Wightlink Wizards make flying start to season with success at Reading Racers

The Wightlink Wizards opened the season with a 20-16 away success against the Reading Racers at Swindon on Easter Monday in front of a huge crowd.

Wednesday, 24th April 2019, 2:25 pm
Updated Thursday, 25th April 2019, 6:44 pm
Isle of Wight talent Chad Wirtzfield was in superb form for the Wightlink Warriors. Picture: Ian Groves/Sportography

It was an excellent start to the season for the Isle of Wight outfit as the team showed their intent for the battles ahead.

Wightlink Wizards team manager Kev Shepherd was very happy with the performance of the team.

He said: ‘This is a great way for the Wightlink Wizards to start their season and with all riders scoring points it was a great team effort.

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‘We know that every meeting for the Wizards will be a challenge but riders learn every time they ride and this is what it is about for us as a club.

‘They know each other well from coming through the island’s school My First Skid and team spirit is superb in the camp at the moment. We look forward to building on this early success.’

Unfortunately, Reading were forced into a team change after being informed that Jamie Bursill was unable to partake in the meeting due to damaged machinery and the Racers brought in Exeter’s Adam Sheppard.

Before the start the meeting referee told the Reading management that Nick Laurence did not have a licence so therefore could not ride, although his rides would be taken by other team members.

The Wizards initially found it tough going and fell 5-1 down. Heat two was a drawn heat with the star of the show young Chad Wirtzfeld. He rode with great maturity leading the way and clocking up some very fast times on the new Blunsdon circuit.

This left the Wizards 8-4 down but heat three saw the same pairing, skipper Ben Ilsley and Wirtzfeld, take a 4-2 heat advantage, leaving the Wizards two behind at 10-8.

The Wizards took heat four with a 5-1 success which came as a result of race leader Adam Sheppard suffering a mechanical failure. This left the Wizards leading 13-11.

Heat five sealed another 4-2 heat advantage with the unbeaten Wirtzfeld racking up his third win and Chris Watts getting a third, making it 17-13 to Wizards with one to go.

The final heat saw a rider switch for the island outfit, changing Ilsley for Wirtzfeld. This was questioned by the Reading management, claiming it was outside of the rules. However the referee agreed the change could be made and Wirtzfeld completed a four-ride maximum. Jamie Sealey fell resulting in a shared heat, with the Wizards having done enough for their success.