DRIVERS, teams and fans gathered in large numbers this past Saturday at HRP Lochgelly Raceway to celebrate the life of Keir Millar who tragically passed away after a racing accident almost two years ago.
A minute’s applause was held for Keir shortly before the meeting began with the formula that Keir began his racing career in, the Ninja Karts. Keir was the first and, so far, only Scottish driver to win the World Cup but, without the dedication of Keir and his family along with the other original Ninja Kart drivers, the formula would not have become the success that it has with the Scottish youngsters currently dominating the formula on an international level.
As always, the first Ninja Kart race was for the lower graded white and yellow drivers but this in no way detracted from the fact that the race produced some great entertainment and action. Peterhead’s Demi Ritchie took up the early running and made good progress as she sped around the track but a fast-moving Rachael Kidd was reducing the gap in what appeared to be a new or refurbished kart.
Rachael soon made her way to the front and held on for victory with Demi claiming second ahead of Kaydan Day. Heat One saw the blues and reds join in the fun including the 2017 European Champion Robbie Armit who was displaying his newly painted wing for the first time.
Whites and yellows runner-up Demi Ritchie made the early running once again in this one but, with a larger number of karts on track and the higher graded drivers, Demi’s lead was overhauled before the end though and it was European Champion Robbie Armit who claimed his first win as champion.
Heat Two saw Kaitlyn Park putting her growing racing experience to good use as she led for a good portion of the race but the Ninja Karts are famed for their chaos and, indeed, several drivers were caught out by an incident on turn four which eliminated a number of the front runners including the two previous race winners Kidd and Armit.
It was Northern Ireland’s Aaron Ward who crossed the first but he was docked two places for a blatant jump start which saw Bailey Millar (Keir’s little cousin) claim a fantastic and appropriate win. The final Ninja Kart race was another of high speed and high quality and saw Harry Robertson come through for what may be his first race win of the season after a spectacular last lap challenge for the lead saw him take the chequered flag ahead of Rachael Kidd and Robbie Armit to round off a brilliant night of Ninja Kart Action.
Keir graduated to the Ministox formula after his storybook Ninja Kart career and he took to the formula like a duck to water with many race wins in his fledgling Ministox career.
Twenty-four Ministox drivers gathered to race in memory of their much-missed friend and rival including English visitors Aaron Totham and Charlie Santry. However, it was Scotsman Steven Burgoyne who came through the field to claim the win ahead of a flying Ryan Borthwick – this continued a great week for Burgoyne who had claimed the ORCi Championship six days earlier. Burgoyne has looked quick all season and it was him and HRP National Points Champion Sean Naismith who sliced their way through the busy pack to be at the front of heat two but Naismith had made the crucial move a few laps from the end of the racer to get ahead and stay ahead for the win.
The feature final was another excellent race with action at every turn and the bumpers being used to full effect. Saline’s Gary Paterson had been moved to blue grade after a period at red and he took full advantage to make a clean getaway to claim the final win with Burgoyne picking up another runners-up spot while newly promoted red top Mika Millar took an excellent third place.
The 1300 Stock Cars were back in action for the latest round of the MR Coachworks and Ringtone Racepaints Series with £1000 in total up for grabs. Fourteen cars took to the track for heat one including English visitors Dan Santry and Dougie George.
The bumpers were flying in this race and the crowd were treated to a proper stock car race but it was Jordan Cassie who came through to take the win ahead of Dan Santry and Lochgelly’s Billy Wilson.
Heat Two saw Santry go one better as he picked up what may be his first win in the formula as he took the chequered flag in fine style with Lochgelly duo Wilson and Euan Mathieson completing the top three. The feature final saw a few cars missing due to earlier damage but the drivers put on a frenetic show as they battled for every position. It was Euan Mathieson who came through for yet another final win for Euan Mathieson ahead of Craig Haxton and Scottish Champion Dean McGill.
The 2.0 Hot Rods were also on show and another good turnout of cars were on hand including English visitor Martin Heath who was taking the opportunity to get in some laps ahead of the David Philp Commercials British Championship at HRP Lochgelly Raceway on June 10th and 11th.
The first race saw Colin Seath make most of the running but his car appeared to go off in the closing stages which saw the likes of Alex Wilson and William Hardie close the gap and it was Hardie who managed to get his nose ahead of Wilson on the start/finish line to take the win with Gerry Hendry taking third. Heat Two saw Hardie cross the line first once again but he was docked two places for contact with Scottish Champion Gordon Alexander during the race which elevated new yellow top Kevin Stewart to victory lane and the race win. The feature final saw Seath make the early running once again and the question was whether he could hold on for the win this time or if he would be caught during the long twenty-five lap race. Seath is an experienced driver and maintained his composure while the likes of Hardie and Alexander battled with each other behind him. It took Hardie and Alexander some time to overhaul second placed Kevin Stewart with some spectacular side by side racing thrilling the fans. Sadly for Stewart, it looked like the pressure told as he spun out from contention but this battle had given Seath enough time to extend his lead and he crossed the line first to take an excellent win ahead of Hardie and Alexander.
The final formula on show are synonymous with the Millar family and the thirty National Bangers (this time in 1400cc Micro Banger form) did not disappoint as they raced in memory of young Keir. While thirty cars started heat one; only five finished with England’s Craig Royal taking the win. Royal repeated his feat in heat two with another relatively easy win with Doug McConacchie the only other finisher in a race with around twenty starters! The feature final saw former ProStocks racer Tam Melrose take the coveted win while Chris Speirs was the winner of a short but spectacular Demoilition Derby to conclude a great night of action in memory of a special young man.
The next slice of stock car action comes to HRP Lochgelly Raceway this Saturday May 13th and features the Superstox, Stock Rods, ProStocks and CC Rods – four formula that have been in brilliant form so far this year. The Junior Productions kick things off at 5:30pm with some pre-meeting demonstration races.