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Preview: New Zealand Rotax Max Challenge Round 2

press release 12 February 2015


Top Auckland karters Mathew Kinsman and Daniel Connor are looking to be back amongst the front-runners at the second round of this year's Logitech New Zealand Rotax Max Challenge in the Hawke's Bay this weekend.

Neither made it to the finish line in the Final at Rotorua, leaving former champ Josh Hart from Palmerston North - now back in the country after racing and working overseas for a number of years - to claim an early season points advantage over young gun Campbell Joyes from Hamilton.

Above: Mathew Kinsman competing at round 1
pic - Fast Company/Graham Hughes

Mathew Kinsman, from Howick, is the defending Lights class title holder, while Daniel Connor, from Muriwai, finished third in class in last year's Challenge series.

Both were quick early on at the rain-effected first round at Rotorua a fortnight ago with Connor third and Kinsman fourth in the Pre-Final, but both were stopped early in the Final by mechanical issues, a broken clutch for Kinsman and dead battery for Connor.

Mathew Kinsman's younger brother Daniel had no such trouble in the new DD2 class at Rotorua, winning both the Pre Final and Final, the latter from KZ2 gearbox class international Daniel Bray, who this year is contesting the Rotax Max Challenge, and Mason Armstrong.

Above: Daniel Connor
pic - Fast Company/Graham Hughes

Bray will again be Daniel Kinsman's biggest threat this weekend but also expected to be quick is CJ Sinclair who qualified on pole and won the first DD2 heat at Rotorua, and fellow young guns Mitchell Beach, Bradley Hicks and Jonathan Buxeda.

Also set to feature in the DD2 class are former New Zealand F125S champion, and current NZ speedway Sprint Car #1 Daniel Eggleton from Pukekohe, making a long-planned return to his first-love, karting, and fast-rising 17-year-old Chelsea Herbert, one of the country's top female kart racers, who makes her series' debut this weekend after missing the first round due to a car racing commitment.

Only the brave, meanwhile, would bet against Ryan Urban in the Masters category within the DD2 class, the Auckland ace qualifying quickest and being first Master home in both heats as well as the Pre-Final and Final at Rotorua.

Above: Bradley Hicks, DD2
pic - Fast Company/Graham Hughes

Others to look out for amongst the Masters are Auckland's Aarron Cunningham, Josh Hart's brother Fraser, and former UK series' female ace Tiffany Chittenden, now living in Christchurch and in her second year in the Logitech New Zealand challenge.

Finally, Junior Rotax looks set to provide more close, exciting racing from defending class title-holder Dylan Drysdale and Jacob Cranston from Palmerston North and Liam Lawson and Matthew Payne from Auckland.

This year's New Zealand Rotax Max Challenge is again paired with the ProKart Series with over 100 kart racers from Dunedin in the south to Whangarei in the north converging on Chemz Raceway for the two-day event.  

Above: Tiffany Chittenden, DD2 Masters
pic - Fast Company/Graham Hughes


2015 Logitech New Zealand  Rotax Max Challenge - Points after Rnd 1

125cc Rotax Max Light
1. Josh Hart 91 points; 2. Campbell Joyes; 87; 3. Scott Manson 82; 4. Andy Schofield 79; 5. Josh Adlam 75; 6. Michael McCulloch 74

1. Daniel Kinsman 91 points; 2. Mason Armstrong 82; 3. Mitchell Beach 81; 4=. Daniel Bray/Jonathan Buxeda/Bradley Hicks/CJ Sinclair 80.

DD2 Masters
1. Ryan Urban 91 points; 2. Fraser Hart 87; 3. Scott Howard 83; 4. Niki Urwin 79; 5. Stuart Marshall 78; 6. Matthew Grant 77

Junior Max
1. Dylan Drysdale 91 points; 2. Matthew Payne 86; 3. Jacob Cranston 85; 4=. Liam Lawson & Kaleb Ngatoa 80; 6. Lee Zeltwanger 78