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Top KZ2 trio head Kiwi entry at Race of Stars

Top KZ2 class drivers Matthew Payne, Mathew Kinsman and Ryan Wood head an eight-strong Kiwi contingent contesting the seventh annual Race of Stars international kart event at Pimpama on Queensland’s Gold Coast this week and weekend.

The meeting is part of the build-up to the Vodafone Gold Coast 600 Supercars Championship meeting at Surfers Paradise over Labour Weekend. It has always attracted some of the world’s best karters, with this year no exception.

Five-time World Karting Champion David Fore is back this year, as is 12-time French champion – and last year’s winner - Anthony Abbasse.

Matthew Payne, the reigning NZ#1 in the KZ2 class, Mathew Kinsman, the recently crowned ProKart Series KZ2 class winner, (both from Auckland) and Ryan Wood, (from Wellington) who finished 3rd in the KZ2 class at the final round of this year’s Australian Karting Championship, will be joined on the KZ2 class grid this year by Sam Wright from Auckland.

Another young Auckland karter, Liam Sceats, is returning home via the Gold Coast event after competing at the annual ROK Cup Superfinal meeting in Italy last weekend. He has been a regular at the Race of Stars meeting and will compete in the premier Australian Junior class, KA2.

The other Kiwis are Aucklanders Ashton Grant and Henry Gelb who are running in the TaG 125 class, and Emerson Vincent from Pukekohe who is entered in Cadet 12.

At last year’s event, Kinsman was the best Kiwi qualifier, setting the fifth quickest time in a KZ2 class, but dnfs in two of the three heats saw the multi-time NZ Sprint class champion starting the Final from the back of the grid.

In one of the best fightback drives of the meeting, however, Kinsman made it up to 9th place at the flag.

Former Junior class star Ryan Wood also enjoyed a dream debut in the Senior ranks at the 2018 meeting putting in a stunning drive to 2nd place in the Rotax DD2 class Final.

Practise begins at the Xtreme Karting Complex at Pimpama today (Thursday) with qualifying and the first and second heat races tomorrow (Friday) with the third heats and Finals on Saturday.

© Scoop Media

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