With 24 entries in the Wifiplus KZ2 class and 17 in the combined Aarque Group KZ2 Masters and KZ2 Restricted class the action is guaranteed to be fast and furious at the second round of the 2017 Molecule ProKart Series at Te Puke this weekend.
‘It’s a great little track,” says series promotor Steve Brown of the KartSport Bay of Plenty club’s Te Puke Auto Electrical Raceway tucked into a narrow valley in the foothills north-west of the town. ‘It’s tight, but that just concentrates the fields which always makes for good close quarter racing.”
Since the opening series round in Palmerston North a month ago four more karters have signed up for the Wifiplus KZ2 class, including former young gun Bradley Hicks from Auckland, making for one of the largest grids of the purpose-built, six-speed gearbox-equipped 125cc race karts ever assembled in this country.
Judging by how close the points are after the opening round, the second at Te Puke will also be one of the most competitive. Just 11 points separate joint leaders Ryan Grant and Aaron Wilson, and 10th placed Clint Beaumont and just four separate third placed Australian ace Troy Loeskow from seventh placed Dylan Drysdale.
Of added interest will be the return of Richard Moore, who last weekend secured the 2017 NZ V8 Utes NZ Championship at Hampton Downs.
Defending Aarque Group KZ2 Masters class title holder Jared MacKenzie also found the competition tougher at the opening series round this year, fellow Aucklander Andrew Hunt pipping him for pole position in qualifying and sharing heat and Pre-Final wins.
MacKenzie was back on top in the Final but Hunt’s superior consistency rewarded the former rally ace with a debut round victory over MacKenzie with Speedway Super Saloon ace Terry Corin, an impressive third on his return to the sport.
Aucklander Garry Cullum was again the man to beat in Aarque Group KZ2 Restricted at Palmerston North, though failing to finish the Pre-Final cost him a win in the Final. Regan Hall won both the Pre-Final and Final but three wins from three starts in the heats and second place in the Final was enough to keep the round win in Cullum’s grasp.
The Molecule-backed ProKart Series again shares the limelight this weekend with the Giltrap Group Rotax Max Challenge with action on both days at the Te Puke track.