Murray Bridge local Ryan Jones completed a unique season double on Saturday night at the Murray Machining and Sheds Murray Bridge Speedway as he added the Ross Wright Sprintcar Memorial to his resume after securing the Bill Wigzell “Battle of the Bridge” back in October. After starting from position 8 in the 20-car field Jones charged to the front early and managed to survive a torrid battle for the lead to cross the line ahead of an impressive Keke Falland and Mount Gambier’s Steven Lines.
In a race that honors the Family who has had such an impact on Ryan’s racing career he was extremely emotional on the podium as he thanked the Wright Family for their support as well as his own Parents. Even though he had previously won this race, when it was held as a 360ci Sprintcar race, you could tell that this win meant a whole lot more.
Keke Falland put in a career best run to finsh second after being the first to find the rubber on the bottom as he made a charge on the low line. Third placed Lines flew under the radar all night and was not really a factor until late in the race but he to was pleased with the result.
Jake Tranter had a long-awaited return to form as he finished fourth ahead of Brad Keller with Daniel Pestka, Hayden Pitt, who won the B-Main, Luke Dillon, Jesse Attard and Steven Caruso completing the top 10.
After sharing the front row both pole sitter Brock Hallett and series leader Robbie Farr failed to finish as they both came unstuck while battling Jones for the lead. First to lose their spot in the top three was Hallett who spun in turn three shortly after being passed by Farr as they raced for second while Farr rolled in spectacular fashion in turn four with two laps remaining after pushing hard to the top groove trying to run down Jones.
Earlier in the night Attard, Farr and Hallett were the fastest qualifiers in their respective flights in Time Trials while Falland, 22-year-old New Zealander Stephen Taylor, Hallett, Justin Sloan, Dillon and Jones were victorious in the heats.
Throughout the night there were several drivers who rolled over in addition to Farr including Jarman Dalitz, who was running his 360ci powered car among the 410’s, New Zealand’s Brett Sullivan and Wayne Rowett, who crashed in turn 3 while holding down a transfer spot in the B-Main. This was a real shame as it was Rowett’s first outing at Murray Bridge in six years and it would have been a great return to racing if he had made the 30-lap finale.
There are still a further 2 Sprintcar events scheduled for the Murray Machining and Sheds Murray Bridge Speedway with a Sprintcars SA Club Show on April 7 before the USC SA Grand Final on April 14.
The next meeting at the Murray Machining and Sheds Murray Bridge Speedway will be on Saturday March 24, 2018 with a club event featuring “Action Aplenty” as the Wingless Sprints, AMCA Nationals, Formula 500’s, Super Sedans and Street Stocks take the 360-metre clay way.