Cunningham To The Fore At World Karting Champs
Cunningham Name To The Fore Again At World Karting Championships
The Cunningham name will be to the fore again at this year's World Karting Championship meeting in Italy this weekend with 17-year-old Mitch, younger brother of 2003 title winner Wade, one of six drivers entered by the works CRG SpA team.
In October last year CRG driver Wade Cunningham became the first ever New Zealander to win the World Karting Championship title.
A month later younger brother Mitch finished second in the ICA class at the Asia-Pacific Championship meeting at Suzuka in Japan.
That result paved the way for the younger of the two 'Karting Cunninghams' to follow in his older brother's footsteps, spending the past year commuting to and from Italy from his home in Auckland.
This year's World Championship is being held at the La Conca circuit in southern Italy and has attracted 94 entries.
Italy, the 'home' of international Karting, has produced the largest number of entrants (26) with France providing 15, Great Britain 8, Finland 6, and Brazil 5.
Cunningham is the only representative from the Australasia region.
With Wade Cunningham not defending his title, favourite status this weekend has passed to recently crowned European champion Nick de Bruijn from the Netherlands.
Providing strong competition will be the drivers who shared the podium with Wade Cunningham in 2003, runner-up Arnaud Kozlinski from France and third placed Ben Hanley from Great Britain.
Mitch Cunningham has shown plenty of speed in his first year on the European scene but has yet to make a breakthrough into the elite group populated by drivers like de Bruijn, Kozlinski and former World Champion David Fore.
If he gets the right breaks in qualifying and the heats however he could well get into Sunday's Final.