POWERBOAT RACING

Wanganui's Leighton and Kellie Minnell have taken the lead in the Suzuki Super boat category after the second round of the Jetpro Jetsprint Championship held near Featherston on Sunday. Wanganui's Leighton and Kellie Minnell have taken the lead in the Suzuki Super boat category after the second round of the Jetpro Jetsprint Championship held near Featherston on Sunday. CREDIT: Ian Thornton
Extending out to a four point lead after his second Scott Waterjet Group A class win in as many events, Auckland's Bayden Gray and navigator Tanya Iremonger topped the 15-boat field at the Featherston round of the 2010 Jetpro Jetsprint Championship series Extending out to a four point lead after his second Scott Waterjet Group A class win in as many events, Auckland's Bayden Gray and navigator Tanya Iremonger topped the 15-boat field at the Featherston round of the 2010 Jetpro Jetsprint Championship series CREDIT: Ian Thornton
Te Kuiti's Ray Thompson and David Toms took victory in the Jetpro Lites category to tie for the series after the second round of the 2010 Jetpro Jetsprint Championship held near Featherston on Sunday Te Kuiti's Ray Thompson and David Toms took victory in the Jetpro Lites category to tie for the series after the second round of the 2010 Jetpro Jetsprint Championship held near Featherston on Sunday CREDIT: Ian Thornton

Minnell takes surprise win in Jetsprint title chase

Monday 25 January 2010, 11:45AM
By Jetpro
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FEATHERSTON

Wanganui’s Leighton and Kellie Minnell have taken the overall lead in the Suzuki Super boat category of the Jetpro Jetsprint series having set fastest time at the second round of the 2010 championship held near Featherston on Sunday.

The water-course set inside the Tauherinikau horse race track threw a number of upsets in to the three category series that saw favourite and defending Suzuki Super boat champions Richard Burt and Roger Maunder (Palmerston North) eliminated early.

Renowned for spills amongst the high-speed action, Burt beached during the top-four eliminations, although less spectacularly than Waitotara’s Duncan Wilson and navigator Jo Rathbone.

However, it was the return of Queenstown’s Chris Munro and navigator Brent Scammell to the vee-eight powered water-jet propelled competition fans had been waiting for. Running off for the top-spot against Minnell, it was Munro’s first time behind the wheel in over three years – finishing 1.6 seconds adrift of the new point’s leader.

“A great way to finish a day,” a delighted Minnell said. “We really wanted to get a win today and with fortunes going our way we got there.”

“I really wanted to beat Richard (Burt) on the track and to be honest he was quicker than all of us. But with Chris Munro getting his boat going, Duncan (Wilson), he’ll get his boat fixed, Pat (Dillon) is getting there; we’ve got a five-team race on our hands. So now I’m really looking forward to the next round – and to come back blazing.”

The Scott Waterjet Group A formula saw defending champion Bevin Muir and Kathy Barker (Thames) return to form, topping the time sheets during qualifying to front each of the elimination runs. However when the pressure came on in the final, early points leader Baden Gray and Tanya Iremonger (Auckland) took their second successive round win.

Against 14 other contenders, Gray’s final time of 51.492 was fastest overall to be a half-second clear than Muir’s best attempt.

Another upset came in the Jetpro Lites category for the entry-level restricted class with defending champion David Stone and navigator Steve Grieves when mechanical woe sidelined their day early. Offered a share drive in another boat to continue, Stone came up short against Te Kuiti pairing of Ray Thompson and David Toms in the finals. With a win a-piece they now sit tied on 59 points.

Heading to the half-way mark in the six round series, teams have four weeks until the third round at the Meremere venue (21 February).

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2010 Jetpro Jetsprint championship points (after round two of six)

Suzuki Superboat Class - 2010 New Zealand Jetsprint Championships

Pos No. Name Rd 1 Rd 2 Points

1 47 Leighton Minnell 29 30 59
2 97 Richard Burt 30 26 56
3 88 Jamie Cooper 26 24 50
4 2NZ Duncan Wilson 27 21 48
5 74 Pat Dillon 24 23 47
6 89 Chris Munro 0 29 29
7 94 Brent White 0 27 27
8 98 Rob Coley 0 22 22

Scott Water Jet Group A Class - 2010 New Zealand Jetsprint Championships

Pos No. Name Rd 1 Rd 2 Points

1 3NZ Baden Gray 30 30 60
2 30 Reg Smith 29 27 56
3 1NZ Bevin Muir 21 29 50
4 15a Sam Newdick 27 22 49
5 51 Ray Fergusson 24 24 48
6 52 Blake Briant 26 21 47
7 41 Garry Smith 23 23 46
8 30a Phil Wheelans 22 17 39
9 39 Andrew Guthrie 13 26 39
10 43 Richard Murray 19 19 38
11 111 Mark Newdick 18 15 33
12 41a Mark Shirtliff 16 16 32
13 18L Blair Gibbard 17 13 30
14 40 Shane Wood 12 18 30
15 36 Brian Donald 15 14 29
16 49 Jeff White 14 0 14

Jetpro Lites Class - 2010 New Zealand Jetsprint Championships

Pos No. Name Rd 1 Rd 2 Points

1 24 Ray Tompson 29 30 59
2 3NZ Dave Stone 30 29 59
3 13 Graeme Jones 27 27 54
4 11 Gerry Linklater 26 26 52
5 14 Steve Fouhy 24 23 47
6 21 Bill Swan 23 19 42
7 28 Karl Draper 0 24 24
8 27 Peter Huiys 0 22 22
9 11a Bevan Linklater 0 21 21
10 22 Phil Mulvay 0 ~ 0