Martin Spiers was an unlikely victor of the BriSCA F1 Scottish Championship at the Cowdenbeath Racewall on Saturday evening when he led home outgoing champion Tom Harris and former World Champion Lee Fairhurst.
Forty-four of the V8 giants made the long trip to the Racewall, mostly from south of the border although there was significant Scottish interest including F2 Scottish Champion Euan Millar, former Saloon Stock Car World Champion Stuart Shevill Jnr, former Scottish Lightning Rod & Saloon Stock Car Champion Lindsay Wilson, former F2 World Champion John Fortune along with Ron Ferguson and English-based Colin Nairn. Unfortunately, Nairn didn’t get out on to track having mechanical issues in pre-meeting practice.
The track was drying out from an earlier rain showers for pre meeting practice which saw former Scottish champion Craig Utley go quickest. Several top names were relatively far down the order owing to the continually changing track conditions.
Heat one saw 21 cars on track and was led away by Jacklyn Ellis. Ellis had a good lead until the race was stopped just before half-distance with Sam Jacklin being hit heavily into the wall. Ellis led the restart but was caught by Lee Fairhurst with around two to go but they ended up tangling, with Karl Hawkins nipping through to win from former Scottish Champion Frankie Wainman Jnr and Luke Davidson with Wilson in eighth. The remaining two cars were added to the grid for heat two which started with a heavy crash involving Kyle Gray before a huge incident that culminated with Mat Newson and Joff Gibson perched precariously on the wall. Eventually, it was Harris that went through to win from National Series Champion Stuart Smith and Will Hunter with Shevill Jnr placed fourth. A good field of cars assembled for the consolation which saw Fortune hit the wall hard on the turnstile bend, leading to major damage sufficient to end his night’s racing. Utley showed that he was a force to be reckoned with by taking the win, with Newson second and Danny Wainman third.
The atmosphere was electric as the cars roared following the “ladies and gentlemen...start your engines!” command. Ferguson led the race away as Tristan Jackson and Colin Goodswen trained into the wall whilst Phoebe Wainman and Hunter got hooked up at the turnstile bend and eventually came to a halt on the inside of the home straight. Ashley England went for a trip to the wall whilst Chris Cowley spun and retired in front of the stricken Goodswen car. Jackson rejoined just in front of Ferguson delaying him and allowing Spiers through into the lead. Harris and Fairhurst started to get their way through the pack and with two to run had passed second placed Shevill Jnr but Spiers was far enough clear to become the 2018 Scottish Champion in his new self-built car. Harris and Fairhurst completed the podium with Shevill Jnr and Ferguson ending up fifth and sixth respectively.
Harris took the Grand National, from Fairhurst and Hawkins in a race that featured a heavy knock to the wall for Steve Reedman and a roll over for Wayne Marshall.
A good field of twenty-three BriSCA F2 Stock Cars included Colin Gregg, Aaron Vaight and Jordon Thackra from south of the border and featured some close exciting racing. Heat one was a fast and furious one with the race running from flag to flag. British Champion Chris Burgoyne took victory, with Liam Rennie second and Scottish Champion Euan Millar third. Heat two was a similar story in that the race ran from flag to flag, but there was more incident with Robbie Dawson and Millar crashing heavily on the first bend and Will Lindsay Jnr and Emma Mellis tangling on the back straight. Adam Blacklock made the most of his yellow grade start by taking victory, from Burgoyne and Garry Sime. The final was led off by Craig Reid although he was soon overhauled by Ryan Farquhar and Blacklock with Gregor Turner leading the blue grade charge. The yellows appeared at around half distance however with Dawson hitting the wall heavily and requiring assistance out of his car. Burgoyne and Rennie made the most of the chance to catch the flying lower graders and went on to finish first and second, with Blacklock claiming third. The Grand National saw all 17 starters finish with Farquhar and Blacklock embroiled in a battle, which delayed them both allowing Gordon Moodie through to win, Rennie claiming second once again with the recovering Farquhar in third.
A slightly lower than expected turnout of 17 Saloon Stock Cars still led to some cracking action from the heavy metal brigade. Local drivers in action included Ross Watters (Leven), Raymond Dick (Glenrothes), Andrew and Euan Mathieson (Lochgelly) and Kyle Irvine (Glenrothes). The first race was relatively quiet with drivers having to be cautious throughout due to oil on the track left by the Formula Ones. Robin Copland took his first race win of the season, with Dick a good second place and Aaryn Triggs third whilst Watters was sixth and Irvine in tenth place. The second race was a slow burner of a race with Scottish Champion Irvine shedding a wheel with one lap to go. Watters led the field off on the restart and got a good break but Luke Grief still went for the last bend lunge and subsequently missed, allowing National Champion Graeme Shevill to nip through to take second place on the line from Luke Grief with E. Mathieson in seventh and just ahead of A. Mathieson with Dick ninth. The final developed to be a great battle between Watters, Grief, Ian McLaughlin and Ally Strachan with Watters eventually breaking free to win, from Grief and Strachan with Irvine in fifth and Dick tenth.
Twenty National Ministox made their way up from England to do battle and entertain the crowds. The first heat was fast and furious and saw Harley Burns carve his way through the pack to win from Josh Hamstead and Tom Armstrong. The second heat was stopped after Ryan Taylor hit the wall heavily and got stuck on the bend. On the restart it was National Points & World of Shale Champion Lewis Evans who capitalised and took the win, from brother Tyrone Evans and Jenson Brickley. The final was more laid back in comparison to the first two heats with Roger Stansfield turning his blue grade start into victory, from National Champion Jack Witts and Armstrong. Witts took the Grand National from Brickley and L.Evans, in a race which saw Rebecca Smith shed a wheel.
Six Micro F2 races were run prior to the start of the meeting proper and were run in very wet conditions that the youngsters adapted to admirably. Charlie Hardie took two wins, whilst the others were shared between Coby Laing, Archie Grindey, Joelan Maynard and Tom Lewney.
BriSCA F2 Stock Cars