The final World Championship qualifying round took place down at Skegness on Thursday and whilst there were quite a few changes to the line ups all the Scottish drivers survived. Gordon Moodie (Windygates) will start the semi-final from pole position in semi 2 with Euan Millar (Lockerbie) behind him. Further back Chris Burgoyne (Airth) is on row four but he is injured and will not race whilst Robbie Dawson (Aberdeen) starts from row 9. The British Champion Craig Wallace (Tranent) starts semi-final 1 on row 3 with Dennis Middler (Carnoustie) on row 8. The semi-finals are to be held at the Racewall on the 5th August.
The stock car meeting at the GMP Cowdenbeath Racewall on Saturday evening proved to be a rather wet one with the drivers struggling for grip on a soaken track which when it received a coating of oil it certainly made life difficult. The rain fell from start to finish and whilst the stands were full there were still the hardy spectators who brave the elements come what may!
Colin Forbes was certainly in the thick of the action, twice tangling with Euan Millar and then crashed quite heavily on his own accord during the Grand National. Dennis Middler nearly lost the second heat when he got caught up with a back marker but survived although his lead was drastically reduced. Craig Wallace and Kieran Howie tangled on the run up to the finish line during the final with both cars crossing the line backwards!
The banger drivers were not afraid to make contact resulting in the car of Gary Mentoplay brining his car onto the track with the rear wheels not in line and it didn’t take long for the other drivers to send him crashing out of the race. Ryan Martin brought a beetle out to race and ended up against the wall at the start to the final. David Linton was sent crashing into the wall on the main straight before limping into retirement. Lee Wilson made a very late lunge at Aaron Hastie towards the end of the opening heat resulting in both cars crashing heavily although both were to return for the final.
In the formula IIs Ian Thompson was having his first outing at the Racewall, Mark Farquhar was back down from Crimond whilst Marc Fortune was having a rare outing but Adam Blacklock was missing after suffering racing damage down south. The opening heat saw a couple of early leader changes before Paul Reid took over but no sooner had he done so when Millar and Forbes tangled and suspended the race with both cars coming to rest at the end of the main straight. Although Reid led on the restart Dennis Middler quickly caught then passed him before going through to win from P. Reid and Thompson. Forbes led the field away when heat two started and whilst P. Reid led for a while he lost out to Thompson. However Middler had made good time working his way through the field before closing in on the leader. A nudge sent Thompson wide and allowed Middler through into the lead and during the closing stages was hindered when lapping a back marker. This allowed Robbie Dawson to close right up but Middler held on to cross the finish line ahead of Dawson and Thompson.
Right at the start to the final Middler half spun in front of the red grade drivers but somehow survived without making contact. Forbes led only to loose out to P. Reid although he had Howie running in close order. Fortune was running at the front of the red graders but was slowly reeling in the leader. A three car tangle saw Millar drop a lot of places whilst Middler bounced off the wall and retired. Fortune got alongside P. Reid and then moved into the lead and whilst he came under pressure as Reid tried to retake the lead eventually pulled away. Behind them Howie was being caught by Craig Wallace and Dawson. Dawson was given a help going into the pit bend, hit the wall and had to retire. Wallace got ahead of Howie to take third but as the laps ran out Fortune took the win from P. Reid with Wallace in third but crossing the line backwards! Dawson then won the Grand National from Wallace with Gordon Moodie third and Fortune in ninth place.
The 1300 saloons were down on numbers but had Dougie Kidd having his first outing in them at the Racewall.
In heat one Fraser Clark made good use of his blue grade start to win the opening heat from Grant McGowan and Kidd whilst Wilson’s very late lunge on Hastie saw the latter crash heavily into the wall whilst Wilson limped around to grab seventh place. In heat two Kidd went through to win from Clark who snatched second from Stu McCaig on the last lap and then held off his challenge for the second spot. Lisa Freebairn ld the cars away when the final started with Clark making a good start and was soon closing in on the cars ahead. McCaig took the lead but then lost out to Clark who then went through to win from Kidd and McGowan.
Amongst the new faces in the prostox basics were Dougie Ford, Ryan Sher, Connor Jones, Willie Stewart, Aaron Cuthill and Scot Rankine. The opening heat saw Jillian Cartmel and Ford coming together resulting in Cartmel hitting a marker tyre, Ford broke a steering arm whilst Cuthill retired with a puncture.
Robert Grant went through to win from John Rankine and Megan Wilson. In heat two J. Rankine went through to win from Ford and Jones but Cuthill hit the pit bend wall hard and broke the rear hub on the car.
The final saw Sher and Jones fight over the lead for most of the race with Jones just getting the better of the exchanges to win from Sher and Ian Sutherland.
The hot saloons were back down from Crimond and in drawn grids Dave Largue led heat one from start to finish crossing the line clear of Ryan Farquhar and Mark Mathers. In a reverse grid Farquhar led heat two from start to finish and he was clear of Iain Whitecross and Largue. There final developed into an exciting race with Largue going straight into the lead but was then closed down by Farquhar. For the remainder of the race Farquhar pressured Largue and there were some “hairy” moments as they lapped back markers. However Largue held on to record a narrow win over Farquhar and Mathers.
The banger drivers were in their usual destructive modes and there was many a car that was left in a very sorry state! Darren Linton was the first to show when the first heat started but almost right away Dayle Ashell bounced off the wall and later Douglas Ashell was sent spinning and was collected by Mentoplay. Steve Allan sent the Linton car wide to take the lead before going on to win comfortably from Linton and Ryan Scott. Heat two was suspended almost before it had got going when Scott was dumped into the wall heavily leaving his car stranded across the track. On the restart Allan was spun and then Ryan Martin was sent wide into the wall and as he tried to get across the track hit Josh Heeps. Whilst Darren Linton led it was David Linton who caught and passed him before going on to a comfortable win over Marc Dalgarno and a recovering Allan.
The final saw Darren Linton lead the cars away with David Linton and Heeps tangling almost right away. Darren Linton was sent wide and out of the race allowing Allan back into the lead. Mentoplay was caught up in the action, his car was running sideways anyway and he retired. Heeps was sent spinning by David Linton and towards the end of the race Sean McConnachie was sent spinning by Allan and then hit by David Linton with both cars retiring. In the end Allan went through to win but he was chased all the way to the flag by Dalgarno whilst all the others were sidelined.
BriSCA F2 Stock Cars
1300 Stock Cars