Sports reports: Matt Egel claims 2021 Ross Wright Memorial at Murray Bridge Speedway

Plus the latest from Murray Bridge Rifle Club.

This post was contributed by MMS Media and Murray Bridge Rifle Club’s Daniel Irvine.

Matt Egel has totally dominated Saturday night’s Ross Wright Sprintcar Memorial at Murray Bridge Speedway.

He led all 30 laps of the caution filled A-main to claim his third victory of the South Australian sprintcar season.

After qualifying in pole position, Egel defeated fellow front-row starter Brad Keller, while Victorian Dave Murcott salvaged a podium finish after starting from position six.

Seventeen cars lined up in the feature event, with Austin McDonald being a non-starter after a wicked crash in heat three – he rode the right rear of Max Vidau entering turn three.

The contact sent the #85 straight into the concrete wall, heavily damaging its chassis.

Following qualifying and two rounds of heats, Egel topped the score sheet ahead of Keller, Ben Morris, Jessie Attard, Brock Hallett, Murcott, Lisa Walker and Daniel Pestka.

From the drop of the green, Egel was the class of the field as he ran the top groove in impressive fashion for the duration of the event and never looked threatened despite several restarts.

After dropping back to fourth in the early stages of the race, Keller was reinstated to second following an incident between Hallett and Attard as they made contact in turn two.

Both cars, which had been racing for the runner-up position, locked together and spun to a halt on the back straight.

The feature event also had two more major incidents.

Pestka hit the turn four wall, flipping hard in front of the Ros Wright Function Centre and taking out Morris, who was left with nowhere to go.

It ended a great night for the teenaged Morris, who had earlier won a heat and started on the second row for the main event.

Five laps later a similar incident occurred as Walker tagged the wall in an identical fashion, rolling out of the event, while Lachlan McDonough tipped over as he attempted to avoid the carnage.

Rookie Max Vidau also brought the caution out with five laps remaining after he spun in turn four, setting up a five-lap sprint to the end.

But no-one could do anything about Egel, who stretched his lead to more than two seconds to defeat Keller and Murcott.

Joel Heinrich used the late caution to his advantage, charging past three cars and utilising the bottom groove to finish fourth, while Ryan Jones finished fifth after failing to turn a lap prior to the final due to a fuel pump issue.

Mark Caruso, Steven Caruso, Hallett, Attard, Jason Bolitho and debutante Chris James completed the finishers.

Egel, Pestka, Morris and Henrich claimed a heat race each; Hallett topped qualifying group one with a lap of 11.832 while Keller set a lap of 12.178 in flight two.

Brad Evans took out the feature event in the wingless sprints, with Brett Ireland second and Anthony Tapley third.

Jason Robinson and Brendan Zadow took out the feature events in late models and formula 500s, respectively.

The Murray Bridge Speedway’s next event will be this Saturday night, March 13, with an expected lineup of 20-plus cars for the running of the South Australian Formula 500s Title.

Classic speedway cars will also be on track in a series of demonstration events, while street stocks will complete the program.

Nesti hits the mark at Murray Bridge Rifle Club

This past Saturday, 11 members competed in the 23rd stage of the Murray Bridge Rifle Club championship at the Deed Range, Monarto from a kinder distance of 300 metres.

The wind also appeared to be gentle but looks can be deceiving.

It started out as a left wind as the first shooters took to the mound, but by the second round it had started fluctuating from left to right and back again, with the occasional spell coming straight up the range in between.

It remained consistently inconsistent for the rest of the day. 

The weather certainly caught out more than a few, including the normally dependable A-grader Greg Traeger, who followed his possible of 50.02 in the first round with a 44.04 in the second that included a “bird”, unfortunately securing him the magpie award for the day in a count out from Andrew Heard and Gordon Harrison.

Certainly not being misled by the maurading wind was Mark Nesti, who stood a class above the rest as he secured his first ever double possible.

The pair of 60.05s for a total of 120.10 left him eight points clear of his nearest off-rifle competitor, John Cranwell, who shot a pair of 56s, and gave him a staggering 12.5-point win in the handicap from recently returned Ian Taylor.

In target rifle the handicap award was claimed by Jazz Irvine, whose consistency and high centre count paid off to allow her to edge out husband Daniel by 2.9 points.

Jazz also snuck in ahead in the sniper award for the best sighters of the day with 19.03, again from Daniel with 19.02.

At the presentation after the shoot, Wayne Halliday had some of his woes from the day soothed as he won the lucky wheel with his score of 97 – not normally something to be happy about, but the $50 jackpot certainly helped.

Next week shooters will compete at 800 metres before making the trip to Mount Barker for the first round of the district association championship.

Murray Bridge News is happy to share news, results or photos from sporting clubs throughout Murray Bridge and the surrounding region, free of charge. Email or call 0419 827 124.