The Wightlink Warriors hosted the second round of the Island Masters series at Smallbrook Stadium last night and in front of good sized crowd it was Newcastle speedway racer James Wright (pictured) who recorded the fastest time of the night to secure his A final win ahead of classy Edward Kennett, Wightlink Warrior Chad Wirtzfeld and evergreen Tony Atkin.
Wright has been a regular visitor to the Smallbrook track in recent weeks bringing his two young sons to race in the pre-meeting Pee Wee events and he clearly took note of the fastest lines as he collected nine points in the qualification section of the meeting – races that saw both Kennett and Wirtzfeld turn in impressive returns of 12 and 11 respectively.
Come the A Final choice of gate positions was important. First pick went to Atkin who opted for the inside grid, Wright went next and chose the outside slot whilst Wirtzfeld banked gate 3 leaving Kennett the least popular gate 2 position and as the tapes rose it was Wright who rocketed off the start. Kennett was quick to slot into second place and from there he mounted a robust attack on the leader. Sadly it was to no avail as Wright rode the perfect lines and edged away from his rival to record a super fast win. Behind the leading two Wirtzfeld had too much speed for Atkin who again showed that age is no barrier for a track racer.
Surprise of the night was the low points return from Round 1 winner Andrew Appleton. Badly hampered by mechanical problems in his first outing, he had to skip his second programme ride but reappeared to win his next two races and went on to take the B Final, but clearly the bike was not at its smooth running best and it was a disappointing night in the Appleton camp.
Another rider to mention was up and coming Ben Phillips. Originally down to ride in the Wizards v Falcons mini-match, he stepped into the Island Masters main event and after taking a couple of rides to size up the circuit, produced some great passing moves and deservedly won the C Final.
Happy Warriors co-owner Barry Bishop said “My thanks to all the riders who took part tonight. We’ve had another night of great racing and lots of fun and what a super A final to round things off. It’s really great to have the likes of James and Eddie racing at our track alongside Chad and our Grass Track friends and we will do it all again over the next two meetings.
Can I just update you on Tia Brant and Anastasia (Mouse) Sallee. Both girls took nasty tumbles and were clearly shaken up at the time, but to their great credit they got themselves up, dusted themselves down and were quite prepared to go out again. I’m glad to say they are both fine and both are looking forward to getting back on track as soon as possible”.
Island Masters Round 2 Scorers: Edward Kennett 12, Chad Wirtzfeld 11, James Wright 9, Tony Atkin 9, Rob Fortune 6, Andrew Appleton 6, Nigel Coates 5, Eric Pike 5, Ben Phillips 4, Barry Coates 3, Dean Cutler 3, Billy Haynes 0.
C Final: Phillips, Cutler, B Coates, Haynes
B Final: Appleton, Fortune, N Coates, Pike
A Final: WRIGHT, Kennett, Wirtzfeld, Atkin
Wightlink Wizards 15 Exeter Falcons 20
Wizards: Jamie Sealey 5, Morgan Williams 4+1, Jamie Evans 3+1, Steph Whitlock 3
Falcons: Chris Watts 9, Russell Barnett 5, Nigel Coates 4+1, Anastasia Sallee 2+1