The first Wightlink Warriors’ Summer Spectacular speedway meeting was a master class of track skill from former British Grasstrack Masters Champion, Andrew Appleton (pictured), as he scorched to five impressive wins in front of an appreciative crowd at the Smallbrook Stadium in Ryde last night.
The return of track sport to the Island was headlined by the first of three rounds of the Island Masters series – a grasstrack meeting on shale. The twelve riders didn’t disappoint the enthusiastic crowd as they battled hard to reach the winner-takes-all Grand Final. The meeting also featured a gripping six-heat battle between the youth Wizards team and Weymouth Wildcats not forgetting the PeeWee and 125cc riders who opened the evening, with Junior Rider of the Night award going to Kye Elliott of St Helens.
Appleton certainly earned his wins as he had stern competition from Danish rider, Jacob Buckhave, with the two serving up a terrific race in the Grand Final. Warrior Chad Wirtzfeld also found plenty of speed to clinch the B Final on the night.
The Wizards battle to tame the Wildcats went to the final bend of the final heat when it seemed the home team would win; however with Jamie Sealey well clear at the front, Wroxall-based Morgan Williams appeared to tire on the final two corners and slid to the ground, allowing two Wildcats riders through for a drawn heat that clinched the meeting 17-19 in the visitors’ favour.
Warriors’ co-owner, Barry Bishop, wore a big smile as he said, “I’ve got to say we have worked so hard for this night. We’ve had many battles and have achieved what we set out do – provided affordable family entertainment in a safe and pleasant environment. Right now I’m just a bit speechless and completely shattered but tomorrow we’ll be back at it and I can’t wait for next Thursday when we can do it all again.”
Island Masters – Round 1 Result:
C Final – Eric Pike, Dean Cutler, David Hollingsbee, Barry Coates
B Final – Chad Wirtzfeld, Charley Powell, Mitch Godden, Nigel Coates
A Final – Andrew Appleton, Jacob Buckhave, Tony Atkin, Rob Fortune
Wizards 17 (Jamie Sealey 8, Jamie Evans 6+1, Morgan Williams 3, Eli Meadows 0)
Weymouth Wildcats 19 (Bailey Fellows 7+1, James Laker 5, Max Pankhurst 4+1, Sam Peters 3)