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With the 2014 Rotax Max Challenge reconvening in Hastings this weekend after its traditional mid-winter break all eyes will be on local driver Zach Zaloum.14RotaxMaxChallengeRnd3HamHeaviesZachZaloum-1.jpg


A former New Zealand and North Island champion in the 125cc Rotax Max Heavy class, Zaloum has so far been the only driver in the Platinum Glass 125cc Rotax Max Heavy/Masters class to take the battle to current New Zealand champ Ryan Urban, the Aucklander who has taken class honours at the previous four rounds.


Zaloum's consistency means he's only 31 points behind Urban in the overall classification and - because 32-year-old Urban is now chasing Masters category honours - he (Zaloum) leads the Heavy class points standings from Aucklander Ryan Bailey.


After one of the closest fought Challenge series to date it is even closer in the other Rotax classes with Daniel Kinsman now back leading older brother, and defending class title holder,  Mathew by four points in Logitech 125cc Rotax Max Light, and Cambridge driver Andy 14RotaxMaxChallengeRnd2LightsDanielConnor-1jpg.jpgSchofield now third a further 20 points back after a strong fourth round.


Aucklander Daniel Connor is also still in the mix, now fourth but still just seven points behind Schofield.


Meanwhile, defending class title holder Marcus Armstrong from Christchurch is also back in the lead in Arai Rotax Junior - after throwing a chain in the Final at the first round and having to play catch-up at the next three.


Again, though, only six points separate him from former Hawke's Bay but now Bay of Plenty-based Taylor Harte who is second with Taupo's Trey Nairn and Palmerston North's Dylan Drysdale third and fourth, only five and six points respectively further back. 14RotaxMaxChallengeRnd3HamLightsAndySchofieldleadsMitchellBeach-1.jpg 


At stake across the classes, is the opportunity to represent New Zealand at the annual Rotax Max Challenge Grand Final which this year is being held in Valencia, Spain between November 24 and 29.


New Zealand will be represented by four drivers, the winner and runner-up in  Logitech 125cc Rotax Max, and the winners of  the Arai Rotax Junior and Platinum Glass 125cc Rotax Max Masters classes.


This weekend's series round of the 2014 Rotax Max New Zealand Challenge supported by Schwarzkopf Professional is the fifth of six with the final being hosted by the KartSport Auckland club over the September 20-21 weekend.14RotaxMaxChallengeRnd3HamJnrDylanDrysdale-1.jpg


There will be action at KartSport Hawke's Bays' Chemz Raceway at Roys Hill near Hastings both days this weekend with qualifying and first heats on Saturday and the other heat/heats and Pre-Finals and Finals on Sunday.


Drivers to look out for at the penultimate round of the 2014 Rotax Challenge New Zealand at Hastings include top local driver Zach Zaloum in Platinum Glass 125cc Rotax Max Heavy (#2), Helensville's Daniel Connor (#2) and Cambridge's Andy Schofield (#32) in Logitech 125cc Rotax Max Light, and Palmerston North's Dylan Drysdale (#30) in Arai Rotax Junior. Photo credit: Fast Company/Graham Hughes


2014 New Zealand Rotax Max Challenge supported by Schwarzkopf Professional Calendar
Rnd 1: Sun Feb 22-23 Manawatu Toyota Raceway Palmerston North

Rnd 2: Sat-Sun March 15-16 The Rock FM Raceway Rotorua

Rnd 3: Sat-Sun May 17-18 AgriSea Raceway Hamilton

Rnd 4: Sat-Sun June 07-08 Fagan's Valley Raceway Te Puke

Rnd 5: Sat-Sun August 16-17 Chemz Raceway Hastings

Rnd 6: Sat-Sun September 20-21 Strata Networks Raceway Auckland

Prepared by FAST COMPANY on behalf of KartSport New Zealand. To find out more about the 2014 Rotax Max Challenge New Zealand supported by Schwarzkopf Professional contact Ross MacKay on 021 677 919 or via e-mail at

KartSport New Zealand