V8Supercar driver Nathan Pretty isn’t concerned the boat he will be using for the two-round Union Internationale Motonautique (UIM) Wanganui.com World Series is owned by a New Zealand team, when the series kicks off on 11 February in the Wairarapa.
Winner of the 2008 International Group A category title, Pretty committed to doing the 2012 series using the boat owned and campaigned by Levin’s Andrew Guthrie.
More at home in a V8Supercar, Pretty says his heart is in jet sprint boat racing and is intent on another title: “There is no secret to the fact I’m not coming over to make up the numbers. I will be very serious about the whole thing and try bring it back to Australia again.
“Plus I enjoy the comradery there (in New Zealand). Here in Australia it is still good, but there, when you’ve got a few days between rounds, the tracks, the quality of the water, the atmosphere and surrounds, you get in awe of the place. So I really enjoy coming over and racing even more when it’s held in New Zealand.”
Pretty and navigator Josh Hunt recently tested the boat he will be using at the Tauherinikau race course aquatrack north of Featherston on 22 January. The 38-year-old from Melbourne starts his title quest at the same venue on 11 February with the second and final event for the title held near Wanganui the following weekend (18-19 February).
The water jet propelled boat is powered by a 600 horsepower 406 Chev engine, one of 13 boats in the Group A category contesting the World Series.
Defending title champion Slade Stanley from Australia will be Pretty’s arch rival, along with runner-up Reg and Julie Smith from Taupo.
Teams’ get four qualifying runs to familiarise themselves with the course rotation, with the times feeding one-shot elimination runs starting with the top-12, that drops to eight, five and three to decide the round podium placings.
Awarded 30 points for a win, the sum of the two weekends will decide the winner in each category, with the overall title being presented at an awards dinner in Wanganui Sunday 19 February.
Additionally the New Zealand domestic Jetpro Jetsprint championship Lites competitors will challenge for an event trophy, with their boats ineligible for world title contention.
Spanning the Saturday and Sunday of each weekend, preliminary qualifying will be held on the Saturday with eliminations taking place on the Sunday.
The first round of the Wanganui.com World Series will be held at the Tauherinikau race course Saturday/Sunday 11-12 February, and is signposted 4.5km north of Featherston on SH2.
Tickets for the Wairarapa event are:
Adults Feb 11th: $5.00
Child (under-15): $0.00
Adults Feb 12th: $25.00
Child (5-12 yrs): $10.00
Child (Under 5): $0.00
Family Feb 12th: $60.00
The final round will be held at Wanganui’s Shelterview raceway Saturday/Sunday 18-19 February, and is located eight kilometres inland toward Upokongaro adjacent to SH4.
Tickets for the Wanganui event are:
Adults Feb 18th: $20.00
Adults Feb 19th: $30.00
Child (5-12 yrs): $5.00
Child (Under 5): $0.00
Family Feb 18th: $45.00
Family Feb 19th: $65.00
And can be purchased online (http://www.eventfinder.co.nz/2012/wanganui-com-uim-world-jet-sprint-championship-finals/wanganui) or at the gate.
Being an accredited farm location Shelterview raceway has a no pets policy.
Backed by Wanganui.com, their support is part of a campaign to showcase the region’s successful residents who work hard and play harder.