Auckland karter Mat Kinsman completed a rare Lascom Motorsport KZ2 class title trifecta by winning both the round and 2018 title at the final of the 2018 Molecule ProKart Series in Hamilton on Sunday.
At Labour Weekend last year the 27-year-old kart importer and distributor won the KZ2 class title at the North Island Sprint Kart Championship meeting at Hamilton. At Easter this year he won the New Zealand KZ2 class title at the National Sprint Championship meeting at Rotorua. On Sunday he completed the circle by winning both the round and 2018 series KZ2 class title at the fifth and final round of the popular Molecule ProKart Series at KartSport Hamilton’s Speedworks Raceway.
He did it in style too, qualifying quickest then playing a long game against a top class field led by recent CIK-FIA KZ2 Super Cup runner-up Daniel Bray, and including internationally-experienced young guns Matt Payne, Dylan Drysdale and the Madeline Stewart
Bray won the class Top 10 Shootout on Saturday then went on to win all three KZ2 class heats. However a spin when he clipped a curb while leading the Pre-Final saw the Auckland-based international plummet down the order and cross the finish line 15th place. Needless to say Kinsman was in the box seat to take the win that time from recent class and series returnee Graeme Smyth (who had to start the heats from grid 20), and former NZ #1 Dylan Drysdale.
Smyth went on to win the Final as well leading all the way, and though Kinsman had to fight tooth and nail to get – then stay – ahead of former NZ#1 Dylan Drysdale, second place was more than enough to earn the multi-time NZ champ his second class round win of the season, and the 2018 Molecule ProKart Series KZ2 class title. After a rare error (and spin) while leading the Pre Final, a stunning drive back up through the field from P15 to 3rd in the Final was enough, meanwhile, to guarantee Daniel Bray second spot for the round, with Madeline Stewart and Graeme Smyth tying for third place from top local driver Rhys Tinney and Matt Payne.
Tinney’s season-long consistency was rewarded in the series standings, the Hamilton driver finishing third ahead of Payne, Stewart and Jacob Cranston.
Consistency also netted series promotor Steve Brown from Auckland some silverware of his own, the winner’s trophy in the Lascom Motorsport KZ2 Masters class.
Brown was beaten to the top spot in qualifying by eventual class round and series runner-up, Kevan Storr, by Brett Hollander and Storr in the class Top Ten Shootout, and by Storr again in the first heat. From then on in though it was Brown all the way with Storr second for both the round and the series and Taranaki road race specialist Nick Isaac impressing in his first full KZ2 season on the country’s sprint tracks third.
There was a new name at the top of the round and series podiums, meanwhile, in the Lascom Motorsport KZ4 class, Aucklander Regan Hall claiming his third class win of the season to unseat class stalwart Garry Cullum in both the round and series points standing. Cullum was still quick, claiming the top class spot in qualifying and beating Hall home in the first heat. But from that point on a changing of the guard was inevitable.
With four wins from five starts Hall claimed the round win from Cullum, Wellington pair Jamie Pollock and Julian Osborne and local Aarron Wooley, and the 2018 series class win from Cullum, Pollock, Wooley and Gerhard Benadie.