The Isle of Wight’s Wightlink Wizards got their season off to a flyer yesterday (Monday), claiming a 20-16 victory against the Reading Racers.

The Island side travelled to Swindon for the tie hoping to start the campaign with a bang  – and it was well worth the journey.

Before tapes up, opponents Reading were forced into a number of personnel changes. Jamie Bursill was unable to take part due to damaged machinery and was replaced by Exeter’s Adam Sheppard.

Spectators also saw Nick Laurence replaced following licensing issues – which meant his rides were taken by other team members.

As the meeting got underway, the Wizards soon found themselves in trouble. They were hit by a Reading 5-1 with Jamie struggling with heavy vibration from his machinery.

Heat two was a drawn heat with the star of the show being young Chad who clocked up some very quick times on the new Blunsdon circuit. This left the Wizards 8-4 down.

Heat 3 saw the same pairing, Skipper Ben and Chad, take a 4-2 heat advantage with the latter taking another tapes to flag victory, leaving the Wizards two behind at 10-8.

The advantage soon swang back in the Wizards favour with a 5-1 win which came as a result of race leader Adam Sheppard suffering a mechanical failure. The Wizards led 13-11.

Heat 5 brought another 4-2 heat advantage with the unbeaten Chad racking up his 3rd win and Chris getting a 3rd leaving the Island side 17-13 up with one to go.

The final heat saw a rider switch for the Wizards – changing Ben for Chad. Chad subsequently completed a 4 ride maximum and Jamie fell resulting in a shared heat.

The final score finished Reading 16 Wizards 20.

Wightlink Wizards Team Manager Kev Shepherd 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.

“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 eachother 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.”

Individual Wizard’s scores:

Jamie Sealey 2, Chris Watts 5, Ben Ilsley 1 and Chad Wirtzfeld 12.