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TWO KIWIS ON WORLD KART CHAMPIONSHIP GRID 

THIS WEEKEND

 

Two Kiwi karters, Daniel Bray from Auckland, and Marcus Armstrong from Christchurch, will contest this year's CIK-FIA16CIKEuroKZChampspreMarcusArmstrong-1 (2).jpg World KZ Championship meeting in Sweden this weekend. This is the first time two Kiwis have contested the same CIK-FIA World Championship event.

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 has attracted a 33-strong field which includes five-time World Karting Champion Davide Fore and three-time champion Marco Ardigo from Italy, as well as former Formula 1 driver Rubens Barrichello from Brazil. 

The meeting is the first CIK-FIA World Championship one for 29-year-old Auckland-based international Bray but the second for 16-year-old Christchurch-born, Great Britain-based Armstrong who finished 12th at his CIK-FIA World Karting Championship debut in the KF class in Italy a year ago.

Both Kiwis drive for Italian teams, Bray the GP Karts outfit from Piacenza, Armstrong for Tony Kart from Prevalle.16KSNZSprintNatsDanielBraylr-1.jpg

Though it is a first CIK-FIA World Championship for Bray, the Aucklander is no stranger to the highest level of karting competition in Europe and the United States.

In 2013 after leading for all but three leaps he finished third at the KZ2 World 'Supercup' meeting in France, and the year before he was punted out of the lead of the 2012 KZ2 SuperCup Final (eventually finishing 20th) by the current sensation of the Formula 1 World Championship, Max Verstappen!

In 2011, meanwhile, Bray won the premier S1 class title on the SuperKarts USA Pro Tour, and after winning the second round currently lies third in the S1 class standings this year.

Bray enjoyed a productive test at a round of the Swedish Karting Championship at Kristianstad in July, finishing ninth in the KZ2 class Final, and said before leaving on Monday that with both wet and dry running at the meeting it gave a good grounding in terms of circuit knowledge and chassis set-up ahead of this weekend's event.Poster_Kristianstad.jpg

"A lot of the top drivers in Europe were there and (in the Final) I ran with the lead pack early on before the tyre pressures got a bit high making it hard to hang on over the last eight laps.

"Overall it was a worthwhile trip. We learnt a lot in terms of chassis development as well as how important it is to get the tyre pressures just right at the track."

Armstrong has also raced and recently tested at the track, one that he scored his breakthrough win at (in the KF class at the final round of the CIK-FIA European Championships) last year.

"Kristianstad is certainly a special track for me," he said." We won the CIK-FIA European Championship round there last year so naturally I look forward to going back. 

"I think looking after tyres will be important here again as the surface is really abrasive but I feel as though everything was working well when we tested there last month. 

"I'm looking forward to getting back to work and fighting hard."

Like Bray he believes getting a workable chassis set up early on will be a key to success.

"The first task will be a to qualify well," says Bray. "There are not a lot of  passing opportunities at Kristianstad so the trick will be to be up there and get good finishes in the heat races."

CAPTION: Marcus Armstrong (#211) contesting a round of the European KZ Championship (Photo credit: Fast Company/Tony Kart) and fellow Kiwi Daniel Bray (#1) competing at the Giltrap Group NZ National Sprint championship meeting at Easter this year. Photo credit: Fast Company/Graham Hughes

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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 ross@fastcompany.co.nz

 
 
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