A WARM early August evening greeted drivers, teams and fans as they gathered at HRP Lochgelly Raceway this past Friday night for the first stock car event of the new month, writes Raceway reporter Les Waller.

Four great formulas were on the bill with twelve races scheduled and the green flag dropping on race one at 7pm.

The first formula on track was the CC Rods and it would be an interesting evening in the formula for a few reasons! Firstly, Bob Cairns started the night just four points behind defending National Points Champion, Ian Donaldson, as the battle for silver hots up. Friday also represented the first night under the new gradings for the drivers while it would also be their first time using the Raceceiver System – an in-ear radio which allows the steward to communicate with the drivers.

Debutant David Herd certainly made his presence felt, but not in a good way as his car was almost out of control at times!

This caused several on-track incidents which eliminated some of the front runners. Craig Watson led much of the race but his car ground to a halt with just a couple of laps to go which handed the win to Lee Scott – his first victory from star grade, with Daniel McDonald and Davie McFarlane completing the podium.

Heat Two saw Watson make up for lost time as he dominated to take a relatively simple win from Brandon Gourlay and Shane Allen while Watson went on to repeat the feat in the feature final after another frenetic race for his second win of the night with points chasers Donaldson and Cairns in second and third respectively.

The ProStocks were back on track and it was good to see Scottish Champion Tam Melrose, Patrick Calderwood and Stewart Aitken all making returns to the formula. Heat One got underway amidst the usual ProStocks chaos with Neale Glancy making the early running before some of the higher-graded drivers started to make their presence felt.

Paul Barron and Ian Christie have been battling away at the top of the national points and this duo came to the fore by the time of the chequered flag with Barron getting the nod for the win ahead of Christie and the returning Aitken.

Barron has been on an absolute tear of late at HRP Lochgelly Raceway and, having taken two hat-tricks in recent weeks, kept himself on target for a hat-trick of hat-tricks with a simple win in heat two with Christie having to settle for second once again ahead of Glancy – this race was punctuated by a big hit from Tam Melrose on Graham Watt in turn two.

The Feature Final started without Melrose who was loaded up for his heat two misdemeanour while one or two other cars had fallen by the wayside. Barron strolled to yet another hat-trick of wins to tighten his grip on the 2018 points chase as Christie completed his own hat-trick of runners-up places while Aitken claimed another third place on his return.

The Ministox were making their third appearance in as many weeks at HRP Lochgelly Raceway but an excellent turnout was on hand once more to do battle with the welcome return of Mitchell Gold being well received.

Jay Paterson’s challenge stalled on the starting grid when his car didn’t move on the green light; but the other drivers did well to avoid the stricken car before lining up to try again. Logan Tweedie made a good deal of the running in the early stages of this race; but it was regular winner Scott Allardyce who came through to take victory from a fast-moving Declan Honeyman and National Points Champion Sean Naismith. Heat Two followed a similar pattern with the lower graders leading early on before the likes of Allardyce and Honeyman began slicing their way through the pack to head the field at the chequered flag with the aforementioned Gold taking home a trophy for third place on his return.

The Feature Final was another fantastic race with the Junior drivers demonstrating why they are unmissable here at HRP Lochgelly Raceway as they put on a clinic of stock car racing.

The question on many minds was whether Allardyce could make it a hat-trick, but it was fellow blue-top Ciaran Adams who looked like taking his second final win in six days before Naismith came through to take the win with Honeyman completing a hat-trick of second places while Adams had to settle for third.

The 1300 Stock Cars were back in action in the final points-scoring round of the 2018 MR Coachworks and Ringtone Racepaints Series. Because of his hat-trick last time out, Danny Whyte had taken the lead in the series and, with many of his nearest challengers absent, it was a great chance for the 2018 rookie to secure pole position for the big money race in a few weeks. Kevin Hutchison survived the chaos behind him to take his first win in the formula since his recent return as he held off the challenge of Lochgelly duo; points leader Andrew Mathieson and Whyte.

Hutchison made the early running in heat two but fell victim to Mathieson and Whyte who moved through for first and second respectively while Hutchison held on for third.

The feature final race saw the Andrew Mathieson become heavily involved in some argy-bargy with, of all people, his brother Euan! Certainly not the first time the Mathieson brothers have started on one another; but what an entertaining watch it was!

While all this happened, Whyte strolled to his second feature win in six days with British Champion Paul Ford second on a rather low-key night for him while Hutchison can be delighted with his evening as he completed three races on the podium!

Next up at HRP Lochgelly Raceway (KY5 9HG) is the AUGUST SPEEDWEEKEND! Saturday August 11 and Sunday August 12 will see some major championships contested during two great days of action.

The A1 Performance Products 2.0 Hot Rod Championship of the World takes centre stage on the Saturday alongside the Superstox European Championship plus the UK Oval Track Legends make their annual visit for their European Championship weekend – the CC Rods will provide the support on Saturday at an event that begins at 5pm.

Sunday sees the 2.0 Hot Rods, Superstox and UK Oval Track Legends all in Open Scottish Championship action while the Ninja Karts will bring their unique brand of chaos to the track in support of two great days of action at Scotland’s premier stock car venue!