Newdick, Mason lead

Defending champions leapfrog Gisborne couple Blake Briant and Kate Hoogerbrug, who went out in the top-eight run-offs.

Defending champions leapfrog Gisborne couple Blake Briant and Kate Hoogerbrug, who went out in the top-eight run-offs.

IT was a case of survive and conquer as Gisborne jetpsrinter Glenn Mason took a massive leap towards another New Zealand title in Wanganui last weekend.

Hamilton driver Sam Newdick and navigator Mason made it three Group A round wins on the trot to move to the top of the leaderboard with one round of the six-round national jetsprint series to go.

The defending champions leapfrogged Gisborne couple Blake Briant and Kate Hoogerbrug, who went out in the top-eight run-offs of the night meeting after a driver error.

They finished sixth and after going into the round with a four-point lead now trail Newdick/Mason by four points.

Before the Wanganui round, Mason said he was not a big fan of night racing and — even though he won — he hasn’t changed his mind.

“Man, it’s a challenge for the drivers,” he said.

“I take my hat off to the guys going round there at night-time,” he said.

“Someone said to me on Saturday night, ‘This is a matter of surviving’.”

Mason said the earlier runs were all good but once the sun went down “a bit of carnage” ensued on the Shelter View track.

“There were some hairy moments. At one place in the track you got a faceful of mist from where you had gone over before. You had to blink frantically before hitting a sharp hairpin.

“But it was a level playing field for everybody. No excuses, we all had to deal with the same thing.”

Victim of own error

Briant was among the round’s victims, albeit through his own error — “I can’t blame the boat”.

After struggling with the boat early on and working on it throughout the round, he said they felt they were on track “to do the business”.

It came a cropper when Briant misinterpreted a call from his navigator. Hoogerbrug indicated left but he didn’t see the corner and thought she meant the next corner.

The pair completed the rotation to register a time (64.615 seconds) — well adrift of what they needed to make the top five.

It was “a real shame”, Briant said.

“We didn’t necessarily need to win (the round) . . . but we’ve now made it quite difficult (to win the national title).

“But it’s not over. They still have to do the business.”

Mason, who has been involved in the sport for nearly 20 years, agreed.

“There’s still a job to be done. There’s another round to go and we know how cruel this sport can be. Anything can happen.”

Comfortable win for Newdick and Mason

Newdick and Mason comfortably won the final. They clocked 42.042 seconds — over a second better than New Plymouth combo Neil Marshall and Michele Reid.

It was the second-fastest time of the day, the winners having posted 41.82s in the third qualifying run.

The victory means Newdick and Mason can, to an extent, control their destiny.

Third place in the last round in Featherston on Sunday, April 24, will be good enough for the title — a sixth navigator’s New Zealand crown for Mason.

It would also deny Briant and Hoogerbrug their first New Zealand honours.

The pair won the opening two rounds but it has been a battle for them since they wrote off their boat in a crash in the second round of the world series.

“We haven’t really been able to get this new boat dialled in the same as the old one,” Briant said.

“We’ve been making ongoing changes to try to figure out the problem.

“We’ve got the boat up on the hoist and are doing a bit of surgery to try to get it right . . . we think we’re on to it but these boats are pretty fickle.

“When everything’s right you’re not having to fight the boat. That’s the luxury we had with the old boat; the moment we hit the water, it was lightning fast.

“With this one, we’ve had a few more challenges to get it to sing. Fingers crossed we’ll have it right for this last one.”

IT was a case of survive and conquer as Gisborne jetpsrinter Glenn Mason took a massive leap towards another New Zealand title in Wanganui last weekend.

Hamilton driver Sam Newdick and navigator Mason made it three Group A round wins on the trot to move to the top of the leaderboard with one round of the six-round national jetsprint series to go.

The defending champions leapfrogged Gisborne couple Blake Briant and Kate Hoogerbrug, who went out in the top-eight run-offs of the night meeting after a driver error.

They finished sixth and after going into the round with a four-point lead now trail Newdick/Mason by four points.

Before the Wanganui round, Mason said he was not a big fan of night racing and — even though he won — he hasn’t changed his mind.

“Man, it’s a challenge for the drivers,” he said.

“I take my hat off to the guys going round there at night-time,” he said.

“Someone said to me on Saturday night, ‘This is a matter of surviving’.”

Mason said the earlier runs were all good but once the sun went down “a bit of carnage” ensued on the Shelter View track.

“There were some hairy moments. At one place in the track you got a faceful of mist from where you had gone over before. You had to blink frantically before hitting a sharp hairpin.

“But it was a level playing field for everybody. No excuses, we all had to deal with the same thing.”

Victim of own error

Briant was among the round’s victims, albeit through his own error — “I can’t blame the boat”.

After struggling with the boat early on and working on it throughout the round, he said they felt they were on track “to do the business”.

It came a cropper when Briant misinterpreted a call from his navigator. Hoogerbrug indicated left but he didn’t see the corner and thought she meant the next corner.

The pair completed the rotation to register a time (64.615 seconds) — well adrift of what they needed to make the top five.

It was “a real shame”, Briant said.

“We didn’t necessarily need to win (the round) . . . but we’ve now made it quite difficult (to win the national title).

“But it’s not over. They still have to do the business.”

Mason, who has been involved in the sport for nearly 20 years, agreed.

“There’s still a job to be done. There’s another round to go and we know how cruel this sport can be. Anything can happen.”

Comfortable win for Newdick and Mason

Newdick and Mason comfortably won the final. They clocked 42.042 seconds — over a second better than New Plymouth combo Neil Marshall and Michele Reid.

It was the second-fastest time of the day, the winners having posted 41.82s in the third qualifying run.

The victory means Newdick and Mason can, to an extent, control their destiny.

Third place in the last round in Featherston on Sunday, April 24, will be good enough for the title — a sixth navigator’s New Zealand crown for Mason.

It would also deny Briant and Hoogerbrug their first New Zealand honours.

The pair won the opening two rounds but it has been a battle for them since they wrote off their boat in a crash in the second round of the world series.

“We haven’t really been able to get this new boat dialled in the same as the old one,” Briant said.

“We’ve been making ongoing changes to try to figure out the problem.

“We’ve got the boat up on the hoist and are doing a bit of surgery to try to get it right . . . we think we’re on to it but these boats are pretty fickle.

“When everything’s right you’re not having to fight the boat. That’s the luxury we had with the old boat; the moment we hit the water, it was lightning fast.

“With this one, we’ve had a few more challenges to get it to sing. Fingers crossed we’ll have it right for this last one.”

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