Kiwi karters in Germany for first major Euro Champs
Four Kiwi karters led by recently crowned NZ KZ2 class champion Matthew Payne are in Germany this week, preparing for the opening round of the 2019 FIA Karting European Championship – KZ2, and FIA Karting Academy Trophy series.
Payne, his long-time mentor and current FIA Karting International Super Cup – KZ2 #2 Daniel Bray (both from Auckland), and fellow GP Karts team member Dylan Drysdale (originally from Palmerston North but more recently Sydney-based) the 2017 NZ KZ2 title holder, are all contesting this year’s two-round European Championship which kicks off this weekend at Wackersdorf in Germany, as a build-up to the 2019 International Super Cup – KZ2 title meeting at Italy’s Lonato kart track in September.
The fourth Kiwi at this weekend’s meeting is Christchurch 13-year-old Jacob Douglas, the first driver from this country to be invited by the FIA Karting Academy to contest its annual Trophy Series.
Coincidentally the 2019 Academy Trophy Series is being run at the same meetings as the Euro KZ2 and Super Cup – KZ2 rounds, with the first at Wackersdorf this weekend, the second at Sarno In Italy between June 13 & 16 and the third at Lonato, again in Italy, between September 19 & 22.
With 2018 Super Cup – KZ2 winner Matteo Vigano now competing in the World Championship - KZ class this year, last year’s Super Cup – KZ2 class runner-up Daniel Bray actually starts this year’s event as the obvious favourite, though the field is packed with a virtual who’s who of the current European KZ2 scene
Douglas is in a similar position, part of a 51-strong field of what the FIA characterises as ‘the best prospects between the ages of 12 and 14 from over 40 countries around the world.’
Practise across the
KZ, KZ2 and Academy classes begins on Thursday with
qualifying practice on Friday, qualifying heat races on
Saturday and Sunday morning then the Finals – for the
drivers who make them – on Sunday afternoon.