Kai Allen will be one to watch in Mini Max this weekend (Pic: Coopers Photography)

Kai Allen will be one to watch in Mini Max this weekend (Pic: Coopers Photography)

Victoria’s Hume International Raceway in Puckapunyal will this weekend play host to the penultimate round of the 2016 Rotax Pro Tour National Series. The event will see the 17 drivers that will comprise Team Australia for the Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals and Rotax US Open, to be formally announced at the conclusion of racing following an intense five rounds up to this weekend. In addition to the Team Australia announcement, the Victorian State Titles and blue plates will be up for grabs for the round winners in the respective classes.

Coming into the Puckapunyal event, Sebastian Ruiz holds a lead of just under 500 points over Kiwi Emerson Vincent in Micro Max with the two drivers expected to be the front runners. Harry Arnett will be on home soil with the Victorian State title on offer in addition to the seat for Team Australia, the first time Micro Max will be represented at the event.

Team mates James Wharton and Kai Allen remain to be the drivers to chase in the points in Mini Max, in particular entering this weekend with Wharton to be racing on his home track. The two drivers are clear leaders in the point’s race for both the two seats at the World Finals and for the entry to the US Open in Las Vegas. The nearest rival to both Wharton and Allen for the Team Australia seats, Hugh Barter and Angus Giffin are also both on home soil and will be looking to make the most of this in an effort to rise up the order.

Travis Worton has been the standout performer in Junior Max Trophy throughout 2016 since joining the series at Warwick. Whilst Worton enters the event as the favourite, the track will be seen to be a level playing field with no Victorians competing, providing an equal opportunity for drivers to deliver a podium finish.

Victoria's Dylan Hollis carries a slight points buffer leading into this weekend's decider (Pic: Coopers Photography)

Victoria’s Dylan Hollis carries a slight points buffer leading into this weekend’s decider (Pic: Coopers Photography)

The battle for the final two seats in Team Australia is where the majority of attention lies entering the Puckapunyal event. With Victorian local Dylan Hollis sprinting away to a comfortable series lead, Cody Brewczynski, Cameron Longmore, Nathan Herne, Kyle Bonser and Alec Morse are all vying for the chance to compete in Italy. With those drivers all having been the front runners throughout the year, despite the final composition, it will be a maiden appearance at the Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals for each of them.

In Rotax 125 Light, it’s been a battle of the team mates throughout 2016 with Joshua Fife and Cody Gillis regularly standing on the podium. While a round win has eluded Fife to date, he sits on top of the point’s standings and in prime position to secure his first appearance for Team Australia. Gillis and Brad Jenner are separated by just 50 points, however with only two seats up for grabs in the class, it will come down to this weekend to determine who will complete the pair in Spain.

Lane Moore and Clem O’Mara are separated by just 100 points at the top of the standings in Rotax 125 Heavy, however a last minute withdrawal from the event for Moore due to injury will make way for O’Mara to potentially move into top spot. Benjamin Ritchie and Shay Mayes are well within striking distance after a successful season so far and will be looking to secure as many points as possible.

Formula K's Adam Lindstrom will be aiming to secure his Rotax Grand Finals ticket this weekend (Pic: Coopers Photography)

Formula K’s Adam Lindstrom will be aiming to secure his Rotax Grand Finals ticket this weekend (Pic: Coopers Photography)

Victorian pairing Adam Lindstrom and Troy Woolston have been the two drivers who have set the benchmark in the season to date. Both drivers have all but secured their spot on Team Australia, for Lindstrom, it will be a maiden appearance on the World stage however Woolston is season campaigner at the event making for a strong team of in-form drivers. The battle for the final seat should go down to the wire between Nathan Tigani and Lee Mitchener. With Jason Pringle absent from the event, Tigani looks set to take the final place, yet it will remain be to confirmed once the final points equation is established.

Lee Mitchener has had a successful season, contesting both DD2 Masters and the open DD2 category with the Victorian holding a comfortable point’s lead in the Masters class. Both Mitchener and Queensland’s Scott Howard have a convincing lead over third in the series points order. As Howard looks to secure his second appearance in Team Australia, it would be a first for Mitchener. 400 points is all that separates Kris Walton, Mark Flood and Troy Bretherton for the final seat on the DD2 Masters team as all three look to make their maiden appearance at the World Finals.

Round 6 of the 2016 Rotax Pro Tour takes place on August 26-28 at the Hume International Raceway, Puckapunyal, Victoria and will be recognised as the 2016 Victorian Rotax State Championships.

To follow either event online throughout the weekend, like Rotax Pro Tour on Facebook and tune into the live audio commentary via Ustream at