• After a tough start to his South Australian season at the opening event in October Matt Egel returned to top form on Saturday night as he led all 30 laps in the latest Sprintcars SA club event at the Murray Machining and Sheds Murray Bridge Speedway. The event utilised a different format in an attempt to help the costs down with Egel just falling short of clean sweeping the night as he was only defeated by local Ryan Jones, who edged him out in qualifying.

    “That was fun” commented Egel as he got out of the car. “The track was good out there. I was able to run the top which is what I like here but I knew that there must have been a bottom groove there too because they were throwing up dirt onto the top which made it a little tougher but I didn’t need to try the bottom as I didn’t see anyone. I thought that Ryan and Lachy were probably down there.”

    Second place went to Lachlan McHugh and his disappointment was clear to see. “I can’t believe that I finished second behind Matt here again. It was great to come back here and race for Domain, he has given me a great opportunity to race at the southern tracks this season, but it would be good to finally beat Matt here. Maybe next time.”

    Additionally, the car that Egel beat McHugh in on Saturday night was the exact car the McHugh utlised to win the South Australian Championship two season’s ago while subbing for Egel in #52 at Whyalla.

    Luke Dillon continued his impressive early season form as he rounded out the podium backing up his victory at the Bill Wigzell Battle of the Bridge.

    After running second for a majority of the race Hayden Pitt had to settle for fourth after dropping back two spots during the final three laps due to front wing damage sustained during a clash with Ryan Jones. With five laps remaining the pair initially made contact on the back straight as they battled for second before further contact in turn two sent Jones upside down.

    Fifth place went to pole sitter Steven Caruso, with David Murcott, Chad Ely, Daniel Pestka, Todd Hobson, Terry Kelly, Daniel Scott and Robert Heard completing the finishers.

    A total of 17 cars fronted for the event with the field stacked with interstate competitors including Lachlan McHugh, who was driving for Victorian Domain Ramsay, David Murcott, Tim Hutchins, Todd Hobson, Terry Kelly, Daniel Scott, Ashton Mineeff and Jordan Rae. Domain Ramsay was also set to compete but pre-race issues with the car that McHugh was set to pilot Ramsay stepped aside and McHugh strapped into the #V2.

    The format included Time Trials and two heats races with the starting line ups determined from the qualifying results without an invert. The finishing order of the heats set each row with heat one being the inside row and heat two the outside.

    Ryan Jones paced the field in qualifying with a lap of 11.018 but he couldn’t convert his pole position into a heat win as Steven Caruso locked himself into the pole position with an exciting outside pass on Jones in turn two. Jones would finish second ahead of Chad Ely, McHugh, Daniel Pestka, Hobson, Scott and Mineeff.

    Heat two was an all the win for Egel, with Hayden Pitt, who was making his first start of the season, Luke Dillon, Murcott, Rae, who was campaigning an LS powered Prosprint, Kelly, Hutchins and rookie Robert Heard rounding out the field.
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