Kiwi karters Marcus Armstrong and Daniel Bray fought back to both finish in the top 20 at this year's CIK-FIA World KZ Championship meeting in Sweden on Sunday.16WorldKZChampsMarcusArmstrongSatlr-1.jpg

Armstrong, 16, from Christchurch, started the Final from P21 on the grid and finished 15th, while Bray, 29, from Auckland, started from P32 and worked his way up to 19th place at the flag.

It was an event of ups-and-downs for both drivers. Works Tony Kart driver Armstrong was badly baulked on a key qualifying lap and failed to finish the first qualifying heat race with an engine problem, while a blown clutch put Bray, who drives for the works GP Karts team, out of the Pre-Final (the race that determines the grid for the Final) on the last lap.

That both were able to persevere and make up places in the Final on a track notoriously hard to pass on says a lot. Though immediately afterwards both Kiws were putting the event in the 'what-might-have-been' file.

"It would have been completely different has we got our lap in, in qualifying," said Armstrong." We went out of the pits with 3.30 to go relying on putting in one fast lap…but it was ruined by another driver slowing down on the race line. It didn’t help that we stated the Pre-Final 23rd and finished 21st with barely any progress made and very frustrating. (However) for the Final we took some risks with the chassis  set-up and it paid off."

Bray was also quick in qualifying and - after  a better run through the qualifying heat races (16/14) lined up on P13 in the Pre-Final.16WorldKZChampsDanielBraySatlr-2.jpg

That was as good as it got for the Auckland-based international, however, a failing clutch meaning he was slow off the line and the clutch basket finally breaking, causing his dnf (did not finish), within 100 metres of the finish line while he was in 20th position.

Despite that disappointment Bray was reasonably happy with the rest of the weekend.

"The chassis was very good, and though we didn’t quite have the speed, say, for a podium, we definitely had enough to finish between fourth and seventh. 

KZ is karting's premier gearbox-equipped sprint class and this year's world title meeting at the Asum Ring at Kristianstad in southern Sweden attracted a 33-strong field which includes five-time World Karting Champion Davide Fore (who failed to finish the Final) and three-time champion Marco Ardigo from Italy (third) as well as former Formula 1 driver Rubens Barrichello from Brazil (22nd).

The Final and with it the 2016 CIK-FIA World KZ Championship title was won by Italian CRG ace Paolo De Conto from France's Anthony Abbasse and another Italian, Marcus Armstrong's Tony Kart team leader Marco Ardigo.

The two Kiwi internationals now move on to their next meetings this coming weekend. Armstrong's is a round of the DKM German Kart Championships, Bray's the final round of the 2016 Giltrap Group New Zealand Rotax Max challenge in Hamilton.

CAPTION: Kiwi karters Marcus Armstrong (#16) and Daniel Bray (#32) competing at the 2016 CIK-FIA World KZ Championship meeting at Kristianstad in Sweden over the weekend. Photo credit: Fast Company/Davide Pastanella Wafeproject Ltd

2016 CIK-FIA World KZ Championship meeting

1. Paolo De Conto (CRG/TM/Vega)
2. Anthony Abbasse (Sodi/TM/Vega)
3. Marco Ardigo (Tony Kart/Vortex/Vega)
4. Bas Lammers (Sodi/TM/Vega)
5. Simo Puhakka (CRG/TM/Vega)
6. Arnaud Kozlinski (CRG/TM/Vega)
15. Marcus Armstrong (Tony Kart/Vortex/Vega)
19. Daniel Bray (GP Kart/Maxter/Vega)


Prepared by FAST COMPANY on behalf of KartSport New Zealand. To find out more about the 2016 CIK-FIA World KZ Championship meeting contact Ross MacKay on 021 677 919 or via e-mail at

KartSport New Zealand