The final of the 10th New Zealand Jet Sprint Championship at Featherstone produced some of the most memorable moments we have seen in the sport. It was the closest battle yet with four points separating the four top drivers, three of which were previous world champions.
The course at Featherstone is known for its tight and challenging turns, providing even the world’s best with a serious challenge. But it was the risk of sunstrike that changed proceedings with the final being switched to a top five only format instead of the traditional top five, top three.
“The sunstrike was horrendous coming down the middle, I just had to lift off as you just couldn’t see, that’s how it was for all of us,” said Caughey.
Leighton Minnel was originally in second place for the season but missed out on the top five, along with season leader Glen Head who experienced engine issues.
“We went into that final five knowing then that Glen and Leighton were out, and to take the championship it was a race between Rob Coley and ourselves.”
In the top five, Burt Richard made a navigation error, ending up in fifth place. Fourth place was reserved for Scott Donald and, only slightly in front, in third was David Simmons
Before his run, Caughey was thinking about playing it safe for the Championship, but with Coley setting a cracking best time, the racer in Caughey came out and he managed to beat Coley’s fastest time “We knew the final would be sensational no matter who won, but it feels unbelievable to have been trailing by four points at the start of the day against this caliber of competition, and still to win the day – and the season,” said Caughey.
“Congratulations to Ange and Rob for a great result of second today and in the championship in their new Sprintec boat.”
Caughey thanked his family, his sponsors and his entire ENZED team, “It’s an incredibly humbling experience to have so much support from such a great bunch of people,” he said.
When asked what was next, the New Zealand Jetsprint champ replied “I’m going to take a deep breath! Then it’s off to ENZED in Nelson on Tuesday, and home to North Canterbury late Tuesday night to chill out, debrief, and decide what we’re going to do for the future. We’ve got some pretty exciting plans underway, and we’re already in discussion with new clients.”
We tip our hats to Caughey for his outstanding efforts and look forward to the next New Zealand Jetsprint championship.