AT Birmingham Wheels Oval on Saturday night Gordon Moodie added to his list of honours by taking the GN Championship from Adam Rubery with Robbie Dawson in fourth place, but things were overshadowed by the tragic accident which claimed the life of Colin North.

Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this time, writes Cowdenbeath Racewall reporter Jim Turner.

Well the Formula II season is over and looking back there have been some close and exciting racing although at the start to the season the fields were a bit smaller than hoped for as the drivers completed the rule changes.

New faces on the grid over the season were Raffaele Donofrio (Prestonpans), Antony McAuliffe (Eyemouth) and Steven McClymont (Berwick), whilst regulars Kieran Howie (Dunfermline), Jason and Adam Blacklock (Forth), Alex Gault (Carluke) and Stevie Forster (Carluke) were late starters. Chris Burgoyne (Falkirk) started the season in his shale car and then switched his tarmac car to Zetec.

The driver who grabbed the headlines was Steven Burgoyne (Airth) who won the Track Points Championship, the Chapman Trophy and the FII Challenge before moving up to superstar status. Liam Rennie won the James Clarke Cochrane Trophy whilst Gordon Moodie (Windygates) won the Scottish Championship – his ninth, won the World Cup in Venray in the Netherlands, the World Championship semi-final at St. Day and then his third World Championship at Buxton.

The season wasn’t long started when Ewan Mackie (Armadale) suffered a major engine problem which then curtailed his outings.

With the lower than normal fields at the start to the season it gave the lower grade drivers the chance to score points with Craig Reid (Cowdenbeath) moving from white to yellow then blue in a matter of months!

The first real test to the drivers was the World Championship qualifying round which attracted Ross Rowe, Craig Driscoll, Martin Ford, Ben Lockwood and Rob Mitchell. One surprise was that Chris Burgoyne had switched from Pinto to Zetec power.

There were a few early skirmishes in the heats with Garry Sime winning heat one and Daniel Scrimgeour heat two. Rowe had crashed heavily not long after the race started with Gordon Moodie going through to win from Rennie and Euan Millar.

The June weekend saw the twos contest their Scottish Championship on the Saturday and then the FII Challenge trophy on the Sunday. Amongst the visitors were Craig Driscoll and Luke Wrench whilst Paul Reid debuted his new car. There were three previous Scottish Champions in action. Moodie, C. Burgoyne and the defending champion Euan Millar.

Burgoyne and Sime were the heat winners and when the race started it proved to be pretty hectic with Sime and Driscoll and then Craig Wallace and Scrimgeour tangled on the back straight the race was stopped with the Scrimgeour car sitting across the track. Gregor Turner led but when he was delayed behind a back marker both Rennie and Moodie were through. In the end Moodie went on to win his ninth Scottish Championship from Rennie with Millar in third.

On the Sunday heat wins going to C. Burgoyne and Sime and whilst Antony McAuliffe led when the final started he lost out to Turner. However Steven Burgoyne was on a charge and he went through to win from his brother Chris and Moodie.

The Geo Mac 100 and the Chapman Trophy were run during the August weekend meeting and saw the return of Stevie Forster and Alex Gault whilst there were visitors from England and Northern Ireland.

Rennie won heats one and two whilst S. Burgoyne won heat three. Rennie continued his good form and he went through to win the Geo Mac 100 Memorial Trophy Final from Euan Millar and Sime.

On the Sunday the Chapman Trophy was their main race with Rennie and Robbie Dawson the heat winners. Kieran Howie was the early leader until he lost out to Aaron Vaight but towards the end S. Burgoyne moved through into the lead going through to win Vaight and Adam Blacklock.

The World Final was staged at Buxton and included a good turn out of Scottish drivers. Moodie went through to successfully defend his title from Wim Peeters and Steven Gilbert.

Jason Blacklock won the white/yellow series final in October from P. Reid and Howie.

At the Superbowl weekend S. Burgoyne won the Pre 67 Grand National final with Rennie going through to win the James Clarke Cochrane Memorial Trophy from Sime and A. Blacklock.

On the Sunday Sime won the Formula II Champions of Champions narrowly from Turner with S. Burgoyne winning the final from Aidan McFerran and Forster.

The Formula II National Series Round was the last meeting of the season but for once there were no Scottish drivers contesting the silver roof. Nine of the fourteen drivers turned up and along with the Scottish drivers provided some exciting racing on a wet and greasy track. Moodie, Dawson and S. Burgoyne won the heats with Moodie winning the final from Middler and Burgoyne.

Wrench then went on to win the National Series at Belle Vue from Mickey Brennan and Charlie Guinchard.

The other open wheeled formula at the Racewall is the Micro F2 class which is open to youngsters between the ages of 7 to 11 years old. Their cars are based on a scaled down version of Formula II with a small powered petrol engine.

The Micro F2s are a very useful stepping stone to drivers who want to continue racing and many a driver has moved up to the Ministox formula with success. Ross McLaughlin, Jamie Dawson, Lewis Clark Burgoyne and Hannah Borthwick have all moved to the Ministox and are getting used to their new formula.

It is interesting to watch the more experienced of the drivers do exactly the same as the senior drivers do in went and greasy conditions and run as close to the wall as possible as they search for grip.

Charlie Burgoyne, David Philp Jnr, Rhys Kelly, Rhys Anderson, Ben McLellan, Chris Davidson Jnr, Cole Ramsay and Robbie Conner are all have fathers who have or at present racing. There are a lot of girls racing and included are Isla Chisholm, Zara Hutchinson, Lyla Lovett, Mia Cross and Billie Summer Glen.

At the start to the season Joelan Maynard was one of the drivers who used to dominate although he was to contend with the exploits of David Philp Jnr who soon established himself as a very competitive driver.

Once Maynard retired Philp Jnr had plenty of competition from visitors Oliver Heron and Alfie Key but there were quite a lot of Scottish drivers coming to the fore and amongst them were local drivers Connor St. Aubyn and Lennon Cuthill who picked up some good results over the season.

The boys don’t do all the winning with Hutchinson, Chisholm and Kara Russell getting themselves into the winners circle.

James Russell, Cross, Hutchinson and Conner were amongst the new faces at the start to season and have made steady progress and whilst a lot of drivers may not have picked up top ten results it has got to be remembered that they can be racing in field of over 30 cars. Just recently Ollie Sime, son of Garry, made his debut using the ex-Bobbie Brandon car and has shown up well,

Brandon and Hutchinson are amongst those who have reached retirement age and are heading to the minis.