The stock car season opener at the Cowdenbeath Racewall on Saturday night was held in a downpour and as a result there were plenty of spins as the drivers searched for a grip. The football pitch was flooded in places and when the pitch had been cleared the snow was piled up around the edges and any melted snow was trickling onto the track. Most of the spectators were in the stand but there were a few hardy ones around the pit bend.
There were some spectacular cornering and when some of the drivers were under pressure there was some lurid pressure much to the delight of the spectators.
New cars were on show from Tam Rutherford Jnr, Greg and Marc Honeyman in the 2 litre National Saloons whilst Ian Sutherland, Stuart Macdonald and Jason Secker were making their saloon debuts.
John Hogg had changed the power unit in his BriSCA Formula II whilst Ewan Mackie and Peter Watt were having their first competitive race. Liam Rennie was back with a new paint scheme but Paul Reid was back out with his “old” car after having run out of time to get his new car completed.
In the 1300 Saloons James Ellis was having his first run at the Racewall whilst Glen Heeps was back racing although he had switched from the 2 litre National Saloons to the 1300 Saloons.
There was a good turn out of Prostock drivers and they welcomed back Camie McGowan who had been missing since retiring from the Minis.
There was a dearth of Formula II drivers at the track, the lowest for sometime with quite a few drivers just on the point of finishing off their cars after the recent rule changes.
The opening heat saw Hogg go straight into the lead from Paul Reid with the cars keeping as close to the wall as possible as they look for grip. Liam Rennie was making up ground on Reid who was then delayed. Craig Wallace had managed to open a gap over Robbie Dawson and then began to reel in Rennie. However there was no stopping Hogg who went on to win from Wallace, who grabbed second from Rennie with only a couple of laps remaining.
Heat two followed a similar pattern with Hogg making the better of the starts to lead and then set about opening up a useful lead before going through to make it two wins out of two. Rennie this time held on to second with Wallace in third spot.
The final was exciting and when it started Hogg again managed to make an early break but clipped the wall although he was able to continue. This however let Rennie close and he dived inside just at the half distance to lead. Hogg though was able to hold on and whilst Rennie won the first final of the season, Hogg was a couple of car lengths adrift with Wallace a close third.
The Grand National ended with Hogg making it three wins out of four and he led home Wallace and Dawson with Rennie in sixth place.
There was a good turn out of drivers in the 2 litre National Saloons who were quite impressive in the wet conditions.
The first race of the night was a white/yellow challenge heat and it gave Tam Rutherford Jnr a win where he fended off Eck Cunningham and Neil Linden.
There was plenty of action in the first heat where Ross Watters made light work of splashing his way from the back of the grid into the lead. Once there he eased away crossing the line clear of Greg Honeyman and Barry Russell. When heat two started Rutherford Jnr was quickly through into the lead although Watters was soon making up ground. However a brush with the wall saw Watters race end on the centre green. Marc Honeyman ended up in the lead and he went on to win from Russell and Rutherford Jnr was had pushed Russell all the way around the pit bend as he tried to make up a spot.
Despite the conditions the final was frantic with Sutherland leading the cars away but next time around Rutherford Jnr was leading. Cunningham got caught up with another car and spun allowing Russell through into second place but his time there was short lived when Watters dived inside of a group of cars to find himself in the lead. Russell was then sent spinning as G. Honeyman moved into second place but Rutherford Jnr was making up ground and was soon challenging M. Honeyman for third. However no sooner had he grabbed the place then he was sent spinning. Watters was now well clear and he went through to pick up his second win of the night leading home G. and M. Honeyman.
There was a good turn out of 1300 saloon drivers although again a few hadn’t managed to get their cars ready for action. Amongst those in action were local drivers
The first heat saw James Ellis go through to win fairly comfortably from Glen Heeps and Aaron Hastie. However in heat two it was Heeps who charged through to win from Ellis and Grant McGowan.
If anything the track was even more treacherous than it had been before and when it started Lisa Freebairn go straight into the lead and began to pull away from the pack. Ellis, Heeps and Stu McCaig were fighting it over second spot. Ellis and Heeps tangled and spun elevating McCaig into second spot with Fraser Clark moving into third. Clark moved ahead of McCaig but it wasn’t until the closing stages of the race that he took the lead. Lee Wilson tangled with Ellis resulting in both cars spinning on the top bend. Clark then coasted through to win from Freebairn with McCaig finishing in third spot.
There was a good turn out of Prostock drivers but like the other formula struggled on a wet and greasy surface. Amongst those racing were
Darren Rae strolled to an easy opening heat win where he led home John Mason and Alex Hamilton. However in heat two it was Robert Hamilton who made an early break and he coasted to an easy win over A. Hamilton and Paul Barron.
When the final started Rae was an early casualty being sent bouncing off the pit bend wall and out of the race. It was beginning to look as if it was going to be between A. and R. Hamilton for the win only for a race suspension to bunch up the field. Within a couple of laps of the restart Barron forced his way through into the lead before going through to win from Jason McAlpine and Mason.
BriSCA F2 Stock Cars
1300 Stock Cars