IT was an emotional, but rewarding evening as we remembered Michelle Freck on Saturday night at Lochgelly Raceway, writes our Raceway reporter Kevin McQueen.

A year on since her unfortunate passing, the first staging of the memorial event took place, and what an event it was.

As part of the evening, Hardie Race Promotions organised a few events aimed at raising money with the proceeds being donated to Strathcarron Hospice – the place where Michelle spent her last days – and SAMH.

A superb amount of just over SEVEN THOUSAND POUNDS was raised which will be split equally between the two charities.

The evening kicked off with a ladies race for the 1300 Stock Cars with just under 20 cars taking to the track. The race provided some great entertainment, a few bruises and a worthy winner in Shaz Law who was out in the Craig Haxton car for the race.

Across the evening we squeezed in 13 passenger races with over 60 passengers being taken for a run on the track in a demo race environment, with great delight and lots of smiles all round – from the drivers to the passengers and their families, all for a very worth cause.

A number of drivers from the CC Rod formula and Hot Rod formulas added a second seat to their cars in order to take some passengers and give them the on track experience. We would like to extend our thanks to the drivers that gave up their spare time to volunteer this and provide safety equipment for their passengers, without them, this event would not have been possible.

The Micro Bangers were in action and were the first main formula in action on the night with, and with around 20 cars participating, the drivers went out to put on a show. Throughout the evening there were some big crashes, head on collisions and a few squashed cars much to the delight of the crowd.

Mark Morrison took the opening race win after avoiding the carnage on track, whilst Callum Campbell went onto win the final two races of the night for the formula. Darren Rae, Mark Boyle, Gav Fletcher and Gary Mentiplay were in a battle all night as they all went out to try and destroy the others cars!

The Superstox competed as part of the event in an extra fixture for the formula and the drivers turned out to put on a show in difficult conditions with the track compared to an ice rink!

Steven Ballantine took the opening race win of the night, with National Points Champion Bryan Forrest taking 2nd place ahead of Adam Low. Bryan Forrest took the second heat of the night, overcoming Chris Hay in the closing laps to take the lead – Hay held onto 2nd place with Scottish Champion Barry Stephen completing the top three.

The meeting final saw an epic race for the win between Bryan Forrest and Mark Brady. Brady led for the majority of the race but as the laps went on, Forrest closed the gap and took the lead with a few laps to go. However, Bryan Forrest was unable to shake off the challenge from Mark Brady who seemed determined to keep Forrest in his grasp, managed to make a final challenge in the last lap of the race, Brady somehow managed to find some extra grip on the exit of turn 4 and drove up the inside of Forrest who had planted the foot to the floor to try and hold onto the lead – Forrest clattered the barrier, with Brady pushing as well from the inside, and somehow managed to cross the line about a bumpers thickness ahead of Brady! Barry Stephen finished just behind in third position.

The 1300 Stock Cars were the final formula in action and with around 30 cars on a greasy track, it was always going to be action packed in the final meeting of the season for the formula. A few big hits went on throughout the night with some notable damage to cars.

Charlie Folan was looking the worst for wear after a big hit from Stuart Farrell. Rory and Sean Naismith also sent Eddie Corr hard into the wall on a couple of occasions throughout the night with Corr failing to finish any races on the night. Kyle Hegg took the opening race win of the night for the 1300 Stock Cars, with Ross Watters and Fraser Clark rounding out the top three.

Heat 2 of the night seen John Whyte take his first win in the formula, ahead of Kevin Rist who was making his debut in the formula, with former Scottish Champion Billy Wilson finishing in third position. The meeting final, and Michelle Freck Memorial race, saw the stadium fall silent for a minute ahead of the race as we remembered Michelle with the family joining us on track for the occasion.

As the green flag dropped, you knew it was going to be a lively encounter as the bumpers went in from the start. As the race wore on, the star graded drivers fought there way to the front, but would find the going tough up front as the white graded drivers were determined to hold on to the lead – Jock Whyte and Kevin Rist were the two up front as the reds closed in.

In the closing 5 laps of the race, the lead changed hands a couple of times on each of the laps with the finishing line getting closer and the determination getting stronger. Kyle Hegg, Ross Watters, Fraser Clark, John Whyte, Billy Wilson, Craig Haxton, Kevin Rist, Danny Whyte and Gregor Whyte were all in the mix with Sean Naismith tagging on as well looking to pick up the pieces.

A number of drivers fell by the wayside or spun out of contention in the last lap or so as the hits continued to go in, but it was Fraser Clark who came out on top in a race that he was delighted to have won on his return to Lochgelly Raceway, with Craig Haxton and Danny Whyte completing the top three.

The bangers are back with us this weekend as we host the VAN BANGER SCOTTISH CHAMPIONSHIP. Over 20 Vans are booked into race on the night as we end the season with a bang! The National Hot Rods, 2.0 Hot Rods, Superstox and ProStocks are all in action as well. The evening will see a Firework Display hosted by the Scottish Firework Company as we end what has been a fantastic 2019 in style!

The first race takes place at 5pm with the gates opening at 1pm! It’s sure to be spectacular!