News And Updates

Interview: Jim Turner talks to 622 Gary Paterson

25th January 2018

By day Gary Paterson attends Queen Anne school in Dunfermline where he is in fourth year but four nights a week the Saline youngster can be found in the garage working on his ministox. Gary, along with his dad Billy, spend plenty of hours working on the car to make sure that it is properly set up and ready for racing at the weekend be it at Cowdenbeath or as far south as Northampton. “When I leave school I would like to become a fabricator/welder and hope to get an apprenticeship somewhere local.”

“We did almost 45 meetings this year and probably over 50 the previous year” Gary told me. This year we brought out a new car but didn’t have an awful lot of luck. I think we have spent more time sorting the car this year than in previous seasons and as a result at times we were quite late in setting up the car. I get a real buzz from racing and whilst I am pals with most of the drivers when racing there is no favours given.”

“I had a big rollover at Cowdenbeath this year. I had just gone into the was lead from Taylor Borthwick when she hit me. I hit the wall and then the car barrel rolled. I think I went over three times before the car crashed back down onto the track. Luckily it landed on all four wheels and after sitting for a moment or two to catch my breath I stepped out of the car safely and unhurt. I went over to Taylor and told her that she had better win the race now!”

“However it took us a lot of hours working on the car – all four corners of the car were damaged - but once we got everything fabricated we took it over to Armadale where Stuart Borthwick and John Sibbald helped us to get the car ready for that weekends racing. Mind you weeks later we were still finding bits that needed fixing!”

“I suppose you could say that I had a mixed season. I had a lot of bad luck when I brought the new car out for some reason. The car had been half built when we bought it and we finished it off. Once we got it running as I wanted it to then it went well and I picked up some good results.”

“There was one meeting at the Racewall that stands out and it was the Keir Millar Tribute round. Danny Whyte and I were swapping places in the heats. I managed to get back into the lead late on during the first race to win. It was a close finish and really good fun ! I got spun in heat two and finished in seventh and I think I got a seventh in the final as well after Danny went or a last bend lunge on me which I am happy to say didn’t work!”

“The night that I rolled at the Racewall I had been racing for most of the first heat with Taylor and she just beat me to the finish line but it was close. In the second heat I ended up rolling my car. There had been a lot of race stoppages and each time that the race had restarted I was able to pull away. After the last one Taylor had managed to keep up with me and when she clipped my car that was that.”

“The RGM trophy meeting was a good one for me although I ended up in second place. I had managed to get through into the lead when there was a race suspension and this allowed the field to line up in single file behind me. I got away well when the race restarted but I just couldn’t keep Steven Burgoyne behind me and in the end whilst he won I finished in second place.

“I missed the Civic Week trophy - it was the only one I missed all year - but when the Scrutineers trophy was held I did well. There were a number of English cars up for that meeting and the racing was good. There was a stoppage after Brandon Morton’s car shed a wheel and again when Abbie McGuinness was sent crashing into the wall. I was spun but on a wet track my car was going well. After I was spun I dropped to the back of the grid but my car was really suited to the conditions. I was helped a bit when the leader was taken out and the field closed up. In the end I felt I did well but finished just out with the top ten. I then didn’t finish in the East of Scotland Championship and struggled at the Disco meeting final before I was spun and bounced off the pit gate.”

“I managed to race quite often down at Barford in the North of England. It is quite a tight track and it is sometimes quite hard to get the car going well there. In the Keir Millar memorial trophy meeting I got caught up in heavy shunt with Taylor and got knocked out. I was sent to Darlington hospital and by the time that they saw me I was felling a bit better. They gave me a thorough check and basically told me to take it easy and that it why I missed the Civic Week trophy!”

“The ORCi championship was also at Barford and there were a lot of cars there and the grid was decided on points. I started off in the second group of six cars and had a good race. There was a lot more laps than usual but after a while my car seemed to slow and I began to lose touch with the leading group of cars. I kept going and managed to hold on to my place and was really pleased to finish the race. I ended up

around tenth so was happy with my race.”

“When the English drivers turn up at Barford the racing is usually close and fairly competitive but my only gripe is that the promoter only gives a trophy to the winner.”

“In July we had the chance to race at Skegness and I loved the track. There were a lot of cars there and that was the first time that most of us had raced there. The racing was close and exciting and was unlucky in the final when a car spun in front of me and I hit it hard and wrecked the front end of my car. My dad and I spent the next day trying to repair the front bumper so we could race at Barford on the way home. We managed!”

“We also raced at Northampton and as a track I liked it. By the time that I had signed in and got myself ready they had closed the gates so I got no practice. My first heat was my first taste of the track. There were a lot of cars there mainly from the south west and they are so competitive. I managed a seventh in my first race but in the next the car developed a misfire. We had had to try to work out what gearing we should be using, tried various set ups and even changed the size of wheels we were using to get the car more competitive. The final was hectic and I ran with the leading group until I got held up. I got going again and managed to finish in the top ten. Was really pleased with how the car ran and I enjoyed the racing.”

“I missed the Taunton meeting unfortunately. It turned out to be a wet meeting there and as I have been going well I could have had some good results. My dad wasn’t well and didn’t really fancy the long drive there and back. Instead we went to the Racewall and I ended up wrecking the car”.

“I have also raced at Crimond and Lochgelly this year and have enjoyed the racing. Crimond always seems to have quite big fields of cars and the racing is always close and exciting. I managed to race at most of the Lochgelly meetings but I also rolled my car there.”

“I didn’t race at any of the shale tracks this year and so far my only experience on that surface was last year at Mildenhall. It was the British Championship. It was an amazing experience – different to say the least! I got taken out on the last corner of the first heat when well placed and suffered quite a bit of damage. But we got a lot of help and managed to get the car out for heat two and a good result meant that I started well up the grid and was the first Scottish driver on the grid. I made a good start to the race wand was sitting in fourth place at one stage in the race. There were a lot of stoppages with cars going everywhere. I felt that I was always turning right, even on the straights. There was a drainage hole in the track that you could bounce over if you were forced onto that line. I had a problem with my goggles and couldn’t see properly but in the end I finished in ninth place.”

“I ended up winning the Summer Series which consisted of races at five different tracks and I was really pleased to do so. I was third in the Disco Series which is was across the Scottish tracks and Barford. Last year I finished as runner up in the track points at Lochgelly and did the same this year at the Racewall. I suppose my best moment last year was when I was voted the Driver of the Year by the other drivers in 2016.

“I am 16 in May so will have to leave the minis and I have my sights set on a 1300 saloon. I will get experience in them for a couple of years and then hopefully head to the 2 litre saloons. My brother Jay starts racing minis this year and he will be out in my old car. Hopefully both of us will be racing at the sametime this year. I pity my mum – she won’t know which car to follow!”

“We don’t have a big budget for racing and whilst I get help from Jus Bounce, Mainbrace Marine Ltd, Sibbald Training, Wilson Autos, RS Motors, Hillend Motors, Ian Gilmour Transport. Jordan Cassie, and Craig Jones Signwriting their contribution is much appreciated. My dad Billy is my main mechanic and also my brothers Jay and Kerr whilst my sister Zola is good at hiding the tools. We also get support from Stuart Borthwick and John Sibbald. I suppose I had better include my mum, Mandy, who organises the food, books hotels, orders parts and picks them up and keeps me in check.”

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