Graeme Smyth (346), 20 more than fourth placed Rhys Tinney (333) from Hamilton and 21 more than Josh Parkinson and Ryan Grant who are tied on 332 points in fifth.

 

Zac Zamprogno ended up best of the two Australian competitors who crossed the Tasman for the meeting, the 16-year-old finishing the Final in an event-best third place and ending up 10th overall  for the round.

 

Compatriot Kye Cavedon found the going tougher, the 17-year-old finishing an event-best 10th in the third heat but 15th overall for the round after a DNF in the Final.

 

In the other Aarque Group KZ2 classes, Jared MacKenzie continued on his winning way in Masters, while former KZ4 class title holder Garry Cullum used the slippery track conditions to his advantage to turn the tables on Rounds 1,2 & 3 winner Regan Hall in their class.

 

The two Giltrap Group Rotax classes (Light and Junior) proved a happy hunting ground for Auckland brothers Ashton and Dylan Grant, while Palmerston North driver Ashley Higgins claimed his second class round win of the 2019 series in the Manawatu Toyota-backed Rotax Max Heavy category. 

 

The full list of class round winners at the KartSport Auckland-organised meeting at Giltrap Group Raceway in Avondale was;

  • Aarque Group KZ2 – Ryan Wood (Wellington)
  • Aarque Group KZ2 Masters – Jared MacKenzie (Auckland)
  • Aarque Group KZ4 – Garry Cullum (Auckland)
  • Giltrap Group Rotax Max Light – Ashton Grant (Auckland)
  • Manawatu Toyota Rotax Max Heavy – Ashley Higgins (Palmerston North)
  • Giltrap Group Rotax Max Junior – Dylan Grant (Auckland)

The weekend’s round at Auckland was the fourth of sixth with a short mid-winter break now of seven weeks before the penultimate round at Tokoroa in early August and the final in Hamilton in early September.

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