Jetsprint track being dug in Waitara

Leighton Minnell is taking a break from racing speedboats to building a track for them in Waitara
ROBERT CHARLES/FAIRFAX NZ

Leighton Minnell is taking a break from racing speedboats to building a track for them in Waitara

Waitara will soon be the home of a brand new jetsprint track.

Former world champion superboat champion Leighton Minnell was granted resource consent by the New Plymouth District Council to build a jetsprint race track on Joll street in Waitara. 

Minnell has leased the land next to Kart Sport Taranaki for the next three years and will be hosting round 3 of the New Zealand V8 Jetsprint Championship on February 28 2016.

Minnell - who has won two national Jetsprint titles - said he wanted to put Waitara on the map by building the track.

"I've always thought of Taranaki as a real petrol head region," he said.

"It seems like everyone is involved in motorsport in one way or the other."

"Two years ago this was a dream and now it has finally come through."

The jets themselves travel at speeds of up to 130kph around the 150 metre long and 50 metre wide track.

Minnell said the track would be dug 50 centimetre deep into farm land that was "virtually un-farmable."

"But it is perfect for a track," he said. 

"It floods a lot and holds the water really well."

The track would be used for one big event every year, after which the land could be used for farming between events. 

Minnell said local iwi and neighbours were great which made getting such an expensive project underway easier. 

"We've been working really hard to set up corporate boxes and have sold around 9 out of 25," he said. 

"We're also able to use the facilities of the go-kart track next door which cuts some costs."

New Plymouth District Council have supplied bleachers for the event and there will be grass seating for families on the day as well.

 - Stuff

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