Preview: Kiwis Ready For Rotax Grand Finals

One of the biggest groups of Kiwi karters ever to travel to an annual Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals event has gathered in Brazil this week to prepare for the week-long 19th annual event which gets underway on Saturday (Nov 24).

Seven drivers earned a spot on the New Zealand squad by either winning or finishing second in class in this year’s Giltrap Group New Zealand Rotax Max Challenge series. Two other resident Kiwis will be representing Australia thanks to how they performed in that country’s Rotax Pro Tour this year!

The drivers who are in Brazil representing New Zealand are (l-to-r back row) Zac Stichbury, Matthew Hamilton, Jono Buxeda and Dave Malcolm and (front row) Fynn Osborne and Sam Waddell. (Missing is Fraser Hart). Photo credit: Emily Jane Photography

The seven who will represent New Zealand are;

  • Jono Buxeda (Tuakau) and Sam Waddell (Tauranga) – Rotax DD2
  • Matthew Hamilton (ChCh), Fraser Hart (Palmerston North) and Dave Malcolm (Ackld) Rotax DD2 Masters
  • Zac Stichbury (Havelock North) – Rotax Light, and
  • Fynn Osborne (Hamilton) Rotax Junior
Fynn Osborne, Junior MAX (pic – Fast Company/Graham Hughes)

The two Kiwis on the Australian team are;


  • Josh Hart (Palmerston North)
  • Ryan Wood (Wellington)
Matthew Hamilton, DD2 Masters (pic – Fast Company/Graham Hughes)

Josh Hart earned his spot on the Aussie squad this year by winning the Rotax Light class title on Australia’s Rotax Pro Tour. Ryan Wood, meanwhile, earned his when – in his Senior debut across the Tasman in October – he finished second in the DD2 class at Australia’s Race of Stars meeting on the Gold Coast.

Josh Hart (Kiwi team member Fraser’s brother) is the best credentialled of the Kiwis having finished second in the Senior Max class at the Grand Finals meeting in 2010. Matthew Hamilton has also been on the podium at a Grand Finals meeting, having twice finished third in class.

Jono Buxeda, Rotax DD2 (pic – Fast Company/Graham Hughes)

The venue for this year’s Grand Finals event in Brazil is the Circuito Internacional Paladino at Conde, a city in the state of Paraiba in the far northeast of the country. The event starts on November 24 and goes until December 1. New Zealand will be one of 50 Rotax territories represented and the nine Kiwis will be part of a 360-strong entry.

  • Link to more information, results and livestream HERE.
Zac Stichbury, Rotax Light (pic – Fast Company/Graham Hughes)