THERE will again be two Paterson brothers, who reside in Saline, racing stock cars at the Cowdenbeath Racewall this coming season although Jay, who raced Ministox in 2021 is now over age and it will be the youngest of the brothers, Kerr who will be making his Ministox debut.

In this week’s Racewall interview our reporter, Jim Turner, speaks to the Paterson family

The eldest of the brothers is Gary, who along with his dad, Billy, are the main mechanics for the team although the boys do help.

Over the 2020/21 winter they spent numerous long nights in their garage working on three stock cars. The main reason for that was that Gary had just bought a 2 Litre Saloon from Kyle Irvine, and was keen to get the car ready for action as soon as possible. They also had another Mini for Jay, which was stripped and converted into a stock car whilst building one for Kerr. Busy times! Gary is an apprentice HGV mechanic with Nelson’s, in Kelty, whilst both Jay and Kerr are pupils at Queen Anne High School in Dunfermline.

Gary told me: “I had the saloon ready to race at the beginning of July so the first meeting I raced in was the Skegness UK Championship.

“It was amazing. I started all my races from the back of the grid and did manage to get into the results in one of the races but didn’t qualify for the Championship. There were around thirty cars in each heat and I learnt a lot. It was a great experience.

“Back at the Racewall, I struggled with a misfire and over the European Championship weekend managed to pick up a result in the Allcomers. It took us a few meetings to overcome the misfire, but once I did, I was able to sort the car out resulting in me leading quite a few races. I won the Turner Trophy final at the end of August and had led the whites and yellows final only to clip the wall resulting in the car’s battery to pack up and I didn’t finish.”

Gary went on: “The Superbowl weekend was a bit of a disaster. The track was wet and greasy and to get the best grip you need to run as close to the wall as possible.

“I was shunted into the wall during my first heat and spent the rest of the night fixing the car. I started at the very back of the grid for the final but enjoyed a trouble free run and ended up in seventh place.

“On the Sunday the track was still wet and greasy but I made a good start to the Gordon Barclay Memorial race and was leading, although I had Eck Cunningham running behind. I started to lap back markers but one car, just in front of me, spun, sent me into a spin and I crashed out. I led the second Allcomers but I was getting caught and went into the pit bend too hard, hit the wall and broke my steering arm and had to retire.

“Overall, it had been a good start to my career in the Saloons and I will start this season from the yellow grade. I am busy revamping the car just now and it should be ready for the start to the season. I intend to race in as many of the championship events as I can but it will all depend on how the racing goes.”

Jay ended his Ministox career as the GMP National Points Champion, and if he hadn’t reached the tender age of sixteen would have raced the full season with the silver roof on his car.

He did, though, manage a couple of meetings with the silver roof on his car at the end of the season. As it is he is more than likely to take a year out and is hoping to race a Saloon in 2023: “I might try a Banger next year but will wait and see.

“My mum Mandy might have a fit if I do!” he smiled. Jay hopes to follow Gary and become a motor mechanic when he leaves school.

He added: “My last season in the Minis was a really good one. I used the car that had been built over the winter and it ran well and I was able to pick up some good results. Maybe I didn’t win as often as I would have liked but the car was consistent and there were very few races that I didn’t finish in the top ten.

“Starting from the red grade was hard and you had to fight your way through fields of over twenty cars, especially in a contact formula. My first meeting didn’t get off to a good start though – I didn’t score a point!

“I finished seventh in the Scottish Championship, although in the early stages I had been challenging for the lead only to be sent spinning. I restarted well down the order but had a good run to finish where I did.

“The British Championship was at the Racewall and there was a lot of cars. Mine ran well throughout the night and I managed to finish in seventh place in all of my three heats.

“The field lined up in groups of six and with my three finishes I was in the middle of the second group. When the race started, I made up a couple of places early on and by the half distance was into the top five. As the race progressed, I began to catch the cars ahead of me.

“With only a few laps remaining I moved into third which became second when the leading car was spun. The last lap wasn’t so good though, I was sitting in second place, but going into the last bend I was punted wide and had to settle for fourth place. I was disappointed with the outcome as the car had been running really well. I then finished in fifth place in the Keir Millar Memorial Trophy race and rounded off the meeting with a third place in the Allcomers”

“I missed the championship at Crimond due to a bout of Covid but was clear to race for the Nationals at Skegness. I had blown my engine at the Racewall and got the use of Bobby Brandon’s spare. The car ran really well in practice and I ended up with the fourth fastest time. I did alright in the heats but during the final I had been running towards the front until gearbox troubles set in and I struggled over the closing laps and in the end brought my car home in seventh place.

“Back home we had a couple of engines sitting in the garage that we had raced before and managed to get enough parts to build one. The engine turned out to be good and during qualifying for the East of Scotland Championship had two top ten finishes and another good run in the final where I ended up in fifth place.

“I won a heat on October 16 and came home as the runner-up in the Scrutineers Challenge final. Our last meeting was for the Sharpies Shield and my car ran well and I ended up in second place. I ended up third place in the track points but was well clear in the GMP National Points.”

Kerr, who had been sitting quietly, then said: “I had a practice session in Jay’s car at the end of the season.

“It felt good to be on the track and I am looking forward to the start of the season. I will be a white grade driver when the racing starts and hope to get a win or two under my belt before too long. I will be using Jay’s car as mine has been recently been sold!”

Sitting on the side lines is the youngest in the family, Zola, and she must be heading to Micro F2 age!

Both Jay and Kerr help out working on the cars, although that depends on school homework, with Gary and his dad doing most of the work in their Saline garage. The team enjoy sponsorship from Mainbrace, Jus Bounce, IGT, Sibbald Training, Wilson Autos, Dainty Designz, Armadale MOT Service and Megan Wilson.

New Year meeting this weekend

THE rescheduled New Year meeting will take place this Saturday (January 29) at the Cowdenbeath Racewall with a start time of 1pm.

Already there are thirteen Prostock Basic drivers booked in to race including Callum Rennie (Glenrothes), Dave Rennie (Kinglassie) and Taylor Osborne (Cowdenbeath).

Whilst there are three teams from the Krazy Krew and from the Northern Banger teams, plus one from Team Orange and Grey booked in for the Micro Banger teams, as yet the Mayfield Mob have not as yet indicated how many teams they will bring.

Lee Clarke (Cowdenbeath) looks to be in for a busy time and will be racing a Micro Banger as well as a Van banger.

The format consists of Van Bangers, Micro Banger teams and Prostock Basics. Hopefully the weather will be kind resulting in plenty of on track action.