Rain-masters Daniel Connor, Aarron Cunningham and Josh Drysdale came out the class winners at the final round of the 2011 Right Karts Kartstars Rotax Max Challenge of New Zealand near Rotorua over the weekend
After warm, dry conditions at the new KartSport Rotorua International Raceway west of the city on Saturday the rain came down and stayed down on Sunday, playing into the hands - as it turned out - of Connor, Cunningham and Drysdale.
As it was Connor and Drysdale already had an advantage, with the drivers who had dominated their respective classes at earlier rounds - Daniel Kinsman in Motorex Rotax Max Light and Scott Manson in Arai Helmets Formula Junior - choosing to sit out the final series round.
In their absence Connor and Drysdale each topped their class time sheets - in the dry - in qualifying before going on to dictate the pace on the track, Drysdale claiming a clean sweep - which included setting the fastest race lap in the 22 lap Final - in Arai Formula Junior and Connor only conceding one win (in the second heat) before also going on to set the fastest race lap on the way to an impressive Final win in Motorex Rotax Max Light.
Strata Networks Rotax Max Heavy class winner Aarron Cunningham didn't have it quite so easy, ending up third behind Stuart Gould and Shane Hodgson after the Time Trials and in the first heat of the weekend on Saturday afternoon.
Come Sunday - and the rain - however and Cunningham clicked up a gear, winning the second heat, Pre-Final and Final.
Fellow KartSport Mt Wellington clubmate Shane Hodgson pushed him hard in the Final, but Cunningham held on for the win, crossing the finishing line three-quarters of a second in front of Hodgson but almost 20 seconds ahead of third placed Stuart Gould and over half a minute of fourth placed Steven Currie.
With all but the results of the Arai Helmets Formula Junior class now decided (the Junior class results remain provisional until the result of an appeal is known) three of the four New Zealand drivers set to represent their country at the Rotax Max Grand Finals in the United Arab Emirates later this year can be named.
They are Daniel Kinsman and Kane Taylor (Motorex Rotax Max Light winner and runner-up respectively) and Steve Currie (Masters class winner). RESULTS Motorex Rotax Max Light Final
1. Daniel Connor; 2. Mathew Kinsman; 3. Andy Schofield; 4. Ryan Urban; 5. Andrew Hoare; 6. David Meszaros
Points after Rnd 6 of 6.
1. Daniel Kinsman 436 points; 2. Kane Taylor 412; 3. Mathew Kinsman 405, 4. Ryan Urban 402; 5. Daniel Connor 401; 6. Mason Armstrong 376 Strata Networks Rotax Max Heavy Final
1. Aarron Cunningham; 2. Shane Hodgson; 3. Stuart Gould; 4. Steve Currie; 5. Scott Fountain; 6. Brendon Hart
Points after Rnd 6 of 6
1. Aarron Cunningham 434 points; 2. Shane Hodgson 415; 3. Steven Currie 395; 4. Arryn Hill 389; 5. Scott Fountain 386; 6. Brendon Hart 373 Arai Formula Junior Final
1. Josh Drysdale; 2. James Munro; 3. Reid Harker; 4. Christopher Sinclair; 5. Thomas Joyes; 6. Jonathan Buxeda
Points after Rnd 6 of 6
Points still provisional pending the results of an appeal. CALENDAR
Rnd 1 Feb 19 Manawatu Toyota Raceway Palmerston North
Rnd 2 March 12/13 Pinex Raceway Tokoroa
Rnd 3 March 26/27 Fagan's Valley Raceway Te Puke
Rnd 4 July 30/31 Moselle Panel & Paint Raceway Auckland
Rnd 5 August 27/28 KartSport Hamilton Raceway Hamilton
Rnd 6 September 24/25 KartSport Rotorua International KartSport Raceway Mamaku