The first of the Sportsman Meetings for the new season was conducted last night (October 20) at the Murray Machining and Sheds Murray Bridge Speedway with some competitive racing from all the classes on the program. With Wingless Sprints, Formula 500’s, Street Stocks, Junior Sedans and Classic Speedway Demonstrations on the program there was plenty of on track action for all dirt track fans.
For the second time this season Matthew Kennedy proved to be the class of the field in the Wingless Sprints as he led all 20 laps in the A-Main. Jarman Dalitz, who was making a guest appearance in the Pitcher Racing #55, finished in the runner-up position some 4 seconds back behind the race winner. Third place went to Ben Harris who enjoyed one of his best feature race results with Jake Ashworth and rookie Mike Fox rounding out the top 5. Renee Pestka, Anthony McMillan, Patrick Monaghan and Nicole Southby completed the race finishers.
The Wingless heat winners were Brett Ireland, Matthew Kennedy and Jake Ashworth.
Bordertown racer Patrick Merrett claimed his first feature race win of the new season as he defeated Brendan Zadow and Richard Schmidt in the 20 lap Formula 500 feature race. Like Kennedy in the Wingless Sprints Merrett led from the drop of the green to the chequered flag.
The feature race proved to be a race of attrition with only seven cars completing the journey. Corey Jones followed home the podium finishers ahead of Chris Pinchbeck, Cruise Pingelly and Nathan O’Shae. Patrick Merrett and Brad Stell were victorious in the heats.
With the Street Stocks being a late addition to the Sportsman program the numbers were slightly down on what is usually expected at Murray Bridge, but the Ford V Holden battle was still intense, but it was the Ford’s who emerged victorious as Caret Weston edged out Nigel Reichstein by just over 1 second. Third position went to Phil Watson with Ben Whitehead and Trae Ballanytne recording a top 5 finish. Darren Flatman, Phil Watson and Weston each claimed a heat win.
In the final category, the Junior Sedans, it was the Heath Thorne show as he ended the night with a clean sweep of all four races. Sharni Pitcher finished second in the 10-lap final but was more than 5 seconds behind the race winner. Drew Flatman finished on the podium in third with Chelsea Gwynne, Kirra-Lee Pitcher and Damon Laan the only other drivers to finish on the lead lap.
The Murray Machining and Sheds Murray Bridge Speedway will now take a short break with the next event being held on Saturday November 10, 2018 with the first 360ci Sprintcar race of the South Australian season with Round 2 of the Mainline DynoLog Dynamometers 360 Allstars Series, with the best local and Victorian 360ci drivers expected to be present. The Wingless Sprints, Street Stocks and Junior Sedans will provide the support action.
The following day, Sunday November 11, will see the first Speedway Kart event at Murray Bridge with Classic Demonstrations also on the program.