|press release||24 October 2016|
Young Kiwi karters Breanna Morris and Joshua Parkinson from Auckland both made it into the B-Finals at the big Vortex ROK Cup International meeting at Lonato in northern Italy on Saturday.
Morris, one of the country's rising female stars, finished 22nd in the Mini ROK class's Bridgestone Trophy race, while Parkison finished 14th in the Junior ROK class's TKart Trophy event.
Above: Breanna Morris (#550) was one of two Kiwis to make the B-Finals at this year's Vortex ROK Cup International meeting in Italy over the weekend (pic - Fast Company/Daniele Ghinassi)
One of the biggest manufacturer-backed events on the karting calendar, the 14th annual meeeting saw 422 karters from 51 countries contest Vortex ROK category titles over five classes.
With inaugural ROK Cup New Zealand Vortex Mini ROK class winner William Exton from Picton and Mason Potter from Auckland, Morris - the reigning New Zealand Vortex Mini ROK class sprint champion - and 2015 title holder Parkinson made up the biggest Kiwi squad yet assembled for the annual ROK Cup International meeting, which this year was held at the.South Garda Karting track half way between Milan and Venice.
Hopes were high for a trip to the A-Finals for at least two of the team but it was not to be.
Morris qualified 72nd out of the 173 strong field in the Mini ROK class (Exton was 49th, Potter 133rd) and had a best heat race finish of seventh to miss the cut for the main event but qualify ninth for the Bridgestone Trophy one.
Unfortunately, in the cut and thrust of the opening laps she was shuffled back from ninth to 22nd on lap two then back as far as 27th before she was able to fight back to 22nd again.
Joshua Parkinson showed he had the pace to run at the front of the Junior ROK field with fourth in his group in the warm-up runs on Thursday and Saturday but found it harder in the heats, qualifying 38th meaning he missed the cut for the main event but got to start the TKart Trophy B Final from P4.
Like Morris, however, contact saw him shuffled down the order - to P6 on the first lap, then to P12 on the second. He made it back to 10th on lap three only to be bundled back to P17 soon after. Mid-race he had settled into 15th place then made it to P14 on the last lap.
William Exton's weekend started well, with a heat best of sixth place. And Mason Potter managed to move forward in most of his heat races. With such a large and competitive field, however, both missed the cut for the Finals, Exton ending up 37th and Potter 46th respectively in their qualifying group.
This year's event is now the third New Zealand has been represented at with Ryan Wood from Wellington going in 2014 and Billy Frazer from Pukekohe in 2015.