Ball Back In Grant's Court This WeekendTweet
With joint KZ2 class points leader Daniel Bray in Europe preparing for the CIK-FIA World Cup for KZ2 meeting in Italy at the end of the month, the ball is back in defending KZ2 class title holder Ryan Grant's court at the fourth and penultimate round of the 2012 Mi Sedaap Pro Kart Series in Auckland this weekend.
Grant claimed the top step of the KZ2 podium at the first two rounds of this year's Mi Sedaap instant noodles Pro Kart Series from Bray but Bray came storming back at the third round at Te Puke last month to even up the points standings heading into the final two rounds.
Initially both Bray and Grant were to contest this year's CIK-FIA World Cup for KZ2 meeting in Italy, both testing in Europe earlier in the year with the meeting in mind, but a change in circumstances has kept Grant at home and a change of date (the event was originally going to be a week later) meant Bray had to forego this weekend's Mi Sedaap series meeting in Auckland in favour of attending the official World Cup test in Italy.
With Bray away competition for Grant in the KZ2 class this weekend is expected to come from his teammate Graeme Smyth from Auckland and Bray's teammate, multi-time New Zealand sprint class champion Matthew Hamilton, from Christchurch.
With points in every heat race counting there's usually little between the top two or three drivers in each Mi Sedaap series class. That's certainly the case in KZ2 Masters with Hawke's Bay driver Tom Curran heading north just two points ahead of Mark Lane who in turn is just nine points ahead of fellow Aucklander Steve Brown.
Curran is the defending class title holder but Lane won the first round of this year's series from Brown and Todd Wheeler with Curran fourth and though Curran came back to win his class at the next two rounds, Lane was runner-up on both occasions.
Palmerston North driver Josh Drysdale is a little better off, with an eight point buffer over Hawke's Bay driver Mitchell Turner in the KF3 junior support class but Drysdale makes it harder for himself by contesting both the KF3 class as part of the Mi Sedaap Pro Kart series and the Arai Formula Junior one as part of the Gen-i KartStars Rotax Max Challenge which run at the same meetings.
Also, if either he or Turner has a bad round there are only 11 points between third placed Mitchell Sanders and sixth placed Emilee Wright.
There's certainly plenty of incentive - the KF3 class drivers are chasing a $1,000 cash prize pool shared amongst the first four placegetters in the final race at each round!
There will be action at the Moselle Panel & Paint Raceway on both days with qualifying and the first of the heats on Saturday and the remaining heats, Pre-Finals and Finals on Sunday.
There is then a month until KartSport Rotorua hosts the final of the Mi Sedaap Pro Kart series at its new track west of the city over the September 22/23 weekend.