A WARM and pleasant evening greeted drivers, teams and fans as they gathered in big numbers this past Saturday at HRP Lochgelly Raceway kicked off its “September to Remember” with a double Scottish Championship event plus Banger Ramp Racing and much, much more in an action-packed night, writes our Raceway reporter Les Waller.

The CC Rods were first on track and it didn’t take long for proceedings to burst into life as Lee Scott went for a spectacular rollover on the back straight, rolling at least twice, Lee then fired up the car and drove away – great stuff!

National Points and Scottish Champion, Ian Donaldson, had a coming together with Brian Allen during the race which saw both drivers taking matters into their own hands but none of this deterred Stewart Aitken who took full advantage of his starting slot to pick up the win.

The second heat saw a few less cars due to mechanical and disciplinary matters but it was another good race which saw an overdue win for Brandon Gourlay.

The feature final saw another fantastic race with some frenetic action during the early laps as heat two winner Gourlay led the way but the likes of Aitken and Bell were flying from further down the grid and, at the flag, it was Aitken who claimed his second win of the night ahead of Donaldson and Gourlay, after Bell was docked to fourth for contact.

The Stock Rods were also in a supporting role this past Saturday but a fantastic entry of twenty cars, including three English visitors in the form of Graham Booty, Daniel Rea and Maison Waugh, underlined the strength of the formula with less than three weeks to go until their British Championship at HRP Lochgelly Raceway.

The September gradings were in effect for the first time with a number of drivers moving up or down the grid and this produced some great action in heat one with Alan Cuthbert (recently moved down to yellow) taking his first win in a while!

The race was punctuated by an incident on the very first corner which eliminated three quarters of the white grade as they crashed out together. The second heat saw Cuthbert’s fellow yellow grader, Doug McLean, take a fine win as he beat John Venters and Cuthbert to the line.

The feature final was run in perfect conditions under the HRP floodlights and it was a great race to watch with plenty going on throughout the grid. Former British Champion, Andy Grant, stormed to the front of the pack in short order to cross the line first but a subsequent video review saw the #7 driver docked to third place for contact when overtaking Alan Cuthbert which elevated Doug McLean to the status of final winner ahead of white-top Connar Venters, who had been in great form all night battling it out with much more experienced drivers all night but still claiming a second and fourth in the heats to go along with his runners-up spot in the final.

The first of the Scottish Championship races on track was the 1300 Stock Car Scottish Championship.

The meeting saw a welcome return to the formula of former two-time Scottish Champion Lee Buchan plus former BriSCA F1 racer Paul Ford making his debut. The out of the hat draw saw Lochgelly’s own Billy Wilson draw the favourable starting slot of grid position three and, as the green flag dropped, Wilson shot into the lead while all hell broke loose behind him with the bumpers flying in – notably from the Mathieson brothers and defending champion Dean McGill.

While Wilson carried on up front, a battle royal was taking place as the likes of Andrew Mathieson, Ryan McGill, Dean McGill and James Ellis jostled for position but it was to no avail as Wilson was well ahead and stayed there until the chequered flag to claim the 2017 1300 Stock Car Scottish Championship ahead of Ryan McGill and Andrew Mathieson. The subsequent heats saw more heavy bumper-work but it was National Points Champion Euan Mathieson who claimed heat one while Andrew Mathieson took the spoils in heat two on a great night of action that has whetted the appetite of many as the next 1300 Stock Cars event at HRP Lochgelly Raceway will be the World Championship on September 23!!!

The ProStocks also had their Scottish Championship on Saturday night and a very respectable seventeen cars arrived to do battle including defending champion Tam Melrose on a rare outing, while former champion Ian Taylor made his return to the formula. Sadly, for Taylor, mechanical issues plagued his new steed all night which prevented him from mounting a serious challenge.

The random draw saw Melrose start on pole for the first heat and he took full advantage to take an easy win ahead of Robert Hamilton and Jason McAlpine.

The second heat saw drivers start in a reverse grid from that of heat one and it was Grady Ross who took the win ahead of Ryan O’Shea while Melrose had made his way through the field for third which secured pole position for the big race.

Melrose and Hamilton lined up on the front row for the Scottish Championship race and Melrose shot into the lead as the green flag fell and Melrose sailed off into the night while Hamilton settled into second a good distance ahead of third place Ian Christie, and that is how they stayed until the end with Melrose successfully defending his Scottish title and laying a marker down for the World Cup here at HRP Lochgelly Raceway in just under six weeks’ time.

The final formula on show were the Back to Basics Bangers which were making their debut in Scotland and still managed a decent number, despite other banger events elsewhere, with some rather different cars on display in the formula that many regard as the proper “old-school” style of banger racing.

Two nudge and spin heats would begin the evening with James Dillon claiming the first win in heat one which was relatively quiet. However, the blue touch paper had been well and truly lit by the time of heat two as both Lee Clarke and Justin Gold managed spectacular rollovers much to the huge crowds’ amusement as Michelle Murdoch went through to take the win.

The feature final for the Bangers saw HRP’s little ramp in situ on the back straight as the cars took flight to take the spoils. Murdoch managed to come through the chaos to take her second win of the night before the race was brought to a halt ahead of a Demolition Derby which saw some huge hits put in, most notably by James Dillon who took the win after a huge head-on with Callum Campbell before finishing his car off in style as he pile-drived into the car of his own son!!! Great entertainment!!!

This Saturday September 9 sees Championship Fever continue at HRP Lochgelly Raceway as over thirty Big Van Bangers descend on HRP Lochgelly Raceway for their Scottish Championship, racing begins at 5:30pm.


News reaches us that HRP’s own William Hardie has claimed the 2.0 Hot Rod European Championship at Nno Ter Apel raceway in Holland with fellow Scotsman and World Champion Gordon Alexander in the runners-up spot. Hardie went on to also claim the Dutch Open title as the Scottish drivers claim a 2017 Grand Slam of all major titles in the formula!!!