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Hamilton Steps Up In Auckland

press release

It was Matthew Hamilton's turn to step up at the latest round of the Mi Sedaap instant noodles-sponsored Pro Kart Series in Auckland over the weekend, the Christchurch driver claiming the round win in the premier KZ2 class from series points leader Ryan Grant and fellow Aucklander Graeme Smyth.

With his own GP Karts teammate Daniel Bray in Europe preparing for next weekend's CIK-FIA World Cup for KZ2, Hamilton proved the perfect deputy, pipping Smyth and Grant for pole position in qualifying then going on to win the first heat on Saturday and the Final on Sunday.

Above: KZ2 winner Matthew Hamilton leads Graeme Smyth
pic - Fast Company/Graham Hughes

Grant, who won the first two rounds of this season's Mi Sedaap series from Bray, came back fighting on Sunday, winning the third heat and the Pre-Final only to foul a spark plug just after the start and be an early retirement from the Final.

That left Hamilton in a lead he was never to lose, despite the best efforts of Smyth, the latter on his second engine after blowing his first in the third heat.

The round win was a first this season for Mi Sedaap Pro Kart series KZ2 class newcomer Hamilton who says racing the purpose-built 6-speed gearbox equipped 125cc KZ2 karts is very different to the direct drive Yamaha and Rotax-engined machines he has driven up until now.

"There's definitely been a lot to learn, and not just about the karts and the way we set them up. Even just the length of the Finals (25 laps) takes a bit of getting used to. That's a long way in one of these!"

With all the races - Heats, Pre-Finals and Finals - carrying points, Maranello teammates Grant and Smyth tied for second overall on the day with Richard Moore fourth, and young guns Bradley Hicks and Mitch Brown fifth and sixth respectively.

Above: Josh Drysdale took out KF3
pic - Fast Company/Graham Hughes

In a good day for the Brown family, Mitch's father Steve finished second to Tom Curran in the KZ2 Masters class Final and younger brother Logan finished fifth in the KF3 Final.

In KF3 Palmerston North driver Josh Drysdale qualified quickest and won all three heats as well as the Pre-Final and Final to extend his series points lead over Hawke's Bay's Mitchell Turner from eight to 13 points. Young Auckland driver Joel Herbert also had a good day, ending up third for the round ahead of Arran Crighton and Logan Brown and Mitchell Sanders.

In KZ2 Masters defending class title holder Tom Curran from the Hawke's Bay qualified quickest and won two of the three heats (the other went to top local driver Snow Mooney) as well as the Pre-Final and Final to extend his series lead over Auckland rival Mark Lane from two to 11 points.

Above: Tom Curran, 1st in KZ2 Masters
pic - Fast Company/Graham Hughes

Mooney always looked a threat until he was forced out of the Final after losing his kart's nosecone in a clash with another competitor.

With the penultimate round of this season's Mi Sedaap Pro Kart Series now run and won there is now a month until KartSport Rotorua hosts the final at its new track west of the city over the September 22/23 weekend.

1. Matthew Hamilton  60 points; 2=. Ryan Grant & Graeme Smyth 57; 4. Richard Moore 54; 5. Brad Hicks 53; 6. Mitch Brown 52
Series so far
1. Ryan Grant 434 points; 2. Matthew Hamilton 425; 3. Richard Moore 413; 4. Jason Farmilo 401; 5. Mitch Brown 400; 6. Daniel Bray 327.

KZ2 Masters
1. Tom Curran 60 points; 2. Snow Mooney 57; 3=. Steve Brown & Todd Wheeler 55; 5. Mark Lane 53; 6. Garry Claxton 52.
Series so far
1. Tom Curran 438 points; 2. Mark Lane 427; 3. Steve Brown 420; 4. Mark Wheeler 415; 5. Todd Wheeler  411; 6. Garry Claxton 405

1. Josh Drysdale 60 points; 2. Mitchell Turner 57; 3. Joel Herbert 55; 4. Arran Crighton 54; 5=. Mitchell Sanders & Logan Brown.
Series so far
1. Josh Drysdale 439 points; 2. Mitchell Turner 426; 3. Mitchell Sanders 415; 4. Logan Brown 412; 5. James Witters 404; 6. Emilee Wright 400