Hamilton Steps Up In AucklandTweet
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.
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.
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.
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.