Defending Rotax Max Challenge champion and 2012 series leader Daniel Kinsman has his work cut out this weekend in Tokoroa if he's to retain the lead in the championship.

He'll need a few painkillers to overcome an injury sustained at last weekend's Easter New Zealand Sprint Nationals meeting.

The Aucklander was taken out in an early race and is hoping to be okay for round two of the Right Karts Kartstars Rotax Max Challenge of New Zealand.

"I've got a couple of broken ribs [from] racing last weekend," said Kinsman. "It was on the first lap and a few karts got together further back in the pack. I was half through the corner when they lost control and smashed me.


"I'm going to give it a go this weekend and see how it goes. Hopefully I'll be able to circulate and get some points."

The New Zealand nationals is a standalone championship and not part of the Rotax Challenge series and as such is a bit of a blot on Kinsman's defence of his 2011 title.

However, Kinsman will be aiming to salvage something from the weekend.

"The nationals is more about bragging rights really and I'm quite devastated that the injury happened. I won the nationals in the Yamaha class and came second last year but it's the Challenge I want to win again.

"The good thing, though, is you can drop one round [of the six] at the end of the series," he said.

At the first round in Palmerston North, Kinsman was edged out by fellow Aucklander Daniel Connor in qualifying but bounced back, winning the first heat, the second heat and pre-final before besting Connor in the final with Fraser Hart in third and Kinsman's brother Mathew in fourth.

Kinsman will be receiving no quarter from Connor, who finished second to top Australian driver David Sera in the 125cc Rotax Max Light class at the Nationals at Easter, and last season's class runner-up Kane Taylor, who is returning to the series after missing the first round.

Kinsman is a third-generation karter and has his father, Michael, and grandfather Brian in his corner and between the three of them they'll put on a good show.

"Granddad builds and looks after the engines and dad's always helping with the kart and [it's] really good to have all that support," said Kinsman.

Another Australian driver who flew over for the opening round of this year's Challenge, Thomas Randle, dominated the Arai Junior Max class, but last season's pace-setter Scott Manson looks to be the form man this weekend being fresh from winning the New Zealand Junior 100cc Yamaha title at the Nationals at Easter.

Another standout, Hawkes Bay driver Zack Zaloum, was one of the best in the Strata Networks 125cc Rotax Max Heavy class at the opening round so the battle at Tokoroa is expected to involve him, Auckland's Shane Hodgson, former New Zealand rep Niki Urwin from Tauranga and series returnee Stuart Marshall from Auckland.

To liven up qualifying, there is $200 up for grabs for the fastest kart in each class.

* Round 1, Feb 18: Manawatu Toyota Raceway, Palmerston North

* Round 2, April 14-15: Pinex Raceway, Tokoroa

* Round 3, May 5-6: Agrisea Raceway, Hamilton

* Round 4, July 28-29: Te Puke

* Round 5, August 25-26: Moselle Panel & Paint Raceway, Auckland

* Round 6, October 6-7:KartSport Rotorua Raceway, Mamaku