The podium from Round 1 of the USC SA (Linda Savage Photo)
Local hero Ryan Jones drove one of the races of his career last night (Saturday October 7) as he led all 30 laps at the Murray Machining and Sheds Murray Bridge Speedway to win the opening round of the USC SA, which doubled as the Sunnyside Instant Lawn Bill Wigzell Battle of the Bridge. After starting on the outside of the front row Jones shot into the lead on the start ahead of pole sitter Robbie Farr and held on in a pressure filled race on what was one of the toughest race tracks seen at Murray Bridge for quite some time.
Once Ryan had officially been declared the winner after clearing the scales all he could do was sit in his race car and shake his head in shear disbelief knowing that he had broken his four-year winless streak.
After celebrating with a jubilant wing dance Ryan was humble on the podium dedicating his win to his long-time supporters Darryl and Val Wright. In fact, once the presentation was completed Ryan handed his winner’s trophy to Darryl Wright in what was a great gesture.
Second across the line was Robbie Farr who admitted that Ryan “simply wanted to win the race more than I did” with defending USC SA Champion Luke Dillon completing the podium. Fourth across the line was Ricky Maiolo, who had great car speed all night, but he would be relegated back two spots after the race due to a restart cone violation. Therefore, Matt Egel would finish fourth with Bard Keller, Maiolo, Shaun Dobson, Jake Tranter, Tim Hutchins and Brock Hallett rounding out the top 10.
Throughout the main event there were a number of caution periods which in some ways may have helped Jones keep the lead as it kept him out of the lapped of traffic for a majority of the race. The biggest casualty of the main event was Mark Caruso who made contact with Jake Tranter on the back straight riding out a big crash which heavily damaged his #33 Cool Chassis.
Earlier in the night heat 2 also saw the red light come out on lap one after Shaun Dobson spun in turn two and came across the track collecting Dan Evans and New Zealander Brett Sullivan, with Evans rolling ending his night.
The six heat winners were Robbie Farr, Luke Dillon, Mark Caruso, Marcus Dumesny, Steven Caruso and Brock Hallett, Farr won the Gold Shootout from Jones, Dillon and Glen Sutherland while Dobson won the B-Main.
The next round of the USC SA will be on November 4 featuring the Ultimate Pink Night.
In the support categories Matthew Kennedy was victorious in the Wingless Sprint feature event as he defeated Jack McCarthy and Joel Heinrich while Neville Nitschke won the Street Stock main event over Steve Heinrich and Carey Weston.
The next event on the Murray Machining and Sheds Murray Bridge Speedway season schedule is October 21, 2017 with another all section meeting that will include Wingless Sprints, Formula 500’s, AMCA Nationals, Street Stocks, Junior Sedans and Classics.
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