Payne to lead Kiwi kart charge in Oz this weekend

Impressive young Pukekohe karter Matthew Payne leads the Kiwi charge at the final series round of this season’s Australian Rotax Max Challenge Pro Tour at Puckapunyal in inland Victoria this weekend.

Fresh from his breakthrough Junior Max class win at the penultimate round of the New Zealand Challenge in Auckland last weekend the 12-year-old crosses the Tasman with a narrow lead in the points standings in the Junior Trophy class.

Having won his class at three of the previous five meetings in Australia this year Payne is one of three drivers in the hunt for the series’ win and with it a trip to the United States to compete at the big US Open meeting in Las Vegas in late October.

As many as seven Kiwi karters have contested rounds of this year’s Rotax Pro Tour in Australia but this weekend Payne is the only resident driver making the trip. Expat Josh Drysdale will however be racing at the meeting, the former Palmerston North driver currently ninth overall in the DD2 class.

This weekend’s meeting is the final in the Pro Tour series but a stand-alone Grand Final meeting will also be held at Ipswich in Queensland in early October.

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