THE grid for the Motorsport with Attitude and Gilmore Engineering sponsored 2 Litre National Saloon 2019 World Final has been announced and it looks an exciting one with an Englishman on pole and a Scot alongside, writes our Cowdenbeath Racewall reporter Jim Turner!

Past World Champions on the grid are Diggy Smith, who won in 2000, Daniel Parker who won it the last time it was at the Racewall, and the defending World Champion Max Stott.

There are seven Scottish, 17 English, five Northern Irish and one Dutch driver on the grid so the odds are about right for a Scottish win!

Expect fireworks from the off and it is almost impossible to predict a winner.

Outside Inside

600 Barry Russell 116 Diggy Smith

399 Cole Atkins 730 Deane Mayes

306 Daniel Parker 661 Graeme Shevill

16 Jeremy van de Kraats 711 Anthony McIvor

171 Adam O’Dell 56 Georgie Boult Jnr

157 Max Stott 349 Michael Allard

153 Ryan Wright 811 Kieran McIvor

670 Ross Watters 902 Bradley Compton-Sage

888 Shane Emerson * 120 Luke Dorling

951 Robert Mawhinney 747 Matty Stirling

38 Barry Glen 570 Simon Venni

470 David Vaughan 26 Tommy Barnes

5 Tam Rutherford Jnr 684 Ian McLaughlin

131 Timmy Barnes 214 Tom Yould

85 Kyle Irvine 199 Phil Powell

* Emerson has been suspended for 3 months but if he gets an appeal heard he might be able to take his place on the grid.

The grid has been modified to remove the suspended Aaryn Triggs and Lee Sampson, who has other commitments which lets Powell and Irvine on to the back of the grid.

Winners in Scotland have been Gordon Brown, Bob Jones, Ray Goudy, Ernie Burgoyne, Harry Burgoyne, John Halifax, David Aldous, Shane Brown, Stuart Shevill Jnr and Daniel Parker.

All the drivers who have qualified for the World Championship have booked in and at this stage there are 55 Saloon drivers booked in to race over the weekend.

There are six available spaces at the back of the grid for the top six from the last chance qualifying heat and the drivers for this race will line up in their World Ranking points order.

The front row at this stage looks to have Euan Mathieson on pole with Paul Honeyman alongside, Willie Mitchell and Scott Greenslade on row 2 whilst Graeme Anderson and James Letford are on row 3.

However, it could well be that some of the drivers from further down the order get involved in the action. Mind you there could be a surprise addition with Stuart Shevill Jnr – a past World Champion – making his appearance although he was thinking of racing his Formula I at Venray. Where will he end up?

Amongst the English drivers who could make it into the top six are Ryan Santry, Danny McCluskey, Austen Freestone and Tyler Bloomfield so it is going to be all to play for!

This race can be pretty hectic with usually a big field of cars fighting it out for a mere six places. Chaos usually prevails and many a fancied runner has come to grief when a result looked to be in their grasp!

The Northern Ireland and Dutch drivers are seeded in on their points positions in their respective countries.

The grid has all the top names in the sport on it with Stott the defending Champion starting from row six but the pre race favourite has to be pole man Diggy Smith.

Smith is the present British and UK Champion and in the 90s gave the Scottish drivers plenty to think about. Then it was basically and Scotland v England match with plenty of contact and dare I say it a bit of team racing. Now the drivers race nationally so there is not the same fire to the exchanges.

Anyway if Smith can survive any early challenges and be able to put some daylight between him and the rest of the field then he is going to win. Mind you a race suspension or a back marker gets in his way could change the race outcome dramatically.

Smith last won the title in 2000 and whilst he hasn’t raced 2 litre Saloons for a while on his return last year finished in fourth place.

Whilst Russell starts from the front row he is on the outside line and that is not the best place to start from and quite often they can he shunted down the order until they can get up to racing speed. Russell was in good form over the Scottish Championship meeting and whilst he spun in the main race, won one of the Allcomers race and was generally quick throughout the meeting.

One driver who could made the first few bends very entertaining is Deane Mayes and if he gets close enough to Smith then expect the pole man to be as they say "kissing concrete.” It is likely that a few others would get caught up and this would throw the race wide open. This then immediately brings Shevill and Parker into play with Anthony McIvor no stranger to the Racewall oval.

It also brings O’Dell, Parker and Watters into play and the way that McLaughlin fought back after dropping to the rear of the field in the Scottish makes him a strong candidate to get into the results.

Also racing over that weekend are the Formula II drivers who have the Geo Mac 100 Trophy on Saturday and the Chapman Trophy on Sunday up for grabs. At this stage there are over 30 drivers booked in to race but there is a matter of the World Championship semi-finals at St Day on the 10th but hopefully that won’t reduce the number of drivers booked in.

Gordon Moodie is racing at Venray whilst Daniel Scrimgeour is likely to be missing after suffering ligament damage and has undergone an operation to rectify the problem.

Over the weekend the MASCAR and JASCAR cars are paying their annual pilgrimage to the Racewall.

On Sunday the 1300 Saloons are racing for their Turner Trophy and at this early stage there are over 20 cars booked in to race.

On Saturday the racing starts at 5.00pm although in the afternoon there will be practice and maybe a race or two from the JASCARs, whilst on Sunday to will be the usual 1.00pm start.

It is going to be an enthralling weekends racing so if you want to see the best that stock car racing can offer get yourself along to the Racewall.