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Multi-time KZ2 class winner Ryan Grant heads a strong ProKart Series entry ahead of the opening 2015 round at Rotorua this weekend. 13ProKartR4TokKZ2RyanGrant-1 (2).jpg


After being the dominant figure in the class and series since its inception the Auckland driver took time out last year because of work commitments, but is back with the Paffoni team this year.


Grant and his teammate, kart and car ace Graeme Smyth, share favourite status in the KZ2 class heading into this weekend's series opener at KartSport Rotorua's The Rock FM Raceway west of the city,  the latter courtesy of his win at the final round of the 2014 series and clean-sweep of the KZ2 class at the Lightning Racegear City of Sails meeting in Auckland last weekend.


Set to take the battle to the Auckland pair is reigning South Island KZ2 class champion Chris Cox from Rangiora and long-time series supporter Jason Farmilo from Auckland.


Also expected to feature through the year are young guns Luke Dobbs, Mitchell Brown and Rollo Davies.


This year's series is again twinned with the New Zealand Rotax Max Challenge, the two top-level kart series sharing equal billing at tracks across the North Island from this weekend until early September.


The ProKart series will again run three Senior and one Junior class. The three Senior ones are all based around the purpose-built 6-speed gearbox-equipped 125cc KZ2 class engine package with the head-lining KZ2 class supported by KZ2 Masters (40+) and KZ2 Restricted classes.


Long-time Masters' class pace-setter Tom Curran from the Hawke's Bay is again expected to be the driver to beat in that class, though 13ProKartSeriesR4TokKZ2MastersTomCurran-1.jpglast year Aucklanders Mark Lane and Mark Wheeler were never far behind and this year they will be joined by last year's KZ2 Restricted class surprise package Jared MacKenzie.


MacKenzie used the Restricted class as a springboard for a return to the sport in the knowledge that when he turned 40 he would be eligible to move to the Masters class this year.


Though fellow Aucklander Garry Cullum dominated the Restricted class last year, MacKenzie got quicker and quicker with every outing, topping the season off with a class win at the final round in Auckland.


Cullum returns to defend his Restricted class title this year with competition again expected to come from Gerhard Benadie who claimed the runner-up class series spot last year.


There is a new addition, meanwhile, to the support roster in the Vortex Mini ROK class. This class has attracted a top field which includes inaugural North Island class champion Josh Parkinson, City of Sails meeting class winner Billy Frazer, and Callum Hedge.


An added incentive for the 9-13 year-olds contesting the full series is that the winner gets the opportunity to compete at the final round of the Australian championships at the end of October,

This weekend's opening series round is the first of six with subsequent ones in Hawke's Bay, Tokoroa, the Bay of Plenty, Auckland and Hamilton.



Multi-time ProKart Series KZ2 class winner Ryan Grant from Auckland is back this year after taking a break last year. Favourite again in the KZ2 Masters class is Hawke's Bay driver Tom Curran. Photo credit: Fast Company/Graham Hughes


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

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