Grant's Desire to Win Still Strong
KARTSPORT NEW ZEALAND
For immediate release
* 2013 Formula
S ProKart Series
Rnd 6 (final)
Strata Networks Raceway
RND 6 (FINAL) PREVIEW
Grant's Desire to Win Still Strong
Top New Zealand karter Ryan Grant heads into the final round of this year's Formula S Pro-Kart Series at Auckland's Strata Networks Raceway this weekend with a handsome lead in the premier KZ2 class points standings. But that doesn't mean the 28-year-old who is going to cut competitors like Christchurch's Matthew Hamilton or even teammate Chris Cox any slack.
"From where I am sitting now it's certainly going to be hard for me to lose the title, but I still want to go out there and win (the round)," he said this morning.
If he does (win the round) it will be his fifth of six for the year, with Hamilton, a multi-time former New Zealand direct drive class champion now in his second year in the 125cc/6-speed gearbox KZ2 class, the only other driver to stand on the top step of the KZ2 class podium at a round of the series this year.
This weekend's series final has again attracted a bumper entry across the three Formula S Pro-Kart Series classes with a 16-strong KZ2 field including a who's who of the country's emerging kart talent, including young guns Scott Manson and Chris Cox from Christchurch and Luke Dobbs, Jordan Morris and Shaun Grocock from Auckland.
This weekend will also see the series debut of reigning New Zealand Formula Ford champion James Munro from Christchurch.
BNT V8 Super Tourer racer Richard Moore is also a regular in the KZ2 class and Grant says that he can understand why.
"There's really nothing like a KZ2 kart. A lot of people think of karts as just a bit of fun but I've driven a V8 Touring Car and a few other things besides and I can say, categorically, that nothing comes close. They are purpose-built racing machines."
With just five points separating them the big battle in terms of overall series finishing position in the KZ2 class is going to be between Mainlanders Mathew Hamilton and Chris Cox who are second and third respectively behind Grant.
Add Hamilton's teammate Scott Manson and Grant's teammates Graeme Smyth from Auckland into the mix and it's anyone's guess as to how the dice will roll come the weekend.
The situation in the KZ2 Masters senior support class is similar with Pro-Kart series stalwart Snow Mooney from Auckland holding a 17 point lead over the first of the Wheeler brothers, Mark, with Te Puke round class winner Brett Hollander third a further three points back and Mark's brother Todd fourth.
Last year's class winner Tom Curran from the Hawke's Bay came back strongly at Tokoroa but is not in the series' points hunt having missed the first three rounds of this year's series because of a (non kart-related) back injury.
Where it's too close to call heading into this weekend's series final is in the KF3 junior support class with Aucklander Arran Crighton just six points ahead of Hawke's Bay youngster Mitchell Turner, the current North Island champion. Crighton has three class round wins to Turner's one yet Turner is still just six points behind.
This weekend's meeting will be one of the biggest and most important held so far this year at the KartSport Auckland Club's Strata Networks Raceway on Rosebank Domain with the club hosting the final rounds of both the Formula S KartSport Club's Pro-Kart and YÖGG Rotax Max Challenge of New Zealand series.
There's a lot riding on the final finishing positions in both series with opportunities to compete at major meetings overseas up for grabs in both.
In the case of the Formula S Pro-Kart Series the names of the top six finishers in each class will go into a draw for three (two senior and one junior) trips to compete at the 17th annual SuperKarts USA (SKUSA) Supernationals meeting in Las Vegas over the November 23/24 weekend.
The link with the annual Supernationals event in Las Vegas - with over 600 entries expected now widely considered the biggest kart race meeting in the world - was originally forged when members of the Formula S KartSport club paid their own way in 2007. Since then Kiwi drivers like Auckland-based international Daniel Bray have become regulars at the converted downtown hotel carpark venue.
There will be racing both days this weekend with qualifying and the first heats on Saturday and the remaining heats, Pre-Finals and Finals on Sunday.