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Racewall BriSCA F2 Review

17th November 2017

Jime Turner takes a look back at Season 2017 for the BriSCA F2s.

The formula II season may be over in Scotland but there are still a few meetings remaining south of the border with Gala Meeting at Birmingham on Saturday and then an out of season event at Kings Lynn.

This series of races is to determine who will race sporting the silver roof in 2018 came to its conclusion last Sunday with the drivers who qualified having to race at various tracks, the series started at King’s Lynn on 23rd September. On Sunday in a hard fought affair, Gordon Moodie (Windygates), the only Scottish driver, won the series and therefore the right to carry the Silver roof for another year. 

Moodie wasn’t the only Scottish driver to qualify but for various reasons Robbie Dawson (Aberdeen), Craig Wallace, (Tranent), Chris Burgoyne (Airth), and Euan Millar (Heck) declined to race in the series.

Congratulations go to Wallace who won the Racewall and the Barford track points championships and to Dawson who won the Crimond version.

At the start to the season it looked as if the formula II numbers were on the rise with Ryan Adamson (Freuchie), Millar, Alex Gault (Carluke) and Mark Somerville (Kirkcaldy) were joining the ranks but Adamson wrote off his car in practice whilst Somerville disappeared after a few outings. Millar on the other hand was just out of the minis and he set his sights on the Novice of the Year title, which he subsequently won, whilst Gault only raced occasionally.
Liam Rennie (Duntrune) returned to the scene but wasn’t able to race on a weekly basis and it took him a few outings before he got the car set up as he liked and once he did he was very competitive.

Stevie Forster (Carluke), Garry Sime (Dundee), Ian Thompson (Kennoway) and Dennis Middler (Carnoustie) all had new cars whilst Dawson, Kieran Howie (Dunfermline) had bought cars from other drivers. However the twos lost another driver when Burgoyne was injured in a shunt down at Bristol when defending his British Championship and this sidelined him for the remainder of the season. Burgoyne had qualified for the National Series when he won the Scottish Championship. The British Championship had an ironic twist to it when it was won by Wallace and from this meeting he seemed to grow in stature and he went on to dominate the racing at the Racewall.

Burgoyne dominated the early months of the racing building up a useful lead in the track points but when the World Championship qualifying round came around in April there were only three visitors from south of the border.
Heat wins went to Gordon Moodie (Windygates) and Burgoyne and not long after the final started Moodie and Burgoyne tangled with the race having to be restarted. This time it was Dawson who made the decisive break and he went on to win from Wallace and a recovering Moodie.

The following day the twos headed up to Crimond for their World Championship qualifying round and whilst Millar won both the heats, Moodie got the better of him during the final to win. A fortnight later it was time for the Scottish Championship with Middler defending the title he won last year capitalizing when both Burgoyne and Moodie ran into problems. This year… well it turned out to be a different story! The cars lined up in a drawn graded order but on the opening lap Rennie and Sime tangled causing the race to be restarted. There was another race stoppage this time after Brian Hogg (Berwick) stopped on the main straight. Howie led the field away but was quickly brushed aside as Burgoyne and Moodie charged through. Moodie got ahead of Burgoyne but then there was another stoppage after Colin Forbes (Broxburn) spun. Whilst Moodie led a lap later Burgoyne sent him wide before going through to win and securing a spot in the National Series.

Moodie secured his place in the National Series when he won the Ben Fund race at Taunton but at the end of June Burgoyne was injured at Bristol and with Wallace winning the British he was in the National series.
Paul Reid (Cowdenbeath) went on to win a final on a wet and miserable night and instead of dropping down to the yellow grade ended up as a red top!

The formula II semi-finals were held at the Racewall and attracted the top 56 drivers from the Qualifying rounds and the pits were full and overflowing. There was a tremendous atmosphere in the stadium and that was heightened when Wallace got the better of Polley to win the first semi. The atmosphere was electric for the second with Moodie on pole position and he went on to lead the race from start to finish with Dawson coming from mid order to claim second spot. The final would determine who would start the World final from pole position depending on where the highest placed driver from Moodie’s or Wallace’s semi finished. As it was Gregor Turner (Dunfermline) won the race from Moodie, Wallace and Dawson. Turner won the Chapman trophy but Wallace secured pole position for the World at King’s Lynn.

A fortnight later Polley won the Nationals Championship, Wallace the Geo Mac 100 memorial trophy and Middler the Turner trophy at the Racewall before the drivers headed to King’s Lynn. For the first time ever the front row of a World Final grid was a Scottish one with Moodie using Burgoyne’s shale car and Wallace in the car belonging to Blair Anderson (Brechin). Wallace led the cars away when the World started whilst Moodie sent Polley wide and into the fence. However Wallace was spun and Polley drove into him. Wim Peeters (Netherlands) capitalised on the situation to take the lead and went on to defend his title from Moodie. There was a bit controversy in the post race scrutineering bay but after a couple of days the result stood.

BriSCA then announced sweeping changes to the formula II specifications with the Racewall drivers holding a meeting where all the points were discussed and a copy of the minutes were sent down to all parties concerned. This resulted in quite a few drivers deciding not to race although the white/yellow series final was still run and won by Colin Stewart (Crimond). The Grand National Championship was switched from Northampton to the Racewall – the only available date not to clash with the National Series and it proved to be another success for Wallace. Spare a thought for Stevie Forster (Carluke) who rolled his formula II at the end of one meeting and then within a lap the meeting the following week!

The closing weeks of the season saw drivers raise concern about the proposed rul changes for 2018 and 2019. These along with other issues raised led to some drivers opting not to race which left depleted fields of cars on track. 

When the National Series came to the Racewall it was Mitchell who had a 2 point advantage over Polley with Moodie and Palmer a further 8 points behind. The first heat ended in disaster for Paul Reid who blew an engine almost as soon as the race started. Moodie went on to win with it was John Hogg (Berwick) winning heat two. Moodie spun right at the start to the final but restarted and was making his way back up the order only to be sent into the wall by Mitchell. Craig Reid (Cowdenbeath) and Polley locked bumpers resulting in both spinning as Dawson went through to win. Moodie was back out for the Grand National and won and with Polley in seventh they were equal on points when the left the Racewall. The following day at Barford Moodie outscored Polley to lead by 14 points.

There was a healthy turn out of drivers for the last meeting of the year. There were drivers from Northern Ireland and England on the grid with Thompson winning the Champion of Champions race and Wallace the James Clarke Cochrane Memorial trophy. The same night Moodie extended his lead when they raced at Birmingham and then to 44 points after the meeting at Northampton on the Sunday with Polley still in second place. which brings us neatly back to last Sundays National Series finale where a large contingent of Scottish fans converged on Belle Vue for the National Series Finale which saw 7 Gordon Moodie crowned champion. 

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