ON Thursday some of the Formula II drivers returned to Skegness where the last of the World Championship Qualifying rounds took place. There were a few Scottish drivers in action hoping to get onto one of the semi-final grids which will be held at St. Day on Sunday August 11, writes our Cowdenbeath Racewall reporter Jim Turner.

At this stage Rob Mitchell and Andrew Palmer are equal on points with Gordon Moodie (Windygates) in third place but he should start one of the semis from the first row.

Euan Millar (Lockerbie), Craig Wallace (Tranent), Chris Burgoyne (Falkirk), Daniel Scrimgeour (Winchburgh) and Garry Sime (Dundee) are on the grid but Liam Rennie (Dundee), Robbie Dawson (Aberdeen) and Steven Burgoyne (Airth) have it all to do although the latter is not far away from the top 56 drivers.

Amongst the Scots racing were Moodie, S. Burgoyne, Rennie, Scrimgeour and Dawson. The Scots were to suffer mixed fortunes with Moodie winning heat one with Rennie in sixth whilst in heat two Dawson was tenth. Scrimgeour was seventh in the consolation race.

The final was dominated by Moodie who went through to win the final, his 459th, from Liam Bentham and Henry King with Rennie in seventh place.

When the grids for the semi-finals were announced in semi 1 Andrew Palmer is on pole with Moodie alongside but behind are Liam Bentham and Ollie Skeels. Chris Burgoyne is on the outside of row 7 and Garry Sime on the inside of row 10. Semi 2 has Rob Mitchell on pole with Luke Wrench alongside with Euan Millar on the inside of row 3, Craig Wallace on the outside of row 6, Liam Rennie on the outside of row 11 with Daniel Scrimgeour behind him.

Amongst the reserves are Steven Burgoyne and Robbie Dawson.

The first semi-final looks to be the more difficult of semis and there could well be a few of the favoured drivers early casualties.

There was a healthy field of Scottish Ministox drivers at the track for the Lincolnshire Championship with wins going to Taylor Borthwick (Armadale) and Declan Honeyman (South Alloa). However, others to finish in the top ten were Mika Millar (Gorebridge), Mitch Gold (Lochgelly), Kyle Roberts (Fort William) and Jamie Stewart (Glenrothes).

The Lincolnshire Championship ended with the Scots in the first four places with Honeyman winning from Borthwick, Gold and Millar with Logan Bruce (Brechin) sixth, Charlie Hardie (Shotts) ninth and Billie Dawson (Aberdeen) tenth.

This Saturday there was a surprise in store with Formula II World Champion Gordon Moodie (Windygates) having run in a National Hot Rod at Birmingham! However, he was squeezed into the wall during the first heat with the car sustaining damage.

The Racewall is back in action this Saturday and what a mouthwatering return meeting it promises to be!

The main feature will be without doubt the 2 Litre Saloon Scottish Championship and last year's was a cracker. Twice Ross Watters (Leven) had a useful lead only for race suspensions to see his lead slip away.

In the end there was a four car dice for the lead with Ian McLaughlin (Auchterarder) and Graeme Shevill (Motherwell) going down the back straight side by side. Then Watters decided to play a late challenge with spectacular consequences. McLaughlin hit the wall, Shevill went up the wall but as Watters eyed the inside line he was clipped by Luke Grief (Stenhousemuir). As a result McLaughlin kept his foot to the floor and used the wall to get around the bend whilst Watters, Shevill and Grief spun. McLaughlin charged to the finish line but was almost caught by the defending champion Kyle Irvine (Glenrothes) on the run up to the flag.

There should be a big turnout of cars for the 'Scottish' but the outcome of the race could well depend on the grid draw, which is a public one! Often a red top driver draws pole position with a few slower drivers between him and the next star man. Makes for an interesting race though!

Hopefully we will see plenty of action in this year's Scottish with the result counting to the 2020 World Final ranking points which determines the drivers starting position for that years World Final.

The Prostock drivers will be racing for their European Championship and that means a good sprinkling of drivers from Northern Ireland on the grid. It could be anyone’s race this year with John Mason (Edinburgh), Ian Christie (Kirkcaldy) and Dean McGill (East Wemyss) amongst the Scottish hopefuls.

Also racing are the ORCi Ministox and Micro F2 drivers with the latter rolling out around 5.30pm to get the action started.

What a way to start the second half of the season with a fixture list that promises so much and will almost certainly deliver!

The 2 Litre Saloon racing down at Skegness last weekend was as exciting as expected with shunts, spins and contact almost mandatory and for quite a few of the spectators the prospect of their World Final at the Racewall is very much high priority.

However, news coming in after the Skegness meeting is that Ross Forrest (Livingston) has fractured his knee cap and that Kyle Picton suffered a badly broken right leg and is in Northampton University Hospital where he will be undergoing operations.

The grid for the World Final should be announced within a day or two but it looks as if Diggy Smith, the British Champion will be on pole position with Deane Mayes, the English Champion alongside. Hopefully Barry Russell (Brechin) will be next in line but until the points are tallied we just have to wait. However, also on the grid will be the defending World Champion Max Stott, the European and National Champion Daniel Parker, and hopefully the ORCi Champion Barry Glen (Dundee) and the present Scottish Champion Ian McLaughlin (Auchterarder). Apart from Stott past World Champions likely to be in action are Parker and one Diggy Smith who last held the title in 2000. #

Some of the Scottish drivers will be anxiously waiting for the final grid to be announced to see if they have managed to secure a place in the top twenty four or if they will have to wait for the last chance race which can be a rather nervy affair to say the least. Many a driver has come to grief in this race although at Skegness Eddie Darby won it and then from the back of the grid charged through the field to win the World Championship! One driver who may be in the last chance qualifying race could be Scotland’s last Saloon World Champion, Stuart Shevill Jnr (Clelland) but he was planning to race his Formula I at Venray in the Netherlands that weekend. However, there are a lot of people trying to get him to change his mind after the way that the car performed at Skegness he is having second thoughts!

After Harry Burgoyne’s World Championship success in 1998 the World was back at the Racewall in 2003 and what a final it turned out to be! Harry Burgoyne had come out of retirement and had brought his car home in second place in the last chance qualifying race. David Aldous started on pole but found himself well down the order after being spun early on. Suddenly the race was led by Scottish drivers only for a group to head into the pit bend, bumpers were used and none reappeared! After a scintillating drive Aldous came back through the field to win with the home fans shaking their heads in disbelief!

The World was back in Scotland in 2008 with the TV cameras covering the scene. Hopes of a home win were high on the agenda but again it ended in despair as the form driver Shane Brown dominated the proceedings and went on to pick up his first World Final success. The best of the home drivers was Frankie Cunningham (Galashiels) who was fourth and he was followed home by Gordon Alexander (Bonnyrigg).

When the World returned to the Racewall in 2013 south west driver Eddie Darby was looking to become the first driver to make it a hat trick of wins. Darby was certainly one of the favourites but the home hope was Stuart Shevill Jnr (Cleland). Towards the end of the race Darby was leading but then a race suspension brought the field together after a shunt. Darby lined up ahead of Shevill Jnr, made a good restart and gained a couple of car lengths advantage before bringing his car home to win his third title.

However, the dreaded post racing scrutineering came into play and a fault was found with Darby’s engine, which had just been rebuilt. Rumours were quick to circulate but it wasn’t until Sunday before it was confirmed and that the new World Champion was indeed Shevill Jnr. Stuart’s win was the first time that a Scottish driver had held the title since 1998 – a long time for the gold roof not to be based in Scotland.

The World returned to the Racewall in 2017 but this time it was the Autospeed promotion who were running the race with Daniel Parker coming out on top with the best placed Scottish driver being Ian McLaughlin who was fourth.

It is anticipated that the World Final grid will be announced within the next few days.