I MET with Steven Burgoyne at the family garage at Airth, where he is in his second year apprenticeship, and we soon began talking about his first two years in the BriSCA Formula IIs, writes our Cowdenbeath Racewall reporter Jim Turner.

"I really enjoyed my first year in the Formula IIs. I went from driving a 1 litre Mini to a 2 Litre rear-wheel drive single seater and found it a bit different. Once I got used to the changes it was really good,” said Steven.

“I started my first season a couple of weeks late but had a really good Easter when I won three finals in three days. The first was at Northampton, then at the Racewall followed up by a win at Barford, in the north of England. It was quite a weekend!

"As the season progressed I moved up the grades till I was racing from the red grade so I had a bigger handicap when I moved to the back of the grid. My first Championship was the 'Scottish' at the Racewall and whilst I got a good start I ended up on the sidelines when I took avoiding action to miss a pile up only to be sent out of the race when another car cut across me.

“I used my brother Chris’ car for the European Championship, at Northampton. It was my first time on shale and I gained a lot of good experience and I picked up some good results but on the Sunday it rained! I got bogged down and retired.”

“I made it to the World Final at Bristol, which I was really pleased about, especially as it was my first year - mind you I had to do it the hard way. I crashed out in my semi final at Barford and had to wait until the consolation semi-final at Bristol. That race was hard, there were about seven race stoppages but in the end I finished in second place. I lined up towards the rear of the World Final grid. The track was wet after a shower and unfortunately my race didn’t last long. I tangled with another two cars, got hit by my brother and that was my race over.”

He added: “I was offered a place in the National Series but in the end I declined. I did get a loan of a shale car but there was a lot of travelling involved over a period of around eight weeks with only one meeting in Scotland. I did race at a few of the meetings but not as a National Series entrant.

“Over the course of the season I had scored a lot of points and there is an award for the drivers in their first season – The Novice of the Year Trophy – and I ended up winning it by a good margin.

“My car was stripped down over the close season but had the car ready for the start to the 2019 season having brought it into line with the latest BriSCA requirements. Despite the changes it didn’t affect the cars set up too much. The car felt good in practice and I started to pick up some really good results when the season started.

“The first of the important meetings was the World Championship qualifying round and it turned out to be a very wet night. It rained very heavily all night and conditions weren’t good to say the least. I picked up a third place in the opening heat but got caught up in a racing incident and the car suffered a lot of damage.

“I was looking forward to the Scottish Championship when it came along in June. The car had been running well and I started off with a third place in heat two. My chances of a win disappear early on when the final started when I was forced into the wall on main straight. I was able to restart but the cars set up had been damaged and although I managed to finish in fourth place I wasn’t able to catch those ahead of me.

“We worked late in the garage to get the car ready for Sunday afternoon with the FII Challenge being the main race of the afternoon. The car was going well and I was able to get through the field easily and into the lead. The FII Challenge was my first trophy win and it was good to have my brother Chris in second place!”

Went on Steven:“There was another weekend meeting in August, the night of the Saloon World Final. Our main race was the Geo Mac 100 Memorial final.

"The car had good pace all night and I won the third heat but in the Final I was spun. The following day we were racing for the Chapman Trophy and I made good early progress and then moved into the lead. Once there I went on to another final win.

“Over the season I had done reasonably well in the World Championship qualifying rounds, with the semi-final being run at the St. Day track. It’s a long haul to get there and to make matters worse the race turned out to be a disaster and I was caught up in an incident and had to retire. It was a long journey home and a big disappointment!

“In between the World Championship semi-final and the Final the car was going well and I was ahead of Euan Millar in the race for the track points championship.

“The World Final was at Buxton in September and I had a really good run in the consolation semi-final. I ran in the top group for most of the race and finished in third place.

"This allowed me onto the World Final grid although towards the back. I had a really good race and I managed to miss the pile ups and eventually finished in sixth place. Later on in the meeting I won the Grand National under the floodlights.

“Towards the end of the season I moved up to the superstar grade and went on to win the Pre 67 Ford Owners Club sponsored Grand National Final. However, I didn’t have much luck in the other races over the weekend.

“I had again qualified for the National Series but we were busy in the garage and there it involved a lot of travelling in a short space of time and I declined. My shale car wasn’t ready and that put me at a disadvantage although I could have easily borrowed one. One of the National Series events was at the Racewall and I won one of the heats and was third in another and the Final.”

Looking ahead he said: “I am using the same car this season and will retain the Pinto engine although I am using a Zetec in my shale car.

"I hope to be able to retain my superstar status although it will be hard.

"I would love to retain my FII Challenge Trophy and the track points but will be looking to take in as many of the major championships as possible.”

“I get help to keep my car competitive from my dad, Ernie, John, Joe and Myles, whilst my big brother Chris is always on hand if needed. My sponsors are E. Burgoyne and sons, H& J Burgoyne, Bill Livingston Transport, Graeme Stoddart Transport, Photo Flash, BSS Coldstore, W.A Gormley- Carnwarth, David Philp Commercial, Chris Burgoyne Motorsport, Westfield Motors, Protyre Recycling, Morgan Finance Lots, Airth Castle, JB Racing, Roundabout Travel and GSN Protech Shocks.

"Without their help and assistance I wouldn’t be able to race as competitively as I do.”