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KZ2 class kart ace Graeme Smyth's golden run of recent form continued at the opening round of this year's ProKart Series at Rotorua over the weekend.15ProKartRnd1RotKZ2GraemeSmythlr-1.jpg


Smyth dominated the KZ2 class races at the recent City of Sails meeting in Auckland and after mastering the difficult wet/dry conditions at the KartSport Rotorua club's The Rock FM Raceway on Saturday and Sunday he heads to the second series round in the Hawke's Bay in a fortnight's time with a healthy early lead in the series points standings.


Temamate, and multi-time former class winner Ryan Grant, shared favourite status going into the round but didn’t manage to get a win on board until the class final. He was DQed from the first heat, had his clutch lever jam in the second and had to start the Pre-Final from the back of the grid.


From there he did make it through to second, then won the Final from Smyth, Rollo Davies and Chris Cox, but with points from each race counting Smyth was the round winner from Cox and impressive young gun Aaron Wilson with Grant seventh.


The meeting was held in conditions which constantly changed, ranging from hot and dry to warm and damp and warm and streaming wet. As such the drivers found it hard deciding whether to run dry weather slick tyres or grooved wets. 15ProKartRnd1RotKZ2MastersTomCurranlr-1.jpg


Either way it didn’t seem to matter to class stalwart and multi-time KZ2 Masters class title winner Tom Curran from the Hawke's Bay who qualified quickest in his class and won all four races for an early points advantage in the fight for the 2015 class silverware.


Nelson veteran Grant Kugener was never far behind, qualifying second and finishing second in the second heat and Pre-Final, but a 12th in the first heat and time penalty for a jumped start in the Final worked against him, second place in the points chase after the first meeting going to KZ2 Restricted class graduate Jared Mackenzie.


The KZ2 Restricted class was run concurrently and won by defending class title holder Garry Cullum who qualified quickest and won all bar the Pre-Final.


Impressing with his pace but unlucky not to finish the Final was young gun Connor Adlam who won claimed seconds in both heats and won the Pre-Final. Despite that he left the meeting second in the class series points standings.15ProKartRnd1RotKZ2RestrictedGarryCullumlr-1.jpg


Reigning North Island class champion Josh Parkinson from Auckland reveled in the changeable conditions, meanwhile, to lead home the Vortex Mini ROK junior support class, winning both heats and coming back from a fourth in the Pre-Final to win the Final.


Tied for second after the weekend are Wellington's Ryan Wood and Auckland's Billy Frazer, with top meeting qualifier Sam Wright fourth.


An added incentive for the youngsters who complete the full series of racing in the class is that the winner gets the opportunity to compete at the final round of the Australian championships at the end of October,


This year's ProKart Series is again twinned with the New Zealand Rotax Max Challenge, with the second series' round in Hawke's Bay in a fortnight's time. 15ProKartRnd1RotVortexMiniROKJoshParkinsonlr-1.jpg



ProKart Series KZ2 class winner at the opening round was Auckland's Graeme Smyth (#24). Other class winners were Tom Curran, KZ2 Masters (#7), Garry Cullum (#96) and Josh Parkinson, Vortex Mini ROK (#NI). Photo credit: Fast Company/Graham Hughes


2015 ProKart Series Rnd 1 The Rock FM Raceway Rotorua Sat-Sun Jan 31-Feb 01 


Cable Systems KZ2

Series placing after Rnd 1

1. Graeme Smyth; 2. Chris Cox; 3. Aaron Wilson; 4. Rollo Davies; 5. Luke Dobbs; 6. Mitch Brown; 7. Ryan Grant


KZ2 Masters

Series placings after Rnd 1

1. Tom Curran; 2. Jared Mackenzie; 3. Grant Kugener; 4. Mark Wheeler; 5. Steve Brown; 6. Graeme Lambert


KZ2 Restricted

Series placing after Rnd 1

1. Garry Cullum; 2. Connor Adlam; 3. Gerhard Benadie; 4. Shaun Curran


Vortex Mini ROK

Series placings after Rnd 1

1. Josh Parkinson; 2=. Ryan Wood & Billy Frazer; 4. Sam Wright; 5. Connor Davison; 6. Callum Hedge


Rnd 1: Sat- Sun Jan 31-Feb 01 The Rock FM Raceway Rotorua

Rnd 2: Sat-Sun Feb 14-15 Chemz Raceway Hastings

Rnd 3: Sat-Sun May 09-10 Tirau Earthmovers Raceway Tokoroa

Rnd 4: Sat-Sun Jun 13-14 Fagan's Valley Raceway Te Puke

Rnd 5: Sat-Sun Aug 15-16 Strata Networks Raceway Auckland

Rnd 6: Sat-Sun Sept 12-13 AgriSea Raceway Hamilton

Prepared by FAST COMPANY on behalf of KartSport New Zealand. To find out more about the 2015 ProKart Series contact Ross MacKay on 021 677 919 or via e-mail at

KartSport New Zealand