WELL that is Christmas over for another year and New Year looming on the horizon – hope everyone is looking forward to a prosperous time, writes our Racewall scribe Jim Turner.

Subject to weather the holiday meeting hopefully will go ahead as planned on Sunday January 5. The meeting starts at 1pm but check with the GMP website before travelling.

On the Bill are Van Bangers, Micro Bangers teams, Junior Bangers and the Prostock Basics. Let’s hope for a dry afternoon and it would be nice for a warm afternoon! I will settle for it being dry!

For the third year in succession the Glens, Holly and Barry have Vans and whilst they are looking for a win or two they will not be that far away from the action. Barry didn’t do too well last year but will be hoping for better things this year, while Holly ended up with three wins including the DD!

The Micro Banger drivers will be racing in teams of four and at this stage there are over 20 cars booked in with a few of the regular drivers still to book in.

It will be another interesting season ahead for the Prostock Basic drivers with a few thinking of moving on to other formulas. Look for the red grade drivers Callum Rennie (Kinglassie), Jake Mason, Graeme Dignan (Leven) and Declan Lindsell (Cowdenbeath) making good starts to their season although some of the lower grade drivers towards the end of last season were giving a good account of themselves.

The Bangers had a mixed time of it in 2019 with some exciting action and at times the races never came together.

The first “big” race for 2020 is the Banger World Cup and already there are a few drivers booked in to race. The defending champion Jack Overy is scheduled to return to defend his title – it is something that he always does so it will be interesting to see how he fares.

Last year he started from near the front of the grid and that was really that.

The field comprised mainly of drivers from England but there were a good sprinkling of Scottish drivers and a few over from Northern Ireland. In fact such was the attraction of the meeting there were massive queues at the turnstiles and the start time was delayed 30 minutes to allow them into the stadium. Once they were then the Bangers trundled out onto the track and the carnage began. The last chance qualifying race set the scene with Stephen Boyd going through to win.

After the parade lap and the best presented car decided, the cars lined up on the grid and after adjustments Boyd and Ricky Hutton were on the front row. Boyd got the race underway and almost right away the action started. But the leader was caught and sent spinning allowing Overy through into the lead. Mind you there was plenty of action going on all around the track with Overy either sending drivers out of his way or somehow able to pick his way through the action.

This left Jack Overy in the lead and he went on to win his fourth successive title - from Jordan Cumming and Hutton. The rest of the meeting was every bit as good with Stacey Holdsworth and Cumming winning the other races with Robert Bugler winning a hectic DD after a massive hit destroyed Roberts’ car.

Let’s hope for more of the same this year! The Micro Banger Supreme produced fireworks and the race had barely started before Jon Taylor was shunted into the wall on the main straight and this was to prove disastrous to the pack with a few crashing into his car. Stevie Allan appeared to be greeted with a blocked track and he ended up rolling after crashing into them. Brian Youngson led but Kieran McKay closed the gap and then sent him spinning as he went through to win.

There was one meeting when only two cars turned up and despite the misgivings they were allowed to race. Mind you the race only lasted a bend before one of the drivers had to be cut out of his car!

The defending champion, Jak Denikiewicz, was on hand to defend his 2 Litre Banger Scottish Championship in October.

Jamie Sangster was the first to show from Mark Morrison and they ran in the lead places for a good part of the race. However, Callum Campbell made up ground and then made short work of getting through into the lead. Once there he just drove away to win from Dalton Steele and Morrison.

By stark contrast the National Hot Rod drivers provided the fans with some close and exciting racing but at the end of the day one driver made history and went through to become the first Scottish driver to become the World Champion. Take a bow Robert McDonald!

McDonald picked up pole position and then led the race from start to finish before winning the title.

The race for the 2020 World Championship qualifying places are now underway and there will be plenty of exciting and close racing before all the places are decided.

Gordon Alexander must be one of the favourites to secure a place but then Roy Anderson, Ian McGuigan, Ian Donaldson, Ross McWilliam and Steven Armit will have a big say in the outcome.

Alexander is certainly one of the quickest drivers and last year he had a few god tussles with Donaldson and ex-Saloon competitor Kenny Purdie, coming out on top in quite a few.

Donaldson missed quite a few meetings last season but is now back full time so there is going to be quite a lot of close and interesting racing before the drivers secure their World Final places.

Craig McLaren is back after a year's break although he suffered teething troubles on his return. Making his debut this season was James Mooney and he is making the transition from racing a front wheel drive Ministox to a rear wheel drive Hot Rod with bags of power.

The Classic Hot Rods were back again and every time they appear a few of the spectators go back in time remembering when Escorts, Sunbeams and Anglias were the favoured cars.

Graeme Callender practised with an Anglia and an Escort painted in the Hamish Buchanan livery and he was later to sell the Anglia to newcomer Martin Balfour.

Kenny Purdie tended to difficult to beat in his Escort although Jock Campbell and Keith Chesher tended to give him a run for his money.

There were some close and fast racing from the drivers at the end of the season where Kenny Purdie won the Doug Farrer Trophy from Gavin Taber and Graham Boyd.

Craig Boyd won heat two from Alex Wilson and Charlie Schembri. In a close run Final, where Purdie led for most of the race from Boyd only to be delayed by a back marker on the run up to the line, which allowed Boyd through to win the Cock of the North Trophy from Purdie and G. Taber.