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'Even bigger, even better' ProKart Series on show at Te Puke this weekend

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

In previous years the annual round of the 125cc/6-speed gearbox KZ2 class-based ProKart Series at KartSport Bay of Plenty’s tight, testing Te Puke Auto Electric Raceway high in the hills behind the town has been one of the biggest and best meetings on the local karting calendar.

With the addition this year of classes for Rotax category karts as well the series has become - in the words of long-time promotor Steve Brown ‘even bigger and even better’ to the points where numbers-wise close to 100 karters are expected to compete across six classes this weekend.

At the second round of this year’s ProKart Series at Rotorua in March four different drivers shared Aarque Group KZ2 class kudos. Consistency across all six races, never finishing lower than 4th place, saw series’ returnee, Graeme Smyth from Auckland, claim a popular round win from defending class title holder Mat Kinsman, Rnd 1 class winner Daniel Bra, and multi-time former series champ Ryan Grant.

In the other KZ classes, Regan Hall from Auckland completed a second clean sweep of race wins in as many rounds in Aarque Group KZ4, leading home former champ Garry Cullum from Auckland and Aaron Wooley from Hamilton.

Rnd 1 class winner Jared MacKenzie from Auckland also again topped the podium in Aarque Group KZ2 Masters, though this time it was from another Aucklander, Andrew Hunt, with Tim Loughran from the Hawke’s Bay again third.

NZ Rotax Max Heavy class front-runner Zach Zaloum, from the Hastings, made a victorious return, meanwhile, to the series at Rotorua after missing the opening round at Palmerston North. He won all but one of the Manawatu Toyota-backed 125cc Rotax Max Heavy class races to claim the round win from Tauranga ace Darren Walker, and Caleb Hartley from Hamilton.

Ryan Crombie from Auckland made every post a winning one in the Giltrap Group-backed 125cc Rotax Max Light class, qualifying on pole and going on to win all four Heats as well as the Pre-Final and Final for an emphatic round win over fellow recent Junior class graduate Fynn Osborne from Hamilton, Ashton Grant from Auckland and Rnd 1 winner Michael McCulloch.

Finally, local drivers Riley Spargo and Bradley Hewson ended up first and second respectively in Giltrap Group 125cc Rotax Max Junior. Fynn Osborne’s younger brother Clay claimed pole position in qualifying but Spargo went quicker to top the leader board in the Top 10 Shootout and win the round.

There will be racing action on track at Te Puke both days this weekend with qualifying and the first three rounds of heat races on Saturday, then the final round of heats per class plus the Pre-Finals and Final on Sunday.

A bonus for drivers and spectators alike on Saturday will be Supercar-style Top 10 Shootouts for every class which has more than 20 entries.

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