Preview: CIK Trophy of New Zealand
NZ's top KartSport racers will be in Wellington this weekend contesting the annual CIK Trophy of New Zealand presented by Paymark meeting at KartSport Wellington's CRC Raceway near Upper Hutt.
The CIK is the body which administers the sport worldwide and the annual CIK Trophy of New Zealand meeting offers drivers here the opportunity to qualify to compete overseas.
Heading the entry list in the blue riband KZ2 class is defending champion Daniel Bray, the 23-year-old Aucklander again home for the summer after commuting backwards and forwards to the United States to race for the past two years.
Bray, who last year finished fifth in the Pro Tour series he contested in the United States, and first in the Mi Sedaap ProKart Series here in New Zealand, will be running the latest GP10 kart with Maxter and TM engines tuned by top New Zealand engine builder Lincoln Shaw but says he is expecting a tough fight for the 2011 title.
"It's not going to be a walk in the park, that's for sure, not with guys like Karl Wilson in the field. It's his home track and he's coming off a win in the SuperKart champs three weeks ago. He'll be hard to beat for sure."
Bray heads a nine-strong KZ2 field which also features former Touring Car and Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge race winner Jody Vincent, former New Zealand KartSport champions William Thomason and Michael Kiser, and young guns Mathew Kinsman and Richard Moore.
With 2009 and 2010 class title holder Arie Hutton having graduated to the senior ranks this year, the top Junior category, KF3, is wide open with Hawke's Bay driver Mitchell Turner set to go up against Aaron Marr from Taranaki, Josh Drysdale from the Manawatu, Luke Dobbs from Auckand's KartSport Mt Wellington club and Matt Butchart from Nelson, who was third last year.
Over 80 drivers will contest the three day meeting across seven classes, the two key CIK ones plus five on the Challenge Cup support roster.
An interesting addition to the Senior Yamaha Heavy class ranks is seven-time Australian champion and fifty-two time State champion Remo Luciani. The Senior Yamaha Light field is also strong, headed by current North Island champion Daniel Kinsman.
Activity at the track begins with testing today (Wednesday) and tomorrow with scrutineering on Friday and Time Trials (qualifying) and the first Heats on Saturday leaving Sunday for the remaining Heats and Pre-Finals (the races which determine the grids for the Finals) and Finals.