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EVANS AND COX BATTLE
THE ONE TO WATCH THIS WEEKEND

 

With season-long class leader Daniel Bray virtually assured of the premier KZ2 class title, the interest at the final round of this year's ProKart Series in Auckland this weekend will be in the battle for second place between multi-time New Zealand and 14ProKartSeriesR5HastingsKZ2ChrisCoxleads-1.jpgSouth Island sprint kart champion Chris Cox, and Gold Coast-based Kiwi teenager Jaxon Evans.

 

Evans has been the revelation of the class this year, the just turned 18-year-old having gone from KZ2 class debutante at the opening round of the 2014 series at Palmerston North in February to genuine podium prospect at the past two rounds.

 

Established class front-runner Graeme Smyth has taken the battle to Daniel Bray at later rounds of the series, taking the class win in Hawke's Bay last month, but because he missed the first two rounds thanks to car race commitments, it is Cox and Evans who are fighting for the final two spots on the series podium.

 

Heading into the penultimate round it was Cox, from Rangiora, who held the series' points advantage, but after finishing third to Cox's fourth at Hawke's Bay, Evans and Cox are now tied on 373 points, between series-long leader Bray with 405 and fourth placed 14ProKartSeriesR3HamKZ2JaxonEvans-1.jpgAucklander Luke Dobbs with 359.

 

Points-wise things are not quite as close in KZ2 Masters or the new KZ2 Restricted class though with every heat race counting in the ProKart Series (rather than competitors being able to drop their worst heat as happens in other categories) the battle for final class positions is going to go down to the wire.

 

Tom Curren continues to be the dominant force amongst the Masters, and is a shoe-in for the title as long as things don't go awry at Auckland.

 

However, Aucklander Mark Lane - currently second in the points - will have his work cut out keeping ahead of, and thus keeping second place in class, out of the hands of former Stock Car champ Graeme Lambert from Mangakino, and Nelson veteran Grant Kugener.

 

Like Jaxon Evans in KZ2, Lambert has been the big improver in his debut season in the Pro Kart Series and is now just eight points behind Lane. Kugener has also had a good year, and just one point further back is also a series podium threat.14ProKartSeriesR5HastingsKZ2MastersGraemeLambert-1.jpg

 

Finally, having only recently joined the series, former Southlander Mark Elder, now living in Auckland, is not in the hunt for a final series podium in the KZ2 Restricted class. But if his pace in the Hawke's Bay - where he finished second to class champion-elect Garry Cullum - is anything to go by, a round podium, or even win, is not out of the question.

 

Class promoter Steve Brown says he is very pleased with the way this year's ProKart Series has gone, in particular the response to the new, entry-level, KZ2 Restricted class, and his latest innovation, the addition for next year's series, of a Cadet ROK class,

 

"I'm still getting phone calls," he says," even this late in the season, from people wanting to get into the series. We're also retaining the people who are already in it, in fact we haven't had any noticeable drop-off heading into the final round which in itself is impressive."

 

There will be racing at KartSport Auckland's Strata Networks track at Rosebank Domain on both days this weekend with qualifying and the first heats on Saturday and the balance of the heats on Sunday. 14ProKartSeriesR5HastingsKZ2RestrictedwinnerMarkElder-1.jpg

 

With the final round of the 2014 Rotax Max Challenge New Zealand also being decided at the meeting it will be one of the biggest on the Auckland karting calendar with over 100 karters from across the country competing.

 

 

CAPTIONS

Interest in the ProKart Series final in Auckland this weekend will centre around the KZ2 class battle between Chris Cox (# 12) and Jaxon Evans (#91). Other drivers to keep an eye on in are Graeme Lambert (# 28) in the KZ2 Masters class and Mark Elder (#94) in KZ2 Restricted. Photo credit: Fast Company/Graham Hughes

 

2014 ProKart Series

KZ2

Series points after Rnd 5 of 6

1. Daniel Bray 405 points; 2=. Chris Cox 373; 2=. Jaxon Evans 373; 4. Luke Dobbs 359; 5. Jordan Morris 352; 6. Mitchell Brown 347


KZ2 Masters

Series points after Rnd 5 of 6
1. Tom Curran 409 points; 2. Mark Lane 377; 3. Graeme Lambert 369; 4. Grant Kugener 368; 5. Kevan Storr 359; 6. Leo Bult 356

 

KZ2 Restricted

Series points after Rnd 5 of 6
1. Garry Cullum 404 points; 2. Gerhard Benadie 375; 3. Cameron Dance 365; 4. Tommie Benadie 358; 5. Steve Brown 225; 6. Connor Adam 222 

Calendar
Rnd 1: Sun Feb 22-23 Manawatu Toyota Raceway Palmerston North

Rnd 2: Sat-Sun March 15-16 The Rock FM Raceway Rotorua

Rnd 3: Sat-Sun May 17-18 AgriSea Raceway Hamilton

Rnd 4: Sat-Sun June 07-08 Fagan's Valley Raceway Te Puke

Rnd 5: Sat-Sun August 16-17 Chemz Raceway Hastings

Rnd 6: Sat-Sun September 20-21 Strata Networks Raceway Auckland


Prepared by FAST COMPANY on behalf of KartSport New Zealand. To find out more about the 2014 New Zealand ProKart Series contact Ross MacKay on 021 677 919 or via e-mail at ross@fastcompany.co.nz

 
KartSport New Zealand