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It was going to take more than Tropical Cyclone Lusi to stop - or even significantly slow down - Mathew Kinsman, Marcus Armstrong and Ryan Urban at the second round of this year's Rotax Max Challenge New Zealand kart series near Rotorua over the weekend.14RotaxMaxChallengeRnd2LightsMathewKinsman-1.jpg


Persistent rain and strong winds made conditions on both days a stark contrast to the 30+ degrees C heat at the opening round of this year's Schwarzkopf Professional-supported Challenge series in Palmerston North last month. But the results were virtually the same.


Kinsman, the defending class title holder, made no race of the Logitech Rotax Max Light class, qualifying on pole and winning both heats on Saturday as well as the Pre-Final and Final on Sunday, the latter from younger brother Daniel Kinsman (both from Auckland) and Daniel Connor from Helensville.


Also again impressive was Cambridge driver Andy Schofield who qualified fourth and got as high as second (setting the quickest race lap as he did so) in the second heat before finishing third in the Pre-Final.


Proving their prowess in the difficult conditions, meanwhile, were Auckland pair Reid Harker (fourth in the Final) and Nicholas Carpenter (sixth).


It was closer between the top two in Platinum Glass Rotax Max Heavy/Masters but round one winner Ryan Urban again emerged on top at Rotorua, albeit after two days of  constant pressure from reigning class New Zealand Sprint champion Zach Zaloum. 14RotaxMaxChallengeRnd2HeavyRyanUrban-1.jpg


Zaloum, from Hastings, did beat Urban to the line in the second heat but Urban was resolute in the other races, making it two class wins from as many rounds with Zaloum (who had finished third at Palmerston North) second and former Rotax Max Challenge Great Britain class winner Tiffany Chittenden third.


Chittenden, now living in Christchurch, qualified seventh and claimed two fifth placings in the heats before finishing sixth in the Pre-Final then steadily working her way forward to end up third in the Final with Shane Hodgson fourth, Aarron Cunningham fifth and Ryan Bailey sixth.


Finally, like Mathew Kinsman in Logitech Rotax Light, defending class title holder Marcus Armstrong from Christchurch made every post a winning one in Arai Rotax Junior.


Making up for the disappointment of throwing a chain in the Final at the first round, the 13-year-old was in imperious form, winning the first heat by eight seconds, the second by four-and-a-half (with last year's class runner-up Dylan Drysdale second both times) then the Pre-Final by 11 seconds and the Final by just over 12 (in both cases from Jacob Cranston). 14RotaxMaxChallengeRnd2JuniorMarcusArmstrong-1.jpg


Also impressing in the wind and rain was Ethan Anderson of Rotorua, a standout drive in the Final seeing him work his way from 11th at the start to third place at the finish line - behind Armstrong and Cranston but in front of fellow young guns Trey Nairn and Taylor Harte.


Fourth place in the Final was enough, however, for Hawke's Bay youngster Trey Nairn to claim first place in the class series points standings after the first two rounds, albeit by just one point from Harte with Cranston third and Armstrong now up to fourth.


The weekend's Rotax Max Challenge New Zealand round was the second of six with KartSport Hamilton hosting the third at its AgriSea Raceway opposite Hamilton Airport over the May 17-18 weekend



Mathew Kinsman (#30) made it two round wins in a row in the Logitech Rotax Max Light class at Rotorua. Ryan Urban (#90) also won his class (Platinum Glass Rotax Max Heavy/Masters) for a second time in as many rounds. Back on top in Arai Rotax Junior, meanwhile, was Christchurch driver Marcus Armstrong (#9). Photo credit: Fast Company/Graham Hughes


2014 New Zealand Rotax Max Challenge supported by Schwarzkopf Professional


Logitech 125cc Rotax Max Light


1. Mathew Kinsman; 2. Daniel Kinsman +01.983; 3. Daniel Connor +02.418; 4. Reid Harker +14.392; 5. Andrew Hoare +19.809; 6. Nicholas Carpenter +24.102

Points after Rnd 2 of 6
1. Mathew Kinsman 180 points; 2. Daniel Kinsman 172; 3. Daniel Connor 164; 4. Andy Schofield 153; 5. Reid Harker 152; 6. Andrew Hoare 151


Platinum Glass Rotax Max Heavy/Masters


1. Ryan Urban; 2. Zach Zaloum + 00.730; 3. Tiffany Chittenden +15.31 came on from 7th; 4. Shane Hodgson +17.571; 5. Aarron Cunningham +18.206; 6. Ryan Bailey + 24.510

Points after Rnd 2 of 6
1. Ryan Urban* 182 points; 2. Zach Zaloum 174; 3. Tiffany Chittenden* 165; 4. Aarron Cunningham* 159; 5. Shane Hodgson 158; 6. Ryan Bailey 156

(* Masters)


Arai Rotax Junior
1. Marcus Armstrong; 2. Jacob Cranston +12.396; 3. Ethan Anderson +16.052; 4. Trey Nairn +17.792; 5. Taylor Harte + 18.024; 6. Michael McCulloch + 18.244.

Points after Rnd 2 of 6
1. Trey Nairn 166; 2. Taylor Harte 165; 3. Jacob Cranston 161; 4. Marcus Armstrong 157; 5. Michael McCulloch 157; 6. Caleb Cross 154


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