THERE was a healthy turn out of cars in all the formulae at the Cowdenbeath Racewall on Saturday night but the weather didn’t play ball and the drivers had to combat some driving rain showers from time to time, writes Racewall scribe Jim Turner.

Most of the spectators took refuge in the stand but there were still a good few diehard spectators who braved the elements on the terracing. The track was wet and greasy although that made for some very exciting racing.

The BriSCA Formula II drivers were contesting a World Championship Qualifying Round with the home drivers coming out on top in all of the races. Gordon Moodie, who won the final, chalked up his 450th final win.

There was plenty of action in their races with Gregor Turner having to retire in both heats, Garry Sime in heat two whilst Ross Rowe and Dennis Middler crashed heavily in separate incidents in the Final.

Paul and Greg Honeyman returned to the Saloons but the latter was in a hefty shunt during the closing stages of the Final. Earlier Ally Strachan was in the midst of a three car pile up and needed help out of his car.

The Stock Rod and Prostock Basic drivers were in fine form despite the conditions and served up some close and fast racing.

Amongst the visitors at the track for the Formula II World Championship Qualifying Round were Ross Rowe, Craig Driscoll, Martin Ford, Ben Lockwood and Rob Mitchell whilst Chris Burgoyne had switched from Pinto to Zetec power.

It turned out to be an all in format with a public draw within grades for the Final. The drivers were left to ponder what the elements were going to throw at them when they lined up for heats. Local drivers at the track were Gregor Turner (Dunfermline), Paul and Craig Reid (Cowdenbeath) and Gordon Moodie (Windygates).

Right at the start to heat one Turner was spun and before he could restart he was hit by Dennis Middler, who had been sent bouncing off the wall with his car shedding a wheel in the process.

Shortly after the restart Blair Anderson and Ryan Farquhar tangled suspending the race. C. Reid led them off but was soon overtaken by Garry Sime who then dominated the race going on to win from Daniel Scrimgeour and Chris Burgoyne with Moodie in seventh and C. Reid ninth.

Heat two had not long started before Pete Davidson got clipped whilst running in a group of cars and spun with the front end of his car suffering damage. Once the race restarted Turner and Martin Ford tangled on the main straight and then a few laps later Liam Rennie and Sime tangled and spun on the main straight suspending the race. Once the race restarted Scrimgeour managed to make a break before going through to win from Middler and Robbie Dawson with Moodie in fifth.

Reid led the final away from Driscoll but Middler was an early casualty. Moodie had made a good start and had quickly worked his way through the superstar drivers and was also making short work of the star drivers. However, when Rowe crashed heavily into the turnstile bend wall the race was suspended.

Rennie had just got himself the lead and whilst he got away well on the restart he had to give best to Moodie who, after taking the lead, eased away from the field. In the end Moodie went through to win from Rennie and Euan Millar with P. Reid in eighth and just ahead of Turner

Rennie then won the Grand National from Scrimgeour and Craig Wallace.

Amongst the 2 litre Saloon drivers were Greg and Paul Honeyman and Kevin Letford who were having their first outing of the season whilst the local drivers were Ross Watters (Leven) and Euan and Andrew Mathieson (Lochgelly).

The opening heat saw Ross Forrest go through to win from the Honeyman’s Paul and Greg with Watters finishing in fourth place. In heat two Letford and Holly Glen were early spinners but half way through the race Chris Carey was clipped and pushed sideways down the back straight. In the end A. Mathieson took the chequer having led the race from start to finish and he led home G. Honeyman and Watters with E. Mathieson in eighth place.

The final was suspended early on after a shunt with Strachan needing assistance out of his car whilst Forrest’s car stopped against the pit gate having the gear lever disappear. A. Mathieson led but then lost out to G. Honeyman but he had Watters making up ground and soon the cars were running nose to tail. Eventually Watters made contact sending the leader crashing into the wall. Watters led on the restart and went through to win from Graeme Shevill and Willie Mitchell with E. Mathieson in fifth place.

The non-contact Stock Rod drivers served up some close and exciting racing with Lee Buchan, Chris Chance and Justin Lithgow having their first outings of the season. Despite the treacherous conditions the drivers found that the fastest line was close to the wall as they could get making life a bit interesting. John McAllister was having his first home outing since winning the ORCi Championship at Northampton. Local drivers in action were Stuart McKinnon (Kincardine), Lee McGill (Kirkcaldy), Stuart Wedderburn (Leven), Chris Simpson (Methil), Stuart McKinnon (Kincardine), Steve Gunby (Cupar), Liam McGill (Dysart), Dean McGill (East Wemyss), Justin Lithgow (Kirkcaldy), Lee Buchan (Glenrothes), Neil Gilogley (Tayport) and Michael Bethune (Kirkcaldy).

Scott Galbraith led the opening heat from start to finish and he crossed the finish line ahead of Liam, D. McGill, McKinnon, Lee McGill, Wedderburn and Bethune. In heat two there was a race suspension after Lithgow spun and was collected. On the restart D. McGill made what was deemed to be too good a start and whilst he was first home he was penalised a couple of places handing the win to World Champion Lee McGill who was clear of McKinnon, D. McGill. Liam McGill, Galbraith and Wedderburn with Bethune in ninth place.

Galbraith was soon leading when the final started but within a couple of laps Liam McGill had caught and passed him. Galbraith slotted in behind the leader and soon became the meat in a McGill sandwich when Dean appeared in third. Lee McGill was making up ground but Cameron Doak spun and whilst he restarted had lost places. McKinnon was another on the move and he appeared in fourth during the closing stages however there was to be no change in the order with Liam McGill winning and leading a train of Fifers home. Galbraith was the runner up and followed home by D McGill, McKinnon, Lee McGill, Wedderburn and Bethune with Simpson in tenth place

There were a few new faces in the Prostock Basics with the drivers coping well with the conditions. Local drivers on the grid included Megan Wilson (Comrie), Jordan and Graeme Dignan (Leven), David van Dieken (Leven), Callum Rennie (Kinglassie), Declan Lindsell (Cowdenbeath), Kimberley Mills (Lochgelly).

Jake Mason won the opening heat from David Sher, Scott Rankin and Mills with G. Dignan sixth. However it was D. Sher who just managed to fend off Mason to win heat two with Ben Sher in third spot whilst Lindsell was fifth and ahead of Mills with Rennie eighth and just ahead of G and J. Dignan.

Sher made a good start to the final and came from row three into the lead by the end of the first lap and was able to open up a useful lead. Mason tried to reduce the gap and whilst he was able to do so was still adrift of D. Sher when the chequer fell with Wilson in third and Mills in sixth place.

It’s going to be a busy meeting this coming Saturday with the Formula II and 2 Litre Saloon drivers back in action but this time they are backed up by the Prostock, Ministox and Micro F2 drivers. The meeting starts at 5.45pm when the Micro F2 drivers roll out to get the meeting underway.

* On Sunday the Formula II drivers were at Crimond – the most northerly of the BriSCA ovals for the second of the World Championship qualifying rounds with Gordon Moodie (Windygates) the only Fife driver in action.

In the heats Moodie had to settle for the runners-up spot on both occasions but went on to win the final although it wasn’t until the closing stages that he got into the lead.