The cream of the country's karting talent will be in Upper Hutt this weekend contesting the Mi Sedaap instant noodles-sponsored CIK Trophy of New Zealand meeting
The meeting, again hosted by local club KartSport Wellington at its Wynn's Raceway facility at Kaitoke, is sanctioned by the international governing body of KartSport, the CIK, and as such carries the same sort of status in the kart world the annual New Zealand Grand Prix does in the car one.
Heading the entry list in the premier KZ2 (125cc engine/6-speed gearbox) class is again Ryan Grant, the Auckland driver who last year won the CIK Trophy for a record fifth time, with competition expected to come from reigning New Zealand KZ2 class sprint champion Daniel Bray and V8 SuperTourer driver Richard Moore, both also from Auckland, and multi-time New Zealand sprint champion and New Zealand representative Matthew Hamilton from Christchurch.
This year the KZ2 class has attracted 12 entries, including those of reigning New Zealand KF2 class champion Arie Hutton making his national level debut in the KZ2 class, and reigning South Island class sprint champion Chris Cox from Rangiora.
KZ2 is one of eight different classes running this weekend with the meeting doubling as the opening round of the 2013 Formula S KartSport ProKart Series (for KZ2, KF3 and KZ2 Masters classes).
KF3 (the country's elite junior age group class) is the other CIK Trophy category, and there are six Challenge Cup support classes, KZ2 masters, cadet, junior restricted 100cc Yamaha, junior 100cc Yamaha, senior 100cc Yamaha light and senior 125cc Rotax Max light.
With last year's KF3 class title holder Josh Drysdale now a senior the battle this year looks like involving last year's junior 100cc Yamaha Challenge Cup class winner Matthew Podjursky from Taranaki, reigning North Island class sprint champion Mitchell Turner, fellow Hawke's Bay driver Maddison Wise and Mitchell Sanders from the Bay of Plenty.
In KZ2 masters, meanwhile, it looks like a three-way battle involving class and Pro Kart Series stalwarts Snow Mooney, Steve Brown and Mark Lane, all from Auckland.
Since its inception the annual CIK Trophy of New Zealand meeting has attracted top drivers from both New Zealand and Australia with previous title winners including Wade Cunningham - 2003 CIK-FIA World Karting Champion and now an IndyCar driver, former A1GP and now leading Carrera Cup Australia Porsche GT3 Cup driver Jonny Reid, reigning GP3 champion Mitch Evans and V8 Supercar ace Shane van Gisbergen.
This year's CIK Trophy meeting at is the fourth to be hosted by KartSport Wellington and club President Gary Wilson says that with the support of title sponsor Mi Sedaap it has got bigger and better every year.
The 2013 Mi Sedaap CIK Trophy of New Zealand will be televised with two 30-minute programmes screened on TV3 on Sunday, March 31, and Sunday, April 28, at 3.00pm respectively, with repeats on CUE TV.
For more information about the club and details on further up and coming events see www.kartsportwellington.co.nz
- (Live Matches)