Stock rod drivers live up to top billing slot on a memorable night at Racewall

Kirkcaldy’s Michael Bethune.Kirkcaldy’s Michael Bethune.
Kirkcaldy’s Michael Bethune.
On a dry evening at the Cowdenbeath Racewall, the ORCstock rod drivers claimed the top billing as they raced for their Scottish Championship.

There were 22 drivers at the track but Leon Stewart got caught out during the practice session and unfortunately couldn’t get the car repaired in time for the main race.

In the formula IIs it turned out to be one of these nights for yellow grade driver Jason Blacklock who won the white/yellow series final, a heat and then the final.

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Lauren Ford retired from the ministox last week and moved straight into the prostock basics formula where she ended up dominating the proceedings winning a heat as well as the final.

The race for the two litre saloon track points took a twist when the leader Ian McLaughlin’s engine blew up big style just after the final started and he exited the race in a cloud of smoke.

The main race of the night was the Stock Rod Scottish Championship with the drivers drawing their grid positions as they started their parade lap.

Scott Galbraith drew pole position with the European Champion Stuart McKinnon alongside whilst Lee McGill and Jonathan Howe were on row two.

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Michael Bethune started from seven, the defending champion James Gray on row eight and John McAllister the ORCi Champion on row nine.

Fife drivers on the grid included Lee McGill (Kirkcaldy), Stuart Wedderburn (Leven), Steve Gunby (Cupar), Kris Simpson (Methil), Liam McGill (Dysart), Dean McGill (East Wemyss), Scott Galbraith (Auchtermuchty), David Dignan (Leven) and Michael Bethune (Kirkcaldy).

After the grid was formed the green flag dropped with Galbraith making a good start to the race and headed McKinnon into the turnstile bend but Lee McGill dived inside and on the back straight moved into second spot.

Wedderburn slotted into third with Stuart McKinnon dropping to fourth.

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Galbraith held the lead until lap five when Lee McGill moved into the lead but further back Bethune moved into fourth but McKinnon now had Cameron Doak, Gray and McAllister in close order.

Lee McGill was having bother shaking off the attentions of Galbraith but further back McKinnon ended up spinning after he and Mark Blackie got caught up.

The race was suspended and the field lined up behind Lee McGill although he had a back marker between him and Galbraith, Wedderburn, Bethune and Gray.

When the race restarted Lee McGill tried to make a break but Galbraith held on although next time around Bethune was through into second and then began to close in on Lee McGill.

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A couple of laps later the leading duo were nose to tail but when Bethune got alongside the McGill car slide wide, clipped the wall and slowed. Gray moved into second but had McAllister and Doak in close order.

Bethune eased away to become the 2019 Scottish Champion from Gray and McAllister. Liam McGill was fifth ahead of Wedderburn in eighth and Simpson in tenth.

The first of the Allcomers races saw Gray go through to win from McAllister and Doak but all three were in close order as they crossed the finish line. Wedderburn and Galbraith followed them home in fourth and fifth respectively, while Simpson was eighth.

Allcomers heat two was for the Michael Hastie Memorial trophy and whilst Simpson led for a good few laps in the end Gray went on to win his second race of the night but he again had Doak and McAllister in close order as they crossed the finish line. Simpson held on for fourth ahead of D. McGill in seventh and Dignan in eighth.

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Amongst the formula II drivers in action were Josh Walton and Dave Waterhouse.

Kingdom drivers racing were Paul and Craig Reid (Cowdenbeath).

The first race of the night was the final of the white/yellow series but the wet area on the turnstile bend saw the defending champion Gregor Turner slide as he entered the bend and was then collected by P. Reid although the latter was able to restart.

A few laps later Emma Mellis, Alex Gault and Peter Watt all slide into the wall suspending the race.

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Jason Blacklock led the decimated field away and he went through to win from P. Reid, Kieran Howie and C. Reid.

Heat one saw J. Blacklock go through for an easy win over Steven Burgoyne and Garry Sime.

P. Reid came home fifth.

Heat two should have been another win for J. Blacklock but towards the end of the race his car started to miss and this allowed Burgoyne through to win from J. Blacklock and Sime.

P. Reid was fifth again with C. Reid tenth.

Although Howie was the first to show when the final started by the end of the lap J. Blacklock was through into the lead.

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Sime appeared in third just ahead of P. Reid and Turner but Burgoyne was off his mark quickly and started to close in those ahead. Sime moved into second but had Burgoyne in close order and with the laps dwindling Burgoyne moved into second place.

J. Blacklock was well clear and he went on to win where he led home Burgoyne and Sime. Howie held off P. Reid for fourth while C. Reid was tenth.

Sime went on to win the Grand National from Howie, Daniel Scrimgeour.

The 2 Litre saloons were on good form with Robbie Lee a welcome visitor from south of the border whilst Alan Ainslie was having a rare outing. Ross Watters (Kennoway), Andrew Mathieson (Lochgelly) and Eck Cunningham (Leven) were the local drivers racing.

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Heat one saw Graeme Anderson snatch the win, taking the lead during the closing stages of the race and crossed the line just clear of Colin Savage, Cunningham and Watters whilst Mathieson was ninth. Heat two ended with Ian McLaughlin going through the field to win from Watters and Cunningham. Mathieson finished eighth that time around.

The start to the final was spectacular with McLaughlin’s engine blowing and he retired from the race in a cloud of smoke. On the restart Savage led from Cunningham but Willie Mitchell’s car began to sound flat and he dropped away. Savage was sent spinning on the back straight although he quickly restarted as Cunningham took over at the front of the field although Watters was on a charge and began to eat into his lead. Not long after Watters caught Cunningham he sent the leader wide before going on to win from Cunningham and Ainslie.

There was a good turn out of Prostock Basic drivers with Alistair Strachan back in action whilst Lauren Ford was making her debut. There were a good field of locals including Graeme Dignan (Leven), David van Dieken (Leven), Martin Loggie (Methil) and Callum Rennie (Kinglassie).

Ford ran away with the opening heat to win from Loggie and Jake Mason. Van Dieken was fourth, Rennie sixth and Dignan tenth. In heat two Loggie then went on to win from Ford, Joanne Hilditch and van Dieken. Rennie was next, with Dignan seventh.

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Ford was through into the lead by lap one when the final started before going on to win her second race of the night leading home Loggie and Mason to the line.

Van Dieken completed his trio of fourth places, Rennie was seventh and Dignan eighth.

This Saturday the Two Litre Banger Scottish Championship is the feature race and already there are nearly 20 drivers booked in with a few yet to confirm.

They are backed by the formula II, two litre Ssaloons and the prostocks from 6.00pm.

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