Sports round-up: James McFadden claims Australia Day sprintcar honours

Plus the return of a life member helps Murray Bridge Rifle Club get through a rough week.

This post was contributed by MMS Media for Murray Bridge Speedway, and by Daniel Irvine of Murray Bridge Rifle Club.

James McFadden has claimed the A-main in the Australia Day Sprintcar Stampede with a perfectly timed last-lap dash to overtake pole-sitter Daniel Pestka.

Pestka had led the first 29 laps of the 30-lap journey, part of the Speedway Australia Sprintcar Super Series.

Drivers were challenged with a extremely difficult track surface, with the venue experiencing heavy rains overnight.

Pestka took the lead early on, getting the jump alongside fellow pole-sitter Brad Keller.

An incident on lap eight saw Ryan Jones bounce through a rut in turn two, rolling the #S63, while Keller was also forced to retire.

This would elevate McFadden to second, but Pestka had the speed to stay in front and make the best of the lapped traffic, maintaining his lead until the red lights came on again on lap 15, this time for Dan Smith in turn four.

Unfortunately for Lisa Walker, her race ended here, too as the lapped car of Smith rolled right in front of her and Luke Dillon as they raced for fourth.

Walker made contact with Dillon as he attempted to avoid the accident.

Pestka would lead away on the restart from McFadden, Egel, Dillon and Marcus Dumesney, and it remained this way until lap 29, when McFadden made his move on turn one to take the lead and the win.

But the drama did not stop there.

Just as McFadden crossed the line, the red lights came on again as Ben Morris rolled on turn two; but the results were already official as the top two had already received the chequered flag.

Egel, Dillon and Dumseny completed the top five, with Jock Goodyer, Jessie Attard, David Murcott, Steven Caruso and Max Vidau rounding out the official finishers.

Heat winners for the night were Pestka, Keller, Dillon, Walker, Morris and Goodyer.

A strong field of wingless sprints was also on the program for their final hit-out before their upcoming South Australian and Australian championships in February.

Ryan Alexander picked up his first feature win, with Joel Chadwick second and Jacob Childs rounding out the podium.

Alexander took out both of his heat races, with Chadwick, Harley Alexander, Anthony Tapley and Brent Fox claiming the others.

A street stocks invitational was the final event of the program, with Craig Buchanan finishing ahead of Carey Weston and Dylan Wilkinson.

The next meeting at Murray Bridge Speedway will be the South Australian Wingless Sprints Title, to be held over two nights on February 19 and 20, then the Australian Wingless Sprints Championship to be held the following weekend, also over two nights on February 26 and 27.

Support divisions for both events will be announced once they have been confirmed.

Visiting life member Trevor Deed, centre, catches up with Gordon Harrison, Rob Paech, Jazz Irvine and Greg Traeger. Photo: Murray Bridge Rifle Club.

Life member returns to rifle club after sombre week

Thirteen competitors and an array of visitors have gathered at the Deed Rifle Range at Monarto to shoot from 400 metres.

Life member Trevor Deed, visiting from Queensland while borders are open, was among those present at the range named after his forebears on Saturday.

The shoot came after a sombre week during which the funerals of two former shooters, Colin Wilson and Terry Morgan, were held.

The day itself was mostly overcast, which some shooters favoured, with a gentle breeze from the right that gradually increased in strength and became more testing as the afternoon progressed.

This meant most good scores came earlier in the shoot.

This was true for all the day’s winners, but perhaps none more so than target rifle winner Rob Paech, who shot a perfect 50 in the first round, followed up by a 47 in the second.

The score was enough for him to claim the off-rifle prize from Greg Traeger by a mere two centres, as well as the handicap by 1.5.

The F-classes were all represented on the day with F-open winner Mark Nesti well clear of the field, scoring 113.07 off-rifle and claiming the handicap prize by more than five points.

F-standard was won by “Fabulous” Frank Marshall, edging out David McDonald by three points.

FTR was held up by Nicole Edwards, who shot a respectable 103.

New member Brad Kirpensteyn also made a respectable start to his championship season with a 92.

This week there were no “magpie” winners from the F-classes, but two candidates emerged for the target rifle award, with Jasamine Irvine narrowly winning the prize by counting out her husband Daniel, a regular winner of the un-coveted award.

Next week is scheduled for 600 metres.

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.