Well the stock car drivers and spectators have literally had the lot thrown at them this season with the first meeting run in a downpour and the second in snow showers! In fact the banger final was run on a snow covered track with the drivers searching for grip and perhaps hoping that a snow plough would appear!
Spare a thought for the ORCi Stock Rod World Champion Stephen McCready from Northern Ireland who was in a shunt within meters of starting his first heat and failed to reappear. In the 2 Litre National Saloons Barry Russell was sent crashing into the pit bend wall with his car receiving a lot of damage. Russell and his team set about getting his car sorted but the car just wouldn’t fire after being pushed the length of the pits.
Jamie Reid was in a three car shunt on the pit straight and needed assistance out of his car but after a check by the paramedics was seen walking a bit gingerly in the pits.
In between the snow showers there was some close and exciting racing although with the track being a bit slippery quite a few cars clattered off the wall as the tried to find the grip.
In the Formula IIs Steven Burgoyne was making his debut whilst his brother Chris was back in action after suffering a back injury last season. Colin Gregg was a welcome visitor from Darlington but missing were Peter Watt and Robbie Dawson.
The opening heat saw Pete Davidson go straight into the lead but Chris Burgoyne was making light of the conditions and carved his way through into the lead. Once there he pulled away from the field to win from Craig Wallace and John Hogg. Heat two was to follow a similar patter with Burgoyne again dominating the proceedings before chalking up his second win of the night where he led home Wallace and Liam Rennie.
Burgoyne’s dominance was to continue in the final although it was Davidson who was the first to show and led Gregg into the first bend but next time around Hogg was through into the lead. Burgoyne had quickly got ahead of Euan Millar and Wallace before setting his sights on Rennie. Within a couple of laps Rennie was overtaken and by this time only Hogg was ahead. Just after the half distance Burgoyne was ahead and he charged away to record his third win of the night where he was ahead of Wallace with Rennie snatching third from Hogg with only a couple of laps remaining.
Hogg went on to win the Grand National from Rennie and Wallace but Burgoyne failed to finish after tangling with Davidson on the pit bend and whilst he restarted pulled out the following lap.
The 2 litre National Saloon drivers were back in top form despite the terrible conditions with Paul Honeyman having his first outing of the year. Holly Glen had a terrible meeting failing to start in heat one only managed a few meters in heat two and didn’t appear for the final.
The opening heat saw Ian Sutherland lead the field away but Eck Cunningham made a good start and was soon closing the gap to the leader. Barry Russell was sent crashing into the pit bend by Paul Honeyman and spun out. Once Cunningham was ahead he set about opening up a useful lead before going through to win from Jason Secker and Ross Watters – the pair had diced hard over the closing stages of the race. Heat two was led off by Tam Rutherford Jnr but again Cunningham was on an early charge and began to reel in the leader. Watters too wasn’t hanging about and he began to make up places and was soon on Cunningham’s tail. However when Jamie Reid and Sutherland tangled, Cunningham clipped their cars and retired. The race had to be suspended to allow Reid out of his car but once he was Watters led the field away before going through to win from Marc Honeyman and Secker.
The final turned out to be a nail biter with the snow beginning to fall heavily. Russell had repaired his car but it wouldn’t fire so he failed to start the race. Rutherford Jnr was the first to show and he was leading from Neil Linden with Cunningham soon sidelined. Secker moved to the front of the blue grade drivers and began to close the gap to the leader. Watters was making up ground and was through into the top five only to bounce off another car on the pit bend and spin. Soon Secker had caught Rutherford Jnr and for lap after lap Secker tried to battle both the snow and the leader. Eventually he forced his way through into the lead only for Rutherford Jnr to spin. After that Secker reeled off the remaining lap to pick up his first 2 litre saloon win from Marc then P. Honeyman.
Amongst the ORCi Stock Rods were a trio of drivers from Northern Ireland which included Stephen McCready, Ian Thompson Snr and Andrew Morrow. Lee McGill was having his first run at the Racewall. Derek Conner was back and the newcomer was Steve Gunby.
The opening heat was suspended right away when Kevin Watson got out of shape and sent McCready crashing into the wall. On the restart James Matson had to retire when he broke a drive shaft whilst Brett Constable and Chris Paul tangled on the top bend. After that McGill led the race until the closing stages when Michael Bethune caught and passed him before taking the win ahead of Conner and McGill.
The second heat saw Paul lead the field away but within a couple of laps McGill was ahead and pulling away. Matson and Conner were dicing for second with Stuart Wedderburn in close order and looking for a way through. This time though McGill wasn’t going to be caught and he went through to win from Conner and Matson.
The final was full of close dicing with Paul leading the field away whilst Conner had his hands full in trying to keep Wedderburn at bay. McGill moved into third but then retired on the back straight as Conner dived through into the lead. Wedderburn’s challenge began to drop away and when he retired it was Kevin Forrester who moved into second place. Bethune was making up round and he moved into third. However Conner had a big lead and he went on to win and receive a tyre from Crawftune Race Engines with Bethune snatching second and Forrester in third spot.
A few of the banger drivers had cancelled their booking but that didn’t stop them from making a few big hits.
Pete McVay ran away with the opening heat to win from Brian Youngson and Callum Campbell but as he exited the track McVay’s radiator blew up and he had to load up. Heat two saw Marc Morrison, Dougie McConnachie and Paul Cuthbert get themselves involved in a three car shunt on the pit bend. Campbell went through to win from Youngson and Lee Kopacz.
The final started with D. McConnachie, Kopacz and Lee Burden get involved but on a track covered in a snow blanket it took its toll of the drivers, D. McConnachie was able to restart and with the others running into trouble went on to win the final – the only car left running!
BriSCA F2 Stock Cars