HAMILTON HEADS KIWI PODIUM-FEST
IN LAS VEGAS

 

With victory in the S4 Masters Stock Moto Final this morning (NZ time) Matthew Hamilton has headed a Kiwi podium-fest at the 17th annual SuperKarts USA SuperNationals meeting in Las Vegas.13SKUSASuperNatsMatthewHamiltongreetschequeredflag-1.jpg

 

Hamilton, 30, from Christchurch, was one of nine New Zealand karters to contest this year's SuperNationals meeting and, with compatriots Daniel Bray (S1 Stock Moto) and Marcus Armstrong (S5 Stock Moto) claiming third place finishes in their Finals, he was one of three to claim a place on a class podium.

 

Though he said it took him a couple of sessions to familiarize himself with the 125cc/6-speed Honda MX engines used in the SKUSA classes in the USA, reigning New Zealand KZ2 and multiple former sprint class champion Hamilton said he liked the temporary carpark-based SuperNationals track and discovered early on that he 'wasn't too far away' from ultimate front-running pace in the S4 Masters class.

 

Unseasonably cold temperatures and persistent rain put a damper on this year's meeting but Hamilton was quick wet or dry, qualifying first in his group and third overall before winning his three heat races and - after a bad start put him back to fourth place from pole - the winner-takes-all Final.

 

"I bogged down at the start and that let (fellow front row starter Jordan) Musser to get a way a bit but I got back up to second fairly quickly and chased him down from there," he said. "The kart was at its best when I caught and passed him and from then I got a bit of a gap which I was able to hold to the end."

 

The win is not only the first for Hamilton in the United States it is also the first one at the SuperNationals meeting for the new Aluminos kart he drove.

 

Third place in the first Final of the day, meanwhile, was enough for Hamilton's compatriot and Aluminos teammate Daniel Bray to sew up second place in the 2013 SKUSA Championship series points standings though Auckland-based international Bray saw it more as 'the one that got away.'13SKUSASuperNatsDanielBrayS1Final.jpg

 

"Whoever won the race won the championship and I had a race-winning kart," said the 26-year-old. "The only thing I got wrong were the tyre pressures. The kart was awesome and in terms of my driving I didn't make any mistakes. But the tyres came on too early and by lap eight they were gone."

 

That allowed eventual race and class championship title winner Joey Wimsett to ease away and Bray - who had started from P4 on the grid but spent most of the race in second - the second quarter on Wimsett's bumper - to be hunted down and eventually passed for second by another US driver, Nick Neri.

 

Tyres were a hot topic at the uncharacteristically cold and wet meeting, but Bray - who has been traveling back and forth to race in the United States for the past six years - had his own opinion on the situation.

 

"I had my two sets (of wet weather tyres) which go everywhere with me yet you had people coming to arguably the biggest meeting of their year without any? I mean, it can rain anywhere, anytime, even in the middle of summer so I always have wets with me."

 

It was a case of what a difference a week makes, however, for the Kiwi team's youngest member, 13-year-old Christchurch driver Marcus Armstrong. After not making it past the heats at the Rotax Max category's annual Grand Finals meeting in New Orleans the weekend before, Armstrong was one of the pace-setters - with Rotax Grand Final meeting stand out Kyle Kirkwood - in Las Vegas, qualifying second, finishing one of his heat races second and starting the S5 Stock Moto class Final from P5 on the grid.

 

Kirkwood went on to win the Final from Jarred Campbell and Armstrong, but according to Matthew Hamilton, the young Kiwi could well have been challenging for the lead had he started the race closer to Kirkwood. 13SKUSASuperNatsMarcusArmstrongFinals-1.jpg

 

"He didn't get the best of starts but he got up to third fairly quickly and I'm pretty sure he set the fastest lap."

 

The other Kiwi in the S5 class, Logan Brown, started the Final 14th and finished 13th while fellow Aucklander Jordan Morris starting the S2 Semi-Pro Stock Moto final 33rd but managed to work his way up to finish 21st.

 

There were also two other Kiwi drivers contesting the class Hamilton won, S4 Masters Stock Moto, Snow Mooney from Auckland starting  the Final 14th and finishing 17th, and Mark Swetman from the Bay of Plenty starting 16th and finishing 19th.

 

Dunedin youngster Josh Bethune and Auckland veteran Warren Parris also contested the meeting but neither got past the heats.

 

 

17th annual SuperKarts USA SuperNationals Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino carpark Las Vegas Nevada USA
Wed Nov 20 - Sun Nov 24 2013

S1 Stock Moto

1. Joey Wimsett

2. Nick Nerri

3. Daniel Bray (NZ)

 

S2 Semi-Pro Stock Moto

1. Connor Wagner

2. Christian Schureman

3. Augie Lerch

also

21. Jordan Morris (NZ)

 

S4 Masters Stock Moto

1. Matthew Hamilton (NZ)

2. Jordan Musser

3. Brian Fisher

also

17. Snow Mooney (NZ)

19. Mark Swetman (NZ)

 

S5 Stock Moto

1. Kyle Kirkwood

2. Jarred Campbell

3. Marcus Armstrong (NZ)

also

13. Logan Brown (NZ)

 

CAPTIONS:

A winner in Las Vegas. Christchurch karter Matthew Hamilton (#9NZ blue and yellow helmet ) greets the chequered flag to win the S4 Masters Stock Moto class at the 17th annual SKUSA SuperNationals meeting in Las Vegas on Sunday. Third in their classes, meanwhile, were Auckland international Daniel Bray (#3) and Christchurch teenager Marcus Armstrong (#9NZ red, black & white helmet)  Photo credit: Fast Company/Ash Budd

Prepared by FAST COMPANY on behalf of KartSport New Zealand. To find out more about the 17th annual SKUSA SuperNationals meeting in Las Vegas contact Ross MacKay on 021 677 919 or via e-mail at ross@fastcompany.co.nz

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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