Young Auckland karter Matthew Payne led the Kiwi charge at the opening round of Australia's Rotax Pro Tour kart series in Melbourne over the weekend, dominating the Junior Trophy class.Matthew Payne_Junior Trophy Class_Coopers Photography.jpg


Quickest in qualifying and the winner of all three class heats on Saturday, Payne slipped back one place to finish second in the Pre-Final on Sunday morning and was shuffled back to third early on in the Final in the afternoon, before working his way back to the front to take the chequered flag and claim the overall class win for the round.


Fellow Junior Dylan Drysdale from Palmerston North also enjoyed a strong run in his class, Junior Rotax, qualifying third and winning a heat to start the Pre-Final fourth and finish third and in the Final cross the line fifth.


Aarron Cunningham found the going tougher in the DD2 Masters Senior class, qualifying 16th and carding a 13-12-14 run through the heats and ending up 17th after starting 13th in the Pre-Final.


He had a better run in the Final though, starting 17th but crossing the finish line in 10th position.


The trio now return to New Zealand to contest the first round of the local Rotax Max Challenge series in Rotorua this coming weekend.


The next round of the Australian series is in Dubbo in central New South Wales over the March 21-22 weekend.



CAPTION:  Young Auckland driver Matthew Payne was the top-performing Kiwi at the opening round of the 2015 Australian Rotax Pro Tour in Melbourne over the weekend. Photo credit: Fast Company/Coopers Photography



2015 Australian Rotax Pro Tour

Rnd 1: Todd Road Melb, Vic 23-25 Jan

Rnd 2: Dubbo NSW 20- 2 March

Rnd 3: Albury NSW 1-3 May

Rnd 4: Warwick QLD 5-7 June

Rnd 5: Eastern Creek NSW 17-19 July

Rnd 6: Puckapunyal VIC 21-23 August

Grand Final: Ipswich NSW 2-4 October

Prepared by FAST COMPANY on behalf of KartSport New Zealand. To find out more about the 2015 Australian Rotax Pro Tour contact Ross MacKay on 021 677 919 or via e-mail at

KartSport New Zealand