It was a night of celebration at Smallbrook Stadium for Andrew Appleton who fought off some tough competition to emerge as the winner of the inaugural Island Masters Series.
The multi-award winning grasstrack racer went into last night’s 3rd and final round as the series leader. He consolidated that position by finishing joint top scorer in qualification before going on to win a spectacular A Final that was brought to a sudden halt when fellow finalist James Shanes fell mid-race whilst in hot pursuit of Appleton. It looked as if Dorset-based Shanes was about to pounce and take the race lead, but it was not to be and fortunately Shanes was quickly on his feet although his machine was clearly much worse off.
That A final also featured local favourite Chad Wirtzfeld, who went on to take second place overall, and Round 2 winner James Wright who again looked super fast. However, a tape touch in the A Final saw him penalised with a 15 metre handicap that proved to be detrimental.
The B final went to Charley Powell with a straightforward victory – just reward for his support of oval track racing on the Island in 2021. The C Final was taken by Eric Pike, another rider who has been a marvellous competitor and contributor to Smallbrook’s season.
The final race of 2021 was the ‘Super Final’ contested by the 4 riders with the highest aggregate scores over the 3 Island Masters rounds and that gave Appleton, Wright, Wirtzfeld and the ever-popular Nigel Coates one last blast in 2021. It was no surprise to see Appleton and Wright spring from the gate with Wright putting his previous tape infringement behind him to outpace his close rival, as Wirtzfeld took third place.
Island Masters Round 3:
C Final – Eric Pike, Giles Dismore, Bill Haynes, Rob Snow
B Final – Charley Powell, Nigel Coates, Dave Hammond, Aaron Shubert
A Final – Andrew Appleton, James Wright, Chad Wirtzfeld, James Shanes (fell)
Island Masters aggregate scores after all 3 rounds:
Andrew Appleton 32, Chad Wirtzfeld 28, James Wright 23, Tony Atkin 19, Nigel Coates 18, Charley Powell 15, Eric Pike 13, Jacob Bukhave 11, Edward Kennett 11, James Shanes 9, Dean Cutler 6, Mitch Godden 6, Dave Hammond 6, Aaron Shubert 6, Ben Phillips 4, Barry Coates 3, Giles Dismore3, Bill Haynes 3, David Hollingsbee 2, Rob Snow 1.
In addition to the Masters event, the Wightlink Wizards entertained the Crayford Kestrels in a 6 heat mini-match and it proved to be a super night for the homesters who rode consistently to take a 23-13 win.
Whilst none of the Wizards could catch the Kestrels impressive Chris Watts, the Wizards capitalised on the visitors’ mechanical bad luck to bring their season to a very positive end.
Wightlink Wizards 23 – Jamie Sealey 7, Morgan Williams 6+2, Jamie Evans 6+1, Sam Peters 4+2
Crayford Kestrels 13 – Chris Watts 9, Roksana Brzeska 0, Keith Cornell 3, James Laker 1
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