Thank you Featherston, that was one hell of a round
The jetsprinters were back in Featherston on April 26th after a couple of seasons away, and the organising committee certainly pulled out all the stops to make the day successful. They didn’t let a few minor hiccups such as having no water in the track on the 25th stop them, and worked tirelessly to sort out those issues. It certainly paid off, as the track and pit area were in excellent shape as the sun rose on the morning of the 26th. Even the weather behaved itself, and the PSP NZ Jetsprint Championship drew to a nail-biting finish without any of the racers or spectators getting wetter than they needed to!
With around 36 teams racing to claim those all-important championship points, and the Sprintec single seater coming out to stretch its legs, the launch ramp was a busy place from dawn to dusk. A few of the boats (and drivers) seemed relieved to get to the last round of the season, and the last three months have certainly taken a toll on many of the teams. Rob Coley (Poison Ivy) started his day with a panic over oil pressure and fuel issues, but after coughing a little at the start of the first Qualifier the boat behaved superbly during the day – right up to the point where it clipped a bank and launched itself straight through the chicanes on the way to the finish line, and ended up nose first in the safety fencing around the track. It was a sad end to an amazing day’s racing from the Poison Ivy team, especially as their times to that point made it seem likely that they would finish on the podium for the third round running. Luckily neither Rob, nor brother Tony who sits in the navigator’s seat, were hurt in the crash which mirrored their exit from round 1 in the 2014 season. In an ironic twist of fate, the RSQKRU had brought an unusual trophy to add to prizegiving, and at the end of the day presented Coley with the fire extinguisher that he had destroyed in that crash at Wanganui.
Just who is going to come out on top?
Can you believe it? The last round of The PSP NZ Jet Sprint Championship 2015 is nearly upon us! In only a few short days, on Sunday 26th April, the race teams will be gathering at the Tauherenikau Racecourse, Featherston, for the all-important final round where the points certainly do mean prizes.
None of the classes can be called a foregone conclusion, especially the Biolytix 400s where Ollie Silverton (PSP) and Ross Travers (Radioactive) are neck and neck at the top of the table. However, with Travers having won four out of the five rounds so far it must be said that he has an edge over the PSP team – a fact that will only spur Silverton on to greater efforts. You can be sure that Hayden Wilson (White Noize) and Patrick Haden (Skitzo) will also be going all out to get themselves to the top of the table as there are, at most, 15 points between them and the current leaders.
Stunning surroundings brings out stunning racing
The weather forecasters said that it was going to be a lousy day in Wanaka on Saturday, but luckily nobody told the weather! The rain made its presence known on Friday night, which saved the organisers the trouble of getting a water truck in to damp down the pit area; and the clouds soon lifted, leaving the racers and the crowd to enjoy a beautiful Mainland day of top class racing.
Each class was quite light in numbers, but it meant that the day flowed as smoothly as the beer in the corporate tents and the action just kept on coming.
The stunning surroundings of the Oxbow Aqua Track were bathed in sunshine almost from the beginning of the qualifying runs, which was great for the RSQKRU (many of whom claimed to be still trying to get warm after last year’s trip to Wanaka) but not so good for the drivers who had to battle against glare from the sky and also from the reflections on the water. Ric Burke (Firewater) likened it to steering by Braille, “You can’t see the islands because the sun is reflecting off the water, so you end up feeling the edges as you brush against them. You think to yourself I have to go wide here and then you realise that it’s not that wide!”
Next Stop Wanaka
Just as migrating birds respond to environment cues and know when to begin their journey, so do the jet sprint teams. When the shops are full of Easter eggs and our mailboxes are full of junk mail about Easter eggs, the teams know that it’s almost time for Round 5 of The PSP NZ Jet Sprint Championship 2015. As the adverts on the television reach a frenzy of Easter sales (and chocolate eggs) the teams are packing their gear, and heading south to Wanaka.
Round 5 takes place on Saturday 4th April at the Oxbow Aqua Track, just outside of Wanaka, and, judging by the photos doing the rounds on social media, many teams will be going down there to make some noise – and a big impression on the championship points’ table!
Glen Head and Darryn Todd will be hoping to finally get to the top of the podium in the Suzuki Grand Vitara Superboats, but Rob Coley (Mouthfresh, Poison Ivy) and Pat Dillon (PPG, The Hulk) have both enjoyed the view from up there this season and will be pushing hard to get there again. If Peter Caughey has managed to get his boat up and running again he will be keen to regain the top spot, so the outcome is really anything but certain.