THERE was plenty of drama at the Cowdenbeath Racewall over the championship weekend starting off with a fire in the food building on the back straight with two appliances turning out to assist in extinguishing the blaze,writes our Racewall reporter Jim Turner!
The StoxKarts buzzed around the track but there was an explosive start to their first heat with the cars of Matthew Fenton and Jack Morgan crashing into the wall and rolling with the latter’s car ending up on Andy Passey’s car.
On Sunday Leon Stewart won the ORCi stock car European Championship but he had to be at his best to do so. An early shunt removed the leader from the race whilst later on Scottish hopes took a dent when Michael Bethune and Jim Pitcaithly tangled resulting in both cars retiring.
The main race on Saturday night was the formula II Scottish Championship with Dennis Middler defending his title. The favourites to win were Gordon Moodie or Chris Burgoyne but in stock cars almost anything can happen. Local drivers in action were Kieran Howie (Dunfermline), Paul and Craig Reid (Cowdenbeath), Dale Burt (Lochgelly) and Gordon Moodie (Windygates).
The cars lined up in a drawn graded order but on the opening lap Liam Rennie was eased wide on the pit bend before tangling with Garry Sime on the top bend and suspending the race. Sime was able to restart but Rennie’s car had sustained damage as well as a broken aerofoil.
On the restart C. Reid led the pack away but within a couple of laps Kieran Howie was ahead. However, when Brian Hogg’s car came to rest on the main straight the race was suspended. On the restart Howie led the field away but within a lap or so Burgoyne was leading from Moodie.
A couple of laps later Moodie managed to get inside of Burgoyne to take the lead and soon had a couple of cars lengths advantage. Not long after that Colin Forbes spun on the turnstile bend suspending the race. On the restart Moodie led but Burgoyne was in close order and within a couple of laps had managed to get through on the inside to take the lead. Behind the leaders Robbie Dawson, Craig Wallace and Middler were dicing but it wasn’t until the closing stages that Wallace forced his way into third.
Burgoyne then reeled off the remaining laps to win his third Scottish Championship from Moodie with Wallace just hanging onto third spot whilst Howie was ninth and P. Reid tenth.
Moodie then won the heat which followed from Howie and Burgoyne whilst the final saw Burgoyne go through to win from Moodie and Howie.
Moodie then won the Grand National from Middler and Rennie with Burgoyne finishing in seventh, Howie in eighth after a spin and P. Reid in tenth place.
There was a good turn out of ORCi stock rods for their Gilmore Engineering sponsored European Championship with the defending champion being Scotsman Michael Bethune. Amongst the others in action was the World Champion Luke Oliver and the British and Scottish Champion Jim Pitcaithly who had just become the ORCi Champion. The drivers were racing for points which would determine their grid position for Sunday’s championship race. Local drivers on the grid included James Matson (Glenrothes), Jim Pitcaithly (Kirkcaldy), Simon Laing (Springfield), James Halkett (Cowdenbeath) and Michael Bethune (Kirkcaldy).
Heat one saw white grade driver Jack Patchett win with Halkett in fifth whilst Trevor Calvin came out on top in heat two from Laing with Halkett sixth. Patchett then picked up his second win in heat three with Halkett fifth, Laing seventh and Pitcaithly ninth. Calvin then won heat four with Bethune in fourth and Pitcaithly in sixth place. James Gray went on to win heat five where he crossed the line just ahead of Bethune with Pitcaithly fourth.
Amongst the MASCAR drivers were Scotsmen John McFarlane (Dunfermline) and Alex Sharp (Cowdenbeath) who were running in the hire cars. Heat wins went to Robin Bath but Sharp was ninth in heat one finishing just ahead of McFarlane. Steve Stanford then won the final from Dan Ashton and Bath with Sharp in eighth but McFarlane crashed out.
The junior JASCARS saw heat wins go to James Wallis and Toni Rogers with the latter winning the final from Wallis and Jacob Cushion.
In the StoxKarts heat wins went to Ryan Jones and Carl Nunn with Jones winning the final from C. Nunn and Danny Nunn.
On Sunday the feature formula was the ORCi stock rod drivers who were contesting their European Championship. the last chance qualifying round ended with Kevin Forrester going through to win from Aaron Moody and Brian Keir.
The grid paired Calvin on pole with Patchett alongside and the defending champion back on row six. Calvin made the better of the starts to lead from Stewart and Patchett but on lap three there was a shunt which claimed Calvin and Cameron Doak. This left Stewart in the lead but there was another stoppage after Bethune and Pitcaithly tangled. Stewart led on the restart with Patchett on his tail and it stayed that way even after another race suspension. As the laps began to dwindle Patchett got inside Stewart with Oliver now in third. On the penultimate lap Stewart retook the lead as Patchett dropped back, his car running out of fuel, but Stewart now had Oliver closing quickly. However Stewart held on to win from Oliver, Nial McFarran and Patchett with Laing in tenth place.
The hot rod qualifying round saw Billy Bonnar (Ballingry) and Ian McGuigan win the heats with the latter winning the final from Bonnar and Steven Armit.
The MASCAR heats were won by Ali Topley and Oliver Faller whilst in a hard fought Scottish Championship Robin Bath went through to win from Ali Topley and Steve Stanford with Sharp in eighth and McFarlane in tenth place.
The JASCAR heats were won by Toni Rogers but Scottish Championship saw Todd Garner and Toni Rogers fight it out and when it looked as if the lead was going to change hands, Rogers spun. This left Todd Garner clear and he won from Toni Rogers and Freddie Mutimer.
The Stoxkart heats were fast with plenty of contact with Joe Higgins and Jones coming out on top. The Scottish Championship saw the lead change hands often as Ryan Jones led home James hall-Morton and Carl Nunn to win
The saloon drivers were in good form with Ryan Muirhead having his first routing of the year. Local drivers on the rid included Kyle Irvine (Glenrothes), Derek Duff (Cupar), Raymond Dick (Glenrothes), James Strath (Cellardykes), Duncan Welsh (Kelty), Ross Watters (Leven), Callum McIvor (Inverkeithing)
Heat one saw James Letford go through to win from Stevie Honeyman, Ian McLaughlin and Watters with Duff in sixth and Irvine in tenth. Heat two saw Welsh win from McLaughlin and S. Honeyman with Irvine in sixth and just ahead of Watters.
Welsh was soon through into the lead when the final started and was still ahead at the close where he won from S. Honeyman, Paul Honeyman and Watters with Irvine in sixth and Dick in tenth place.
This Saturday the formula IIs are back in action but have the Rookie Bangers, minis and microf2s in action. The minis are contesting a Keir Millar memorial series round with the microf2 drivers taking to the track at 5.45pm