Auckland-based kart international Daniel Bray is in for a busy fortnight; this weekend he takes on New Zealand's best KZ2 class drivers at the fourth round of the local ProKart series at Te Puke, then the weekend after he will be competing against the world's best at the opening round of the European KZ2 championship at Genk in Belgium.14ProKartSeriesR3HamKZ2RestDanielBray-1.jpg


"It's tight for sure, but I didn't want to miss either meeting," said the 26-year-old this morning."I fly out first thing on Monday after Te Puke and the team is going to pick me up at Frankfurt (airport, where Bray heading) on their way from Italy."


Bray, who finished third at the 2013 KZ2 World Cup meeting in France last year, has won his class at all three 2014 ProKart Series rounds held so far this year. But it was a close-run thing at the most recent round in Hamilton, where he only managed to pip fellow Aucklander Graeme Smyth on the line in the Final, and another solid workout at the tight, twisty Fagan's Valley Raceway track will stand him in good stead for his first European hit-out in Belgium.


"It's definitely a very physical track, particularly in a KZ2," says Bray. "There's really only one straight which in our karts you're on for maybe two seconds before you're starting your lap again. You never get a rest."


After an impressive series return at Hamilton, kart and car racer Smyth will again be the driver to take the battle to Bray. Also expected to14ProKartSeriesR3HamKZ2MastersLeoBult-1.jpg show well are top South Island driver Chris Cox who finished second to Bray at Hamilton and who is currently second in the series points standings, and Gold Coast-based Jaxon Evans, the 17-year-son of the women who once battled the men for the New Zealand Formula Vee single-seater title, Debbie Evans (nee Lester), who is third.


In the other classes, numbers continue to grow in the new KZ2 Restricted, with nine entered this weekend. Still leading the way is Garry Cullum but fellow Aucklander Jared McKenzie finished a close second at Hamilton on his return to karting and with Connor Adam and Gerhard Benadie will again keep early season  stand-out Cullum honest within the tight confines of the Te Puke track.


Hawke's Bay driver Tom Curran has again been the man to beat in the KZ2 Masters class this year, but if there is someone to watch in that class this weekend it is former Stock Car ace Graeme Lambert from Mangakino. 14ProKartSeriesR3HamKZ2RestGerhardBenadie-1.jpg


Lambert is a late convert to karting, having only taken up the sport after seeing how much fun his son was having in the Junior classes. He has proved a quick learner and after finishing sixth at the most recent Pro Kart Series round at Hamilton is fourth in the class series' points standings behind Curran, and Aucklanders Mark Lane and Kevin Storr.


The weekend's ProKart Series round is the fourth of six with a break of just over two months after it until the fifth round in Hawke's Bay in mid-August.




Drivers to watch at the Te Puke round of the 2014 ProKart Series this weekend include Daniel Bray (#2 KZ2), Leo Bult (#98 KZ2 Masters) and Gerhard Benadie (#21 KZ2 Restricted).  Photo credit: Fast Company/Graham Hughes


2014 ProKart Series


Points after Rnd 3
1. Daniel Bray 245; 2. Chris Cox 225; 3. Jaxon Evans 223; 4=. Luke Dobbs 217; 4=. Mitch Osborne 217; 6. Mitch Brown 213

KZ2 Restricted

Points after Rnd 3

1. Garry Cullum 243 points; 2. Gerhard Benadie 227; 3. Steve Brown 225; 4. Cameron Dance 219; 5. Tommie Benadie 216; 6. Jared McKenzie 78  


KZ2 Masters 

Points after Rnd 3
1. Tom Curran 246  points; 2. Mark Lane 228; 3. Kevan Storr 223; 4. Graeme Lambert 220; 5. Grant Kugener 219; 6. Garry Claxton 215

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 Pro Kart Series contact Ross MacKay on 021 677 919 or via e-mail at

KartSport New Zealand