Moodie’s world title bid picks up pace

Gordon Moodie
Gordon Moodie

WINDYGATES race ace Gordon Moodie won the World Championship Formula II qualifying round final at Knockhill on a misty night – despite having to retire from both his heats.

The track was wet and greasy as the midweek meeting started, with a grid-line-up including world champion Mark Simpson and visitors from south of the border, Paul Butcher, Dan Moss, Nathan Maidment, Carl Shield, Richard Hill and Mark Adkin.

Chris Burgoyne, Dennis Middler and Robbie Dawson had scored points in the qualifying round at Crimond and were hoping to add to their total, while Moodie was having his first qualifying round outing.

Other Kingdom drivers included Paul Reid (Cowdenbeath), Trevor Harris (Kinglassie) and Alan Kirkaldy (St Andrews).

Dawson went through to win the opening heat from Roy Anderson and Burgoyne, with Kirkaldy sixth.

There was a hectic battle between white graders Kenny Mitchell and Lee Clark, with the latter sending Mitchell into a spin during the closing stages of the heat to pick up his first-ever win.

He led home Dawson and Craig Wallace, with Kirkaldy fourth and Reid eighth.

Clark was soon leading when the final started but then lost out to Wallace.

However, when Mitchell spun on the incline, out came the yellow flags, suspending the race.

The cars lined up behind Wallace and slowly climbed up the incline as the starter dropped the green flag.

Wallace went but a few other drivers were caught out, with Moodie jumping from seventh to third as they crossed the start line.

Next time around, Moodie was ahead and he reeled off the remaining laps to win the final from Burgoyne and George MacMillan Jnr, with Kirkaldy fifth.

Moss ended his Scottish break on a high when he won the Grand National from Dawson and Stephen Forster, with Moodie in fourth.

The saloon drivers made light of the conditions, with Fife’ Kyle Hegg (Leslie), Ross Watters (Leven) and Dave Sturrock (Saline).

The drivers found David Hughes in dominant form, winning heat one from Stuart Shevill Jnr and Gordon Alexander with Sturrock 10th.

Hughes then won heat two from Alexander, Glenn Heeps and Hegg, with Sturrock in eighth.

Hughes continued his command of the conditions when he ran away with the final winning it from Neil McLaughlin and Alexander with Hegg fifth and Sturrock in eighth place.

There was close racing in the stock rods, including James Halkett (Cowdenbeath) and Graeme Dignan (Leven), who collected three eighth-place finishes, in each of the opening two heats and then the final.

The lightning rods also tackled the conditions well, with the Fifers being Lindsay Wilson (Comrie) and Paul Carruthers (Kirkcaldy).