As famed race car driver Mario Andretti once said, "If everything seems under control, you're not going fast enough".

The speed limits are likely to be pushed when the Mouthfresh New Zealand Jetsprint Championships resume after nearly two months break at Meremere tomorrow morning for the second round of five in the series.

Having claimed victory at Shelterview in December by barely 0.049s, Whanganui's Rob Coley headed up early to the Auckland-Waikato track on Thursday night, to give Phillip Track Sport a chance to inspect his engine.

Meremere represents home territory for the Hamilton-based drivers like former world champion Glen Head, who in December had the slight edge on Coley and the rest of the 16-boat field in the unlimited power superboat class, until Coley snuck in ahead of him in the Top 3 final.


Coley wryly noted the Hamilton drivers have already been practicing on the official rotations that have been laid out for the Meremere course which, to be fair, he could have also done in December for the Whanganui round, if he had been available to attend a club night.

It is clear that the current course set up, with 29 turns across the islands, will favour speed rather than twists and finding the smoothest line.

"It's a drag strip, pretty much. The rotation they've done is flowing," Coley said.

"It may not be [full throttle], but that will be interesting. It's more suited to the twin turbos.

"We'd hoped to have ours ready but it's not quite, which is a shame."

Auckland's Baden Gray blew up his engine competing in Whanganui and will not be attending this event, so Coley looks to Head and Gisborne's Blake Briant to likely be the leading contenders, due to having the most under the hood.

"Pace might just be the issue for the smaller motors.

"We'll just chip away through the day. Make to the next [eliminator] and then the next one, and it's all go for the Top 3.

"If everything's on song for us, we'll be hunting that No 1."

Even at 5pm today, temperatures in Auckland were 27 degrees with sunshine, so conditions tomorrow are expected to take a toll on men as much as machines.

Down inside the Meremere bowl it will be around 30 degrees, not easy for drivers and navigators wearing fire suits.

"Those three layer suits, they are incredibly hot," said Coley.

"You're concentrating for a long period of the day, there's not many sports [like that], where you're trying to bring your best at the end of the day."

Whanganui's Richard Murray currently sits in fourth on the points table after the first round on his own track, while Tauranga's Aaron Hansen sits in fifth.

In the 12-boat Group A class, Ross Travers is currently third overall, while his son and former navigator Shane will be competing in his first event away from home after debuting at Shelterview as a driver in December, with the pair of them sharing the Radioactive boat with their own navigators.

"He was quite happy and he did a good job that day, built into it slowly," said Travers senior of his son.

New Plymouth's Sean Rice was the surprise package at Whanganui, beating both Travers and the world series champion Ollie Silverton.

However, the Hamiltonian Silverton is now on his home track and will be looking to make up the difference in the speed-orientated rotations.

"Ollie and Sean would be pretty close," said Travers, who prefers the more tight, technical courses.

"The rotation is really [quick], there's not much in it at all.

"We've got a bit less horsepower than anyone else."

The Radioactive crews will study the course intently as the day goes on to see if there is anywhere they can make up a few precious tenths of a second to try to get through to the Top 3 eliminator and a shot at the top of the podium.

"We're going to do a lot of work on the blades this meeting," Travers said.

"We're not planning on [opposition crashing], but we've got to finish first."

Whanganui's former Group B champion Hayden Wilson will look to take advantage of his good start after winning the opening round for the 10-boat class, which is a bit smaller than season's past.

Wilson said back in December that he wants to do his best in Meremere, as well as the next round in Hastings in early March.

However, he is ultimately backing himself to get top of the podium again when back in Whanganui for the night round on March 30 and then at the finale in Wanaka on April 20, which would be his best points path to the title.


Superboats: 1. Rob & Ange Coley (Whanganui) 30 points; 2. Glen Head/Hayley Todd (Hamilton) 29; 3. Blake Briant/Kate Hoogerbrug (Gisborne) 28; 4. Richard Murray/Steve Edmonds 26 (Whanganui); 5. Aaron Hansen/Julie Anne Shanks (Tauranga) 25.

Group A: 1. Sean & Fay Rice (New Plymouth) 30; 2. Ollie Silverton/Jess Sit (Hamilton) 29; 3. Ross Travers/Amanda Kittow (Whanganui) 28; 4. Neil Marshall/Jay Haden (New Plymouth) 26; 5. Clayton & Mandy Tisdall (Tapanui) 25.

Group B: 1. Hayden Wilson/Aaron Greeks (Whanganui) 30; 2. Daniel Reade/Jasmine Webster (Waitara) 29; 3. Bevan Schuler/Grant Gibson (Eltham) 28; 4. Olly Burder/Millie Simmons (Patoka) 26; 5. Kellie Minnell/Sherie Patterson (New Plymouth) 25.