JUST when you think that you are getting your stock car ready for the start to the season the Beast from the East decides to sends an unwelcome present in the form of heavy snow showers, says our Cowdenbeath Racewall scribe Jim Turner .

As a result all the meetings and practice sessions were wiped out in one fell swoop!

The Racewall is covered in a snow blanket and it is going to take the staff quite a few hours of hard graft to get not only the track but the terracing cleared so hopefully the meeting scheduled for this Saturday will still go ahead!

It will certainly help if the Bear decides that enough is enough and instead of sending the snow to us it will parcel it off elsewhere!

Some of the changes to the formula IIs have been delayed until the end of March when the new control tyre and the rev limiters will be put in place. The new tyre was tried out on the back of the car of Gregor Turner (Dunfermline), although it was being driven at the time by Ryan Walker (Dunfermline) and boy does it squeal!

However, there will be a few car alterations once they come into vogue and no doubt the drivers will be able to get over the tyre's peculiarities. The rev limiter was introduced to slow the pinto engines but with either a change of cam, gearing or diff that problem has been overcome.

We know that there will be at least three new formula II drivers at the Racewall this season coming in the form of Ewan Mackie (Armadale), Peter Watt (Blairgowrie)) and Steven Burgoyne (Airth). Mackie has done alright at his practice session and whilst Burgoyne is yet to appear expect him to be challenging for the Novice of the Year title this year.

The World Championship is on tarmac this year down at Bristol with the semi-finals scheduled to be run at Barford in the North of England. We can expect to see quite a few Scottish drivers in contention at the latter with a healthy sprinkling of Racewall drivers on the final grid.

The other major event is the National Series – the new way of deciding who races with the silver roof - and it’s Gordon Moodie (Windygates) who is the defending champion. Moodie has now 12 National Points titles to his credit and more than any other formula II driver. Mind you Frankie Wainman Jnr (Silsden) who drives a formula I has thirteen – watch Moodie equalling that record this year.

Chris Burgoyne (Airth) will be defending his Scottish title at the Racewall on June 2 and will be hoping to fair well at the World Championship qualifying round the following day. The F2 Nationals are at the Racewall on the September 2 and the following weekend it’s the 'World' at Bristol. The Champion of Champions event is on the October 27 with the National Series round at the Racewall on November 3 brings the season to a close.

Craig Wallace (Tranent) is the reigning track points champion at both the Racewall and at Barford but the British Championship, which he won at Bristol, is be run on the shale at Mildenhall, a surface he is not used to racing on.

The other formula that is seeing an increase in driver numbers is the 2 litre National saloons with already Ian Sutherland (Stirling), Stewart MacDonald (Stirling) and Jason Secker (Denny) all switching from other formulae to race.

The saloons are without doubt a spectacular formula and there is always plenty of bumper work which can see cars being spun and shunted out of contention.

Ian McLaughlin (Auchterarder) won the track points title whilst Kyle Irvine (Glenrothes) won the Scottish Championship.

The World Championship was at the Racewall last year but it was Daniel Parker (Norwich) who ended up winning the race.

The saloons will also have a National Series this year to decide the winner of the silver roof with the Racewall round being held on October 28.

The saloon National heads to the Racewall on June 2, part of a weekend meeting with the Scottish Championship now rescheduled to take place on August 4. The World Championship is at King’s Lynn on Augustmn18 and the ORC Championship is on September 1. The UK Superbowl XXX is run on October 27 with the National Series the following day.

The Scottish ORCi stock rod drivers have an important date over the weekend of the September 1/2 when their World Final will be staged at the Racewall although this is run in conjunction with the Autospeed promotion from Taunton.

The defending champion is Luke Oliver (Heathfield) and whilst he has shown a liking to the Racewall he will have a fight on his hands.

Michael Bethune (Kirkcaldy). Trevor Calvin (Lanark), Leon Stewart (Ratho) and James Gray (Boness) will have other ideas as to the destination of the title. Jim Pitcaithly (Kirkcaldy) has intimated that he has retired but it’s the World at the Racewall….!

In the minis newcomers Lewis Clark Burgoyne (Airth), Jamie Dawson (Balmedie) and Jay Paterson (Saline) have all shown a good turn of speed at the practice but expect to see Taylor Borthwick (Armadale) and Declan Honeyman (South Alloa) being the main protagonists for the track points title.

The minis have their ORCi championship on June 3 with hopefully a new name on the trophy this year with the defending champion Steven Burgoyne (Airth) over the age limit.

The 1300 saloons have grown in popularity over the last couple of seasons with Grant McGowan (Grangemouth) the track points champion but whilst he would like to retain that tile he also has eyes on the Scottish Championship which Secker won last year.

There is also a new Gold Cup for the drivers to contest and this takes in rounds at Crimond, Barford and the Racewall with the points accumulated at these rounds deciding the final grid place for the Racewall final.

Joining the 1300 saloon ranks this year will be James Ellis (Cowdenbeath) and Gary Paterson (Saline) whilst there are quite a few seriously considering joining their ranks.

The main race for the prostock drivers this year at the Racewall is the World Cup which is in the hands of Stephen McCready (Northern Ireland). McCready has been quick when he has visited the Racewall and could well leave with his title intact.

The prostock basic formula continues to attract newcomers into the sport and already Nicole Russell (Blackridge), Joanne Hilditch (Harthill) and Paul Ramsay have been out practicing. Hopefully this formula will continue to attract new drivers into the sport who once they get racing experience move on to other formula.

There have been quite a few new drivers in the microf2 category, this is for the 7 to 10 year olds, with Lyla Lovett (Crimond), Lennon Cuthill (Glenrothes), Nicole Allardyce (Anstruther), Bobbie Brandon (Falkirk), Ben McLellan (Ratho) and Owen Marshall (Blackridge) all appearing in new cars.

Also racing this year at the Racewall are the mighty formula I drivers, the BriSCA minis, the JASCARs and MASCARs, various bangers, hot rods and the classic hot rods whilst the Heritage F2s will again be in action. Takes your mind off the weather doesn’t it?

The season begins this Saturday with the formula IIs, 2 Litre National saloons, 1300 saloons and prostock with the usual 6.00pm start. However, please check with the website just in case!