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Grant Back in Front in the 'Bay

Grant Back in Front in the 'Bay

Defending class champion Ryan Grant was back in front in the premier KZ2 class at the penultimate round of this year's Formula S ProKart Series in the Hawke's Bay over the weekend.

Long-time category standard-setter Grant, from Auckland, won the KZ2 class at the first three rounds of this year's series but slipped back to third behind multi-time former New Zealand sprint class champion Matthew Hamilton, and his (Grant's) teammate Graeme Smyth, at the fourth round in Tokoroa in May as he dialed-in a new kart.

Category South Island champion Chris Cox and Hamilton both got the better of Grant in qualifying at KartSport Hawke's Bay's CHEMZ Raceway on Saturday and Hamilton went on to beat Grant and Cox to the line in the first heat later that day.

Come Sunday though and the advantage had turned Grant's way, with four straight wins - over Hamilton and Smyth in the heats, Cox, Smyth and Mark Swetman in the Pre-Final and a hard-charging Manson - who made his way from the back of the grid to second place - Smyth and Nelson series newcomer Mathew Butchart in the Final.

Unfortunately, both Hamilton and Cox had problems, Hamilton slowed by an electrical fault in both the Pre-Final and Final, and Cox forced out of the Final by a broken drive chain.

Defending class title holder Tom Curran enjoyed a good start to the weekend in the KZ2 Masters support class, qualifying quickest and winning Saturday's two heat races. Come Sunday though and a combination of the reverse top six starting format and a damp track saw him back in fifth in the third heat - won by Aucklander Mark Wheeler from brother Tony and Snow Mooney.

He (Curran) was back in front in the Pre-Final, winning it from Mooney and Brett Hollander, but the changeable weather conditions worked against him in the Final, a race eventually won on what started out as a damp but ended up a virtually dry track by Mark Lane from Mooney, Mark Wheeler and Ivan Pavlovich with Curran back in sixth.

The track conditions also saw an upset in the KF3 junior support class Final, won this time in the rain by series newcomer Matthew Podjursky.

Series points leader Arran Crighton from Auckland had been the pace-setter on Saturday, heading top local Mitchell Turner, the reigning North Island class title holder, in qualifying and the first two heats. Turner won the third heat, on Sunday morning, from Podjursky and Crighton, and Crighton fought back to win the Pre-Final from Logan Brown and Podjursky but it was the latter who greeted the chequered flag first in the Final.

Points-wise it's still relatively close in each class heading to the final series round in Auckland in late September with Grant holding a 27 point advantage over Hamilton but Hamilton only five points in front of Cox in KZ2, Mooney 17 points ahead of Mark Wheeler in KZ2 Masters and Crighton six points ahead of Mitchell Turner in KF3.


2013 Formula S KartSport ProKart Series

1. Ryan Grant 60 points; 2. Graeme Smyth 57; 3. Chris Cox 55; 4. Mark Swetman 554; 5. Matthew Hamilton 53; 6= Luke Dobbs & Mathew Butchart 52
Points after Rnd 5 of 6
1. Ryan Grant 552 points; 2. Matthew Hamilton 525; 3. Chris Cox 520; 4=. Luke Dobbs & Jordan Morris 497; 6. Shaun Grocock 495.

KZ2 Masters
1. Snow Mooney 60 points; 2. Tom Curran 57; 3. Brett Hollander 55; 4. Mark Lane 54; 5. Mark Wheeler; 6. Todd Wheeler
Points after Rnd 5 of 6
1. Snow Mooney 543 points; 2. Mark Wheeler 526; 3. Brett Hollander 523; 4. Todd Wheeler 515; 5. Leo Bult 511; 66. Garry Claxton 506.

1. Arran Crighton 60 points; 2=. Mitchell Turner & Matthew Podjursky 57; 4. Logan Brown 54; 5. Oscar Drummond 53; 6. Thomas Batt 52
Points after Rnd 5 of 6
1. Arran Crighton 546 points; 2. Mitchell Turner 540; 3. Mitchell Sanders 526; 4. Logan Brown 515; 5. Thomas Batt 513; 6. Oscar Drummond 511

Ryan Grant (#64) was back in front in the KZ2 class in Hawke's Bay. Reading the weather and track conditions correctly saw Aucklander Mark Lane (#20) win the KZ2 Masters class Final. The right tyre strategy for the conditions also saw a new Final winner in KF3, Matthew Podjursky (#77). Photo credit: Fast Company/Glenn Taylor

Rnd 1 Jan 26-27 Mi Sedaap CIK Trophy of NZ meeting, CRC Raceway, Kaitoke, Upper Hutt
Rnd 2 March 09/10 KartSport Rotorua International Raceway, Mamaku, Rotorua
Rnd 3 April 20/21 Fagan's Valley Raceway Te Puke
Rnd 4 May 25/26 Tirau Earthmovers' Raceway Tokoroa
Rnd 5 August 17/18 CHEMZ Raceway, Royshill, Hastings
Rnd 6 Sept 21-22 KartSport Auckland Raceway Auckland


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