The Isle of Wight Speedway team got their National Trophy campaign off to a flying start last night (Thursday).
Warriors secured a nine-point victory over defending trophy holders Mildenhall Fen Tigers at Smallbrook Stadium in Ryde.
The visitors found themselves in trouble from the get-go. Warrior’s new number one Georgie Wood (pictured) was quick away from the tapes to lead the Fen Tigers talisman Danny Ayres.
Mildenhall’s Charlie Brooks took a heavy fall on bend four causing the race to be stopped. Brooks was able to make his way off track but looked to be in some discomfort from his shoulder. He bravely carried on racing but was forced to sit out his final two outings as the soreness worsened. The Fen Tigers David Wallinger also had a night to forget with four falls in five outings.
The home side also encountered a few issues along the way with falls for Ben Morley and Danno Verge holding their scores back, and Chris Widman has yet to cure niggling engine problems.
Warriors claimed only four last places in fifteen races on the night. Reserve pair King and Wirtzfeld enjoyed impressive starts, with the former’s ultimately unsuccessful ride to hold off Ayres showing great guts and determination.
Meanwhile, Wirtzfeld recorded two wins – his first victories at senior level – in a paid nine total.
Wightlink Warriors co-promoter Barry Bishop was delighted with his side’s work, saying:
“Well that was just the start we asked for and the boys delivered. Their team ethic tonight was first class and they responded brilliantly to team manager Jackie Vatcher’s pre-match pep talk.
“There is so much to savour at this club right now and we will take the momentum from tonight’s win into Sunday when we go to Mildenhall in the reverse fixture.
“It was also good to give our Wizards riders some track time after the main meeting and we can look forward to twenty one heats of speedway when we come back together at Smallbrook next Thursday.”
Wightlink Warriors: Georgie Wood 11+2, Chris Widman 3+1, Ryan Terry-Daley 6+2, Danno Verge 7, Ben Morley 9, Connor King 5+1 and Chad Wirtzfeld 8+1.
Mildenhall: Danny Ayres 17, Sam Bebee (R/R), Charlie Brooks 2, Jason Edwards 10, David Wallinger 0, Elliot Kelly 2 and Macauley Leek 9+2.