DAVE Borthwick, one of the race managers at the Cowdenbeath Racewall, picked up his mug of coffee and told me “It has been an exciting season at the Racewall in all formula although the 1300 Saloons and the Prostock Basics have exceeded all our expectations", writes our Racewall reporter Jim Turner.

"There are more cars on the track than we ever thought and we are getting quite a few enquiries about how to get involved. There are hire cars they can try out and if they like it then we can give them all the information they need to either build a car or point them in the direction of cars for sale.

"Safety wise it is a full racing suit, gloves and a helmet and after that it is basically get out there and race.”

Added Dave: “I think that the 1300s put the other formula into the background at the Saloon Superbowl weekend with some excellent racing. "They turned up in numbers – almost thirty cars and you really couldn’t take your eyes off them. Plenty of contact but not any real wrecking of cars although Lee Wilson had a spectacular roll. In fact we have decided to use them as a back up formula on the Sunday of the Saloon World Final weekend in 2019!

“Our first major event last season was the Banger World Cup and it will be the same story this year. Jack Overy has won the title for three years in a row and he will be back up this year to see if he can make it four.

"We were a bit worried about Banger numbers last year but there were more than anticipated. Most of the drivers who had booked in appeared although we lost a couple but then there were some who turned up that hadn’t booked in. "Once the wreckers had been sidelined the racers took over. There are some spectacular painted cars and one or two different cars. The Destruction Darbys are not as spectacular as they used to be with drivers now wanting to save their cars for the next meeting.”

Dave went on: “Autospeed took over the running of the Racewall in September for the ORCi World Final, which I am happy to say ended with Lee McGill dominating the race.

"McGill gauged the conditions perfectly and dominated the race lapping most of the field. The weekend was a really good advert for Stock Rod racing with little or no major crashes. We introduced race receivers last year and we can make contact with the drivers to warn them about incidents ahead and to hold their racing line. The receivers have turned out to be a bonus and the drivers have early warnings of incidents and minimising damage.

“I was really pleased to see Graeme Shevill finally win a major title in the 2 litre National Saloons – the National Championship – and he went on to win the track points title as well. Graeme has a lot of potential and must be a real threat when the World Final comes along. "We have the World Final this year and no doubt the place will be buzzing. It’s a unique track and whilst some drivers are very tentative about the wall there are a few who love it.

"Ian McLaughlin won an exciting Scottish Championship that had the crowd on their feet. It was a finish that you couldn’t script with a last bend challenge that saw three cars spin and Ian just managing to get is car home as Kyle Irvine closed. The downside was Ian was injured and missed the rest of the season. "Jordan Cassie is one of the new faces we will have for next season but there a few others who have been enquiring about the specifications. The Zetec engine has been a big boost to this formula. Once you buy the kit then you can get an engine straight out of the scrap yard.”

Looking at a different style of car Dave said: “The Formula IIs are beginning to pick up after a raft of rule changes. "Again the Zetec engine has cut the cost, engine wise, and we hope that this will help to attract more people to this formula. The Scottish drivers have made their mark on the racing scene with Gordon Moodie winning the World Championship and the National Series whilst Chris Burgoyne regained his British Championship. However, the rule changes saw a few of the older drivers either retiring earlier than anticipated or taking a year or so out.”

“Barford is causing a bit of a headache having decided to drop Formula IIs and race outlaws. I am not sure what the north east drivers will do – we need to wait and see but they will be more than welcome if they want to race up here. It has thrown the ORCi Stock Rod fixtures into chaos although the World will still be at Nutts Corner.

“The Saloons have started a National Series, similar to the Formula IIs. We have a round for each at the Racewall and it is hoped that these meetings to attract a full field of qualifiers – although that is not always proved to be the case. On the down side we lose drivers when these rounds are taking place. This year we lost three Formula II and three Saloon drivers to these events and they are drivers we rely on to keep the numbers up. I am not sure we gained many more drivers when these rounds took place at the Racewall.

“It looks as if the ministox numbers are on the increase this year. Last year Lewis Clark Burgoyne and Jamie Dawson stepped up from the Micro F2s and have made their mark and we already have three new drivers in the minis. The Micro F2 drivers continue to entertain and there have been a lot of exciting races. Mind you there have been a few rollovers but the youngsters seem to love it. It is a good starting formula for them - remember some are only 7 years old!”

“We have a good nucleus of staff but for everyone you see then there are many that are behind the scenes that you don’t. Lorraine Chisholm, Anne and Ian Deas, Adam and Margaret Brown and Marilyn Allison have been with GMP since it started at Newtongrange in 1981, and like the others dedicate their time, without recompense, to make the racing what it is. James Simpson has been flamboyant since he took over the starting duties and has added another level to the racing.

“We have the winter meeting on Sunday 6th January but again it will be weather permitting. The format will consist of Van Bangers, teams of Micro Bangers and also Junior Bangers. The Krazy Krew are bringing two teams of Micro Bangers and there has been a lot of interest. The Racewall Transit will be making its last appearance but this time on the track. The meeting starts at 1.00pm.”