Countdown: 14 days to Newton’s and the 2018 race season

Newton's start line
Pushing off into the void at Newton's

Stand at the Newton's start line - the track disappears over the horizon just a few metres away. A couple of pushes and we're over the edge with stomach-dropping acceleration into the 2018 IDF race season.

The 7th Newton's begins in two weeks, and the stage is set. Carlos Paixão, world champ in 2015 and 2016, and runner-up in 2017, makes his first trip to Australia for a track that is tailor-made for his size and strength. His presence at Newton's is a statement of intent for the 2018 season - he wants that world championship back after narrowly missing out to fellow Brazilian Thiago Gomes Lessa last year.

Carlos Paixão
Carlos Paixão is ready for 2018

Last year's runner-up, Kyle Wester, returns again and will always be a chance to draft the fast-starting Carlos on Conrod Straight before the finish line.

Emily Pross returns to Newton's after dominating women's downhill skateboarding for the last three years. She seems hungrier than ever; working out in the gym and training hard through the North American winter.

Emily Pross riding in the snow
Emily Pross isn't letting the North American winter interfere with her 2018 preparations.

In Luge, Abdil Madzhan of Malaysia returns to attempt a repeat of his 2017 Newton's win, and perhaps make a run at the World Championship that was snatched from him last year by Ryan Farmer. The in-form Graham Brittain of Australia looms as his main threat.

Graham Brittain
Aussie Graham Brittain warming up for Newton's with a win at Tame the Taipan last week. Pic by Ashley Donaldson

The Newton's track is legendary; wide, steep and fast. The roller-coaster-like Dipper, the high-speed hairpin Elbow, and the 100kmh (60mph) Conrod Straight. Riders travel back to the start line on a back road, and this year the residents who live on the track will have access only via their back road, removing the last obstacle to an always-open track.

Check out the Open Finals from Newton's 2013 below. For the full 6 hours of finals day footage, click here.

Open Finals Newton's 2013

Newton's is located in the rural town of Bathurst, and last year's 4th ranked rider, Mitch Thompson, is Bathurst born and bred. Will he finally smash his 3rd-placed curse and break out for his first ever IDF win?

Mitch Thompson
Mitch Thompson last week at Tame the Taipan. Pic by Ashley Donaldson