Titans Return For Mi Sedapp Pro Kart Round 3
Picking a KZ2 class favourite heading into the third round of this year's Mi Sedaap Pro Kart Series at KartSport Auckland's Moselle Panel & Paint Raceway this weekend isn't easy - there are at least four drivers vying for the accolade.
Current class points leader Ryan Grant is the obvious pick, the seasoned Auckland campaigner having won the class final at the opening series round in the Hawke's Bay in February then stormed back from an early race clash to claim second place in the final at the second round in Tokoroa in April.
Since then, however, two of his constant protagonists, fellow Aucklanders Daniel Bray and Ryan Urban, have claimed New Zealand titles at the KartSport New Zealand's annual Sprint Nationals meeting at Easter (Bray in Open, Urban in KZ2), and Bray has dominated his class (S1) at the opening two rounds of Superkarts USA's 2011 Pro Tour in Arizona.
And as if that isn't enough competition, Grant's teammate, Graeme Smyth, will be back on track this weekend - at his home track to boot - after being forced to sit out the Final at Tokoroa with a blown engine.
Add in young guns Matt Kinsman - currently third in the points - and Richard Moore, who is fifth after two rounds, and wet or fine the racing this weekend is going to be close, there is no question about that.
Not just in the premier KZ2 (125cc/6-speed gearbox) class either. Though he has won the KZ2 Masters final at the two rounds so far held, Hawke's Bay's Tom Curran remains just eight points ahead of the consistent Mark Lane with fellow Aucklander Brett Hollander just four points further back in that class.
There is also a Hawke's Bay vs Auckland battle in prospect in the series junior support category, KF3 - round one winner Mitchell Turner having found the competition a little tougher at Tokoroa where he was beaten to the line in the final by Aucklanders Luke Dobbs and Joel Herbert.
Third place at Tokoroa was still enough for Turner to retain his series points lead, albeit by just three points from Dobbs with Herbert another three back in third.
There will be action at the Moselle Panel & Paint Raceway on both days over the weekend with qualifying and the first heat for each Mi Sedaap series class on Saturday and the remaining heats, Pre-Finals and Finals on Sunday.
The weekend's round is the third of five on this year's Mi Sedaap Pro Kart Series calendar with the fourth and penultimate series round in the Bay of Plenty in August and the final at Hamilton in September.