Matt Egel wins 2021 Battle of the Bridge at Murray Bridge Speedway
This year's Bill Wigzell memorial event has been won by a driver from the Whyalla Earthworks Racing Team.
This post was contributed by MMS Media.
Matt Egel and the Whyalla Earthworks Racing Team have continued their winning ways on Saturday night at Murray Bridge Speedway.
Egel finally added the Bill Wigzell Battle of the Bridge to his growing resume.
In fact, he finished the night unbeaten, as he emerged quickest in flight two in time trials, won both of his heats and led all 30 laps in an impressive display of driving in front of a sizeable early-season crowd.
With 16 cars fronting the first Sprintcars SA event of the season, the field was split into two groups of eight.
The night began with qualifying, in which with Mount Gambier’s Glen Sutherland (11.717) paced flight one and Egel set the quickest time in flight two (11.830).
The fastest cars started up front, and Sutherland turned his pole position into a heat win ahead of Ryan Jones and Brad Keller, who moved forward from position six.
Heat two was similar, with the front row finishing first and second as Egel defeated Daniel Pestka.
After starting fourth, Luke Dillon crossed the line third ahead of Ricky Maiolo, who fought back after a spin on turn two.
In the second round of heats the top six was inverted, which Keller used to his advantage, winning comfortably after passing early race leader Hayden Pitt.
Jones finished third ahead of Steven Caruso and Sutherland.
In heat four, debutant Ryan Alexander’s night ended as he destroyed the Perrett family-owned #98 in a vicious crash on turn two, a multi-car accident that also involved Jones and Max Vidau.
Egel topped the points chart after the heats, while Sutherland, Jones, Keller, Ben Morris, Maiolo, Caruso and Pitt qualified in the top half of the field.
When the green flag fell on the 30-lap finale, Sutherland got the best of the start – he swept from the outside to lead early.
But the race was stopped when Maiolo spun on turn four, his car performing a huge wheelstand before gently falling onto its side.
He was able to restart, as the only damage sustained was a slightly dented inside wing board.
Egel took the lead after the restart, and Sutherland was passed by both Jones and Keller before the competition of lap one.
From there Egel stamped his authority on the race, lapping the venue just inches from the concrete wall.
The battle for second became entertaining as Jones and Keller traded places, with Jones getting the better of his opponent to claim the runner-up spot.
The only caution of the race came on lap 23, when Sutherland’s impressive night ended – he spun on turn two and was collected by Pestka.
Just prior to the caution, Jones had been starting to close on Egel as they negotiated lapped traffic.
Pitt made a great return to racing after sitting out last season – he claimed fourth behind Egel, Jones and Keller – while Dillon charged from position nine to record a top five result.
Morris had a strong night – he finished sixth – while Caruso, Maiolo, Vidau, Lachlan McDonough and Chris James completed the finishers.
Speedway action will return to Murray Bridge on October 16 with an all sections club show.
You can help keep local stories like this one free for everyone to read. Subscribe to Murray Bridge News today and support your independent, locally owned news service, plus get access to exclusive stories you won’t find anywhere else, for just $5.50 a month.