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There is a mix of youth and experience in the seven-strong Kiwi squad set to travel to Portugal later this year for the 18th annual Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals meeting at Portimao.17RMCR8GrandChallengetripwinnersEWlr-1 (002).JPG

The final pieces of the annual Grand Final line-up fell into place at the double points/double header round of the 2017 Giltrap Group New Zealand Rotax Max Challenge series at the KartSport Hamilton club's Agrisea Raceway over the weekend.

Heading the line-up, and a driver with very good memories of his last Grand Final meeting at the Portimao track, is Aucklander Ryan Urban, the only Kiwi so far to win a class title at a Grand Final (at Portimao in 2015) meeting.

Backing him up are fellow 2016 Grand Final representative Tiffany Chittenden from Christchurch, fellow 2015 rep Daniel Bray and first-timers CJ Sinclair and David Malcolm (Auckland),  Jacob Cranston from Palmerston North, and Ryan Wood from Wellington. 

The annual Grand Finals meeting pits national and regional Rotax Max Challenge class winners from around the globe against each other at a multi-day meeting held in October or November each year to find the best Rotax class drivers in the world.17RMCR8DD2MastersRyanUrbanEWlr-1 (002).jpg

A veteran now of five previous Grand Finals campaigns around the world, Urban was one of three drivers from the DD2 Masters class to earn trips to this year's Grand Final. The other two were class series' runner-up Tiffany Chittenden, and the first over-50-year-old home, Aucklander David Malcolm, who finished fourth overall.

The DD2 class was the other with more than one Grand Final berth available, with both overall series' winner Daniel Bray and runner-up CJ Sinclair earning trips to and entry in the multi-day event.

Also heading to Portugal for the Grand Final meeting are Jacob Cranston and Ryan Wood. The quick and consistent Cranston had the Rotax Light class title won - and with it his own ticket to the Grand Final - at the end of the first day of competition at the final double-header round at Hamilton, allowing him to sit out the final series round on Sunday.17RMCR8RotLightJacobCranstonEW-1 (002).jpg

Young gun Ryan Wood had to duke it out until the very end, however, to ensure the Junior Rotax title - and Grand Final trip - was his, after a season-long battle for the top spot with fellow Wellingtonian Rianna O'Meara-Hunt.

Between November 04-11 this year the seven 2017 Kiwi squad members will join over 350 karters from more than 50 other nations to contest the 18th annual Grand Finals meeting at the at the Portimao kart facility in Portugal.

CAPTIONS: The seven 2017 Giltrap Group New Zealand Rotax Max Challenge Grand Final squad members (l to r top) CJ Sinclair, Daniel Bray, Ryan Urban and David Malcolm and (l to r lower) Jacob Cranston, Tiffany Chittenden and Ryan Wood. And in action at Hamilton Ryan Urban (#2), Jacob Cranston (#NI), David Malcolm (#86) and Ryan Wood (#40). Photo credit: Fast Company/Emilee Jane Photography 


2016 Giltrap Group New Zealand Rotax Max Challenge 

Final series points after Rnd 8 of 817RMCR8DD2SuperMastersDaveMalcolmEWlr-1 (002).jpg

Rotax DD2
1. Daniel Bray 722
2. CJ Sinclair 688
3. Jonathan Buxeda 682
4. Bond Roby 649
5. Hayden Jackson 615
6. Jason Lee 609
CLICK HERE for full points table

Rotax DD2 Masters
1. Ryan Urban 712 GF
2. Tiffany Chittenden 699 GF
3. Kali  Orr 643
4. Dave Malcolm 637 GF
5. Garry Claxton 615
6. Mark Dixon 591
 CLICK HERE for full points table

Rotax Light                        17RMCR8RotJnrRyanWood40EWlr-1 (002).jpg
1. Jacob Cranston 704
2. Michael McCulloch 686
3. John  Wallace 635
4. Corey Green 587
5. Sebastian Noble 486
6. Caleb Cross 417
CLICK HERE for full points table 

Rotax Junior
1. Ryan Wood 703
2. Rianna O'Meara-Hunt 680
3. Callum Hedge 674
4. Joshua Parkinson 635
5. Ashton Grant 634
6. Jackson Rooney 633
CLICK HERE for full points table

2017 Giltrap Group New Zealand Rotax Max Challenge Calendar

Rnds 1 & 2: Sat- Sun Feb 18-19 Manawatu Toyota Raceway, Palmerston North
Rnds 3 & 4: Sat-Sun March 18-19 Te Puke Auto Electrical Raceway, Te Puke
Rnds 5 & 6: Sat-Sun May 20-21 KartSport Rotorua International Raceway, Mamaku, Rotorua
Rnds 7 & 8: Sat-Sun Aug 12 & 13 AgriSea Raceway, Hamilton

2017 Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals: November 04-11 2017 Portimao Portugal


Prepared by FAST COMPANY on behalf of KartSport New Zealand. To find out more about the 2017 Giltrap Group New Zealand Rotax Max Challenge contact Ross MacKay on 021 677 919 or via e-mail at

KartSport New Zealand