The first of the stock car practice sessions attracted quite a few drivers to the GMP Cowdenbeath Racewall on Sunday afternoon and whilst it didn’t rain the track was wet and greasy.
The drivers came from all over the country with Marc Spence bringing his classic hot rod down from Inverness whilst Josh Walton brought his formula II from the north of England.
There were quite a few new faces as well with Ewan Mackie (Armadale) appearing in the ex Billy Finnegan car, Spence in the ex McCabe classic hot rod, Jay Paterson (Saline) in a mini, Frazer Duncan (Tillicoultry) in a prostock whilst Joanne Hilditch (Harthill) was out in a prostock basic car.
Jamie Dawson (Balmeadie) and Lewis Clark Burgoyne (Airth) had outgrown their time in the microf2s and have switched to the minis, Brett Constable (Haddington) has moved to the stock rods from the formula IIs whilst Holly Glen (Inchture) has moved from the formula IIs to the 2 litre National saloons.
With quite a bit of rule changes to the formula IIs there weren’t too many of them about but of those who did appear the fastest turned out to be Gregor Turner (Dunfermline) who was quicker than Liam Rennie (Dundee). Turner posted the fastest time of the afternoon clocking up a 14.38sec lap in greasy conditions.
Walton and Mackie were having their first taste of formula II racing and were certainly going much quicker when the session ended. However Dean McGill (Glenrothes) had a run being the wheel of a formula II and who knows may decide that this is the way to go!
Adam Blacklock (Forth) and Paul Reid (Cowdenbeath) were interested spectators although neither has their cars ready for action. Next week Chris Burgoyne (Airth) will be making his return to the formula II scene after his back injury but he spent the afternoon mechanicing for son Lewis.
The formula IIs have some mouth watering meetings at the Racewall this year starting off with the formula II Scottish Championship being staged on the2nd June whilst their World Championship qualifying round is being staged the following day. The Geo Mac 100 Tribute race will be run on the 1st September with the F2 Nationals will be run the following day. The Champion of Champions race is on the 27th October whilst the National Series round to determine the silver roof is on the 3rd November.
The 2 litre National saloon drivers were out in force and there were into double figures, almost enough to have a proper meeting!
New cars appeared for Barry Glen (Dundee) and Marc and Greg Honeyman (Larbert) whilst most of the other drivers had spruced up their cars for the new season. Barry Russell (Brechin) was back in action after his suspension and was soon on the pace.
Fastest of the saloons was Ross Watters (Leven) and he will be keen to get off to a good start to the season after having to settle for second spot in the track points last season.
The new saloons of the Honeymans were quick with Barry Glen just slightly slower. Then there were a few drivers with times that were only marginally different so it looks as if there is going to be quite a competitive season.
There were quite a few drivers still not quite ready for action but most will have their cars ready for action when the season starts in March.
The saloon drivers contest their Nationals on 6th June and the Raymond Gunn Tribute race the following day over the weekend of the 1st/2nd September the saloons have their ORCi championship and then the Jim Purdie memorial to contest and then their Scottish Championship on the13 October. The Superbowl is run on the 27 October with the Gordon Barclay Memorial trophy the following day.
There was another good turn out of ORCi stock rods where the National Points champion Jim Pitcaithly (Kirkcaldy) was the quickest although Trevor Calvin (Lanark) was not that far adrift time wise.
Craig Tosh (Glenalmond) appeared with a smart new car which he had going reasonably well whilst Brian Wilson (Springfield) showed a good turn of speed and will certainly be a good addition to the field. Leon Stewart (Ratho) is another that they are going to have to look out for and he recorded some fast laps.
Constable debuted his new car which suffered from the usual first run problems.
The stock rods drivers are in for a busy season with the Autospeed Promotion from Taunton bringing the World Final to the Racewall in the first weekend in September.
Amongst the new 1300 saloon drivers were James Ellis (Cowdenbeath) who shared the practice session with Kyle Hegg (Glenrothes) and Tommy Walls (Stirling) – although the latter had a run in the hire car last season.
Peter Low (Forfar) had a run the Gemma Russell car whilst Glen Heeps (Linlithgow) was back racing after having a season out.
Aaron Hastie (Ceres) posted the fastest lap time although he was only slightly faster that the track points champion Grant McGowan (Grangemouth).
Gordon Myers (Dunfermline) was running strongly and he should be moving up he grades this year.
There is a new Gold Cup series for the 1300 drivers with rounds at Crimond, Barford and the Racewall and this could certainly turn into an interesting series.
The Scottish Champion Jason Secker (Denny) has moved over to the 2 litre saloons and it will be interesting to see who claims the title this year.
The youngsters in the minis were in good form even although it was just a practice session.
Taylor Borthwick (Armadale) was the fastest of the drivers and with the top driver, Steven Burgoyne (Airth) moving to the formula IIs then she could well be the driver they all have to catch.
Newcomers Jay Paterson, Burgoyne and Dawson looked very promising and I cannot see them being in the lower grade for too long.
Declan Honeyman (South Alloa), who is now in his second season could well be the one to challenge T. Borthwick for the honours.
The minis have their ORCi championship at the Racewall at the beginning of June and hopefully the title will stay in Scotland.
It was good to see a good turn out of prostock and prostock basic drivers including newcomers Duncan and Hilditch. Both formulas have increased interest so let’s hope for larger fields and exciting racing.
There is another practice session at the Racewall next Sunday where the microf2 drivers will join in the fun. They will be practicing between 12 and 1.00pm before the others roll in for a session between 1.00pm and 4.00pm all weather dependant.