TRADING cars helped accelerate West Fife race ace Jay Paterson to a successful last 12 months in the fast lane.

And the talented S3 pupil at Queen Anne High School in Dunfermline is hopeful that 2020 will provide greater glory when he returns to action at Cowdenbeath Racewall – with British success firmly in his sights.

Paterson, of Saline, is set to get behind the wheel once more in the Ministox formula of stock car racing, open to youngsters aged between 11-16 and a stage before the drivers head into one of the senior formula.

The cars are built to strict regulations, have bumpers front and back and are powered by highly tuned 998 cc engines with roll cages and safety harnesses fitted. The drivers must wear an approved helmet, fireproof racing overalls and gloves.

He said: “I am looking forward to this season. My brother Gary and my dad are busy working on my car.

“It has been stripped and they’re rebuilding it just now. Gary is doing all the welding and he is making a few changes.

“We have a new roll cage to be fitted and will be refreshing the engine before the start to the season.

“Once I get my homework done I am in the garage helping them. My younger brother Kerr has registered with the ministox this year and hopefully will be joining me on the track soon so we are going to be very busy!”

Paterson is heading into his third season after a spectacular year of thrills and spills at the racewall last time out.

After suffering a few crashes during the early part of the season, emerging from the pits in a new car in May saw a surge up the grid, which included a third place in a national competition.

In June, the Ministox British Championship will take place at the Cowdenbeath race track and Paterson said: “You have got to be in it to win it!

“The team have made sure that the car has been right for me, and I ended up third in the GMP National Points.

“The new car was much better and, although I didn’t manage to get good results in the East of Scotland Championship, I did win the Joan Purdie Memorial Trophy later in the day.”

While he’s enjoyed trips south of the border to the likes of Skegness and Great Yarmouth to race, and picked up driver of the meeting accolades, some of his highlights have arrived while being left in a spin on the track – even when not crossing the finish line at the RGM Garage Thistle Trophy.

“I found it hard in the very wet and greasy conditions, and kept taking hits, but managed to make my way back through the field to the front,” Paterson continued.

“Going into the last bend it was all or nothing for the win. Coming out of the bend, I hit off Mika Millar as I tried to pass him, and the rotor arm broke.

“This caused my car to cut out and I ended up spinning.

“I never crossed the finish line, but the Murray family picked me as the Driver of the Racewall!

“I have also rolled my car a couple of times – once after I had won the Brenda Williams Memorial Trophy final. I was going well at the National Championship at Lochgelly, but a car spun right in front of me and that was my race over and done with. It’s been a good year, maybe more so after getting the new car.”

The new racewall season at Cowdenbeath begins next month.