Art & Entertainment | Book Reviews | Education | Entertainment Video | Health | Lifestyle | Sport | Sport Video | Search


Conditions Keep Things Close at Final Prokart Series Round

Media information
For immediate release

* 2014 Pro Kart Series
Rend 6 (final)
Strata Networks Raceway
Rosebank Domain
September 20-21



Conditions Keep Things Close at Final Prokart Series Round in Auckland

Favourites Daniel Bray, Tom Curran and Garry Cullum got the class titles they have fought all year for but changeable weather and track conditions didn’t make their task exactly easy at a rain-lashed final round of the 2014 ProKart Series in Auckland over the weekend.

Defending class champion Daniel Bray started well in the premier KZ2 class, qualifying quickest and winning the first heat, but he was beaten to the line in the other two heats by long-time rival Graeme Smyth before coming back to win both the Pre-Final and Final, with Smyth second, and 18-year-old Gold Coast-based Kiwi Jaxon Evans third.

With every race counting and no drops the result was a dead-heat between Bray and Smyth for the round victory with Evans third.

Heading into the round it looked like the big battle was going to be between Evans and top South Island driver Chris Cox for second spot behind Bray. As it turned out, though, it was two other young guns, Rollo Evans and Jordan Morris, both from Auckland, who made the biggest impression.

Cox was never far from the front, but his fate was sealed by a dnf in the Pre-Final, meaning he had to start the Final from the back of the grid.

That he got back up to fifth by the time the chequered flag came out was an achievement in itself, but by that stage Davies had made a statement with a best of third in the heats and fourth in the Pre-Final.

And after storming through the field in the Pre-Final from the back of the grid to sixth he got up to fourth behind Bray, Smith and Evans and one place ahead of Cox in the Final.

In the other two classes the eventual series winners also came under incredible pressure, more so in fact than at any other round.

In KZ2 Masters, defending title holder Tom Curran had major issues in qualifying which meant he was mired in mid-field - sixth in each heat - then got turned around in the Pre-Final and really only got going in the Final in which he finished fourth.

Taking his place, in qualifying and the heats was series promoter Steve Brown, with the quickest lap time and wins in the first two heats.

It was then the turn of fellow Aucklanders Mark Lane and Mark Wheeler to take up the challenge, Lane winning the third heat then Wheeler winning both the Pre-Final and Final, the latter from one of the other class stalwarts, Leo Bult, perennially quick Nelson veteran Grant Kugener, Tom Curran and Mark Lane.

The result was round victory to Mark Wheeler, from namesake Mark Lane with Graeme Lambert third, though Curran had more than enough points to retain series' victory in the class from Lane, former Stock Car ace Lambert, and Kugener.

There was a similar shake-up in KZ2 Restricted, with former Southlander Mark Elder showing his fine form at the penultimate series' round last month was no fluke by claiming pole positon in qualifying, albeit by the tiniest margin from recent kart returnee Jared MacKenzie from Auckland and early season pace-setter and title winner-elect Garry Cullum.

McKenzie then proceeded to rule the round, winning all three heats from - respectively Elder, Cullum and Gerhard Benadie.

Cullum was able to turn the tables on his new-found rival in the Pre-Final but the Final proved to be another MacKenzie benefit from Cullum, Elder and class new-face Troy Hopkinson.

Like Tom Curran in KZ2 Masters, Garry Cullum had done more than enough at previous rounds to ensure series' class victory was his, from Gerhard Benadie and Cameron Dance.

Despite the damp end to the series' first year under new promoter Steve Brown, the racing was again exceptional with a good base of drivers committed to contesting all six rounds and a constant stream of new faces keen to take the step up to a gearbox category

"For me," says Brown, "that's where I get the most satisfaction, seeing all the competitors come together and - even when it was bucketing down on Saturday and Sunday - smile and laugh and give it their absolute best in all their races. That's what our sport is about and I'm proud to be able to play a part in it."


2014 Pro Kart Series
1=. Graeme Smyth & Daniel Bray; 3. Jaxon Evans; 4. Rollo Davies; 5. Mark Swetman; 6. Jason Farmilo.

Final series points
1. Daniel Bray 487 points; 2. Jaxon Evans 448; 3. Chris Cox 444;4. Luke Dobbs 428; 5. Jordan Morris 420; 6. Matt Butchart 417.

KZ2 Masters
1. Mark Wheeler; 2. Mark Lane; 3. Graeme Lambert; 4. Steve Brown; 5. Leo Bult; 6. Grant Kugener

Final series points
1. Tom Curran 480 points; 2. Mark Lane 454; 3. Graeme Lambert 444; 4. Grant Kugener 440; 5=. Kevan Storr 429; 5=. Leo Bult 429

KZ2 Restricted
1. Jared MacKenzie; 2. Garry Cullum; 3. Mark Elder; 4. Gerhard Benadie; 5. Troy Hopkinson; 6. Cameron Dance.

Final series points
1. Garry Cullum 481; 2. Gerhard Benadie 448; 3. Cameron Dance 437; 4. Tommie Benadie 408; 5. Connor Adam 293; 6. Jared MacKenzie 237

Rnd 1: Sun Feb 22-23 Manawatu Toyota Raceway Palmerston North
Rnd 2: Sat-Sun March 15-16 The Rock FM Raceway Rotorua
Rnd 3: Sat-Sun May 17-18 AgriSea Raceway Hamilton
Rnd 4: Sat-Sun June 07-08 Fagan's Valley Raceway Te Puke
Rnd 5: Sat-Sun August 16-17 Chemz Raceway Hastings
Rnd 6: Sat-Sun September 20-21 Strata Networks Raceway Auckland

© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Howard Davis: Emerald Fennell's Promising Young Woman'

The Guardian needed not one, but three reviews to do justice to Fennell's unsettling approach, which indicates exactly how ambiguous and controversial its message really is. More>>

Howard Davis: Jill Trevelyan's Rita Angus

Although Angus has become one of Aotearoa’s best-loved painters, the story of her life remained little known and poorly understood before Jill Trevelyan's acclaimed and revelatory biography, which won the Non Fiction Award at the Montana New Zealand Book Awards in 2009, and has now been republished by Te Papa press. More>>

Howard Davis: The Back of the Painting

Painting conservators are the forensic pathologists of the art world. While they cannot bring their subjects back to life, they do provide fascinating insights into the precise circumstances of a painting's creation, its material authenticity, and constructive methodology. More>>

Howard Davis: Black Panthers on the Prowl

A passionate and gripping political drama from Shaka King, this is an informative and instructive tale of human frailty that centers around the charismatic Chicago Black Panther leader Fred Hampton, who was murdered at the age of twenty-one during a police raid. More>>

Howard Davis: Controlling the High Ground

Stephen Johnson's raw and angry film not only poses important questions with scrupulous authenticity, but also provides a timely reminder of the genocidal consequences of casual bigotry and xenophobia. More>>

Howard Davis: Dryzabone - Robert Conolly's The Dry

After the terrible devastation caused by last year’s bushfires, which prompted hundreds of Australians to shelter in the ocean to escape incineration and destroyed uncountable amounts of wildlife, The Dry has been released during a totally different kind of dry spell. More>>

Howard Davis: Hit the Road, Jack - Chloé Zhao's Nomadland

Nomadland is perhaps the ultimately 'road' movie as it follows a group of dispossessed and disenfranchised vagabonds who find a form of communal refuge in camp sites and trailer parks after the economic contraction of 2008. More>>



  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland