in PRAGA and OK1

 Race Wrap for Trans-Tasman Challenge -  NZ Rotax Max Challenge R1

A trans-Tasman approach has paid dividends for IPKarting and its kart brands, Praga and OK1, with the top Aussie and Kiwi drivers bringing home the wins on debut in their 2013 product range.MWT 13 NZ RMC Kinsman D RL 1st.jpg

Across the weekend the Kartsport Manawatu circuit in Palmerston North hosted its annual Trans-Tasman Challenge in conjunction with round 1 of the NZ Rotax Max Challenge.  Whilst the event was hugely enjoyable for the team to attend, it was the impressive results that in the end were proven by the professionalism of team approach backed by the quality of the product.

Taking out convincing wins in Rotax Light, Rotax Heavy and Heavy Masters as well as podium positions in Rotax Heavy and JMAX.  The results continue to prove that the new ownership and management of the company is certainly heading in the right direction to be a major industry force.  IPKarting was formerly the manufacturing company responsible for the production of the Intrepid range of karts and has now moved on to create the Praga and OK1 brands.

In Rotax Light, IPKarting fielded 3 drivers Daniel Kinsman – New Zealand (Praga), Aaron Hodgson – New Zealand (OK1) and Ryal Harris – Australia (OK1).   All three drivers had very limited time ahead of this 1st round to familiarise themselves with their equipment and former state and Australian champ Harris had been out of a kart altogether for a considerable time concentrating on a successful motorsports career as 2012 Champion of the V8 Ute series. 

In a field of 31, Daniel Kinsman put his new Praga Dragon on p2 for the start of racing with Hodgson out of p5 and Harris out of p6.  Praga Global Ambassador Dan Kinsman went on to clean sweep the heats, pre-final and final in a display of flawless driving.   Dan is looking forward to getting back over to Australia now that he has had some time in the seat of his new Praga to take it up to the Aussie boys in the Australian Rotax Pro Tour series and Nationals.

Hodgson was also very strong all weekend unfortunately getting caught up in an on track incident in heat 1, he recovered in heat 2 to finish 3rd.   Harris fresh off the back of his 2012 V8 Ute championship win was looking forward to getting back in the seat of a kart.   He showed good pace and qualified 6th for the start of racing.  He drove to 4th in heat 1 and looked like he was on track to stay up the front all weekend but after some engine issues in heat 2 he dropped to 10th, the engine issues continued to plague him in the pre final but he managed to hold down 5th place.  In the final he stalled going into Hart Hairpin and went back to dead last, not giving up he drove back through to finish 16th in the 31 kart field.MWTU 13 Moore L RH 1st.jpg

In Rotax Heavy IPKarting also fielded 3 drivers Lane Moore – OK1 (Australia) Trent Moore – Praga (Australia) and Brendon Hart – Praga (New Zealand). Watching the class it was very much an OK1 and Praga showcase of driving skills with the team dominating the field.  Aussie Lane Moore, no stranger to racing in NZ, put his OK1 on Pole for the start of racing ahead of fellow Australian Michael Saller in P2, next on the grid in P3 was Brendon Hart in his Praga and out of P4 was Trent Moore also in Praga.

Lane Moore traded heat wins with Saller but held his pole start for the pre final.  Moore was just too strong for the field in the pre final and drove on to again keep his pole starting position for the start of the final.  After a very impressive start Moore drove the 22 lap final in incredible fashion increasing his lead on the field to just under 5 seconds at the chequered flag and setting the fastest lap and a new class track lap record at 46.252.  Saller was home 2nd and with a very strong performance by Brendon Hart to come home 3rd and Trent Moore 4th.   Hart returned home in 1st place of the Masters (over 32 years) class.

In the Junior Max field Lachlan McHugh was the only Australian driver.  After throwing a chain in the 1st qualifying session it was going to be an uphill battle for McHugh having to start out of p14 for the heats where McHugh drove to 7th in heat 1 and 8th in heat 2.   Lockie McHugh drove a spectacular race in the pre final to take the win and earned him the pole position for the start of the final.  The final was intense and McHugh led the way early, only be shuffled back to 3rd with a gap to the front 2 drivers, McHugh put his head down and worked his way forward and looked strong enough to gain back 2nd but ran out of laps to get the job done and finished on the podium with a well earnt 3rd place.Mwtu13 McHugh L 3rd NZ.jpg

IPKarting Australia has joined forces with New Zealand based company Lascom Motorsport and managing director Ken Bensley said “we could not have asked for better results on our first outing in New Zealand with the new brands and we are very excited about working with Lascom and ensuring that the New Zealand market is offered a high level of support for competitors using the IPKarting products.”

Big thanks to the Club for putting on a great event and to Brendon Hart and Tony Drysdale for all the support.  A special team thanks to Peter and Diane Day who hosted the Aussie team and provided them with excellent hospitality and entertainment including a clay pigeon shooting contest won by Ryal Harris.

The Aussies will return to New Zealand to race on the outstanding new track located at Rotorua on 9 – 10 March for Round 2, opportunities exist to join the team and race in New Zealand.  Contact Ken at IPKarting on 0414 760 965.

Dan Kinsman, 1st Rotax Light
Lane Moore, 1st Rotax Heavy
Lachlan “Lockie” McHugh, 3rd Junior Max
credit Leith Robertson, Speed Pics NZ

All New Zealand kart sale enquiries to:
Lascom Motorsports – Ph: (09) 579 7263
Located at 781 Great South Road, Penrose, Auckland

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KartSport New Zealand