THE first of the stock car practice meetings was held at the Cowdenbeath Racewall on a blustery Sunday afternoon and whilst there was always the threat of rain in basically stayed away, writes Racewall scribe Jim Turner.

The track was wet at the start and not conducive to fast lap times but as the session wore on by the end of practice the track was dry and lap times tumbled. There were a few spins initially and then towards the end as drivers tried maybe a bit too hard to get the best out of their cars.

Prior to the meeting Micro F2 drivers Caitlin Mitchell, Ben Armit and Taylor Rigby and Ministox driver Zara Hutchinson were put through their paces before being allowed out to practice.

In the ORCi Stock Rods Sandy Galbraith (Auchtermuchty) returned to the scene to join son Scott in action and it was a shock to find out that it has been ten years since he last raced. Taylor Borthwick was also having her first taste of Stock Rod racing and she was tailed by a television crew who are making a film for the Edinburgh festival.

The BriSCA Formula II season has already started with drivers racing at King’s Lynn on Saturday and then at Skegness on Sunday. Peter Watt debuted his new car, very tentatively at the start, but once he got used to the cars handling then he began to speed up. The car looks good in its new livery and if goes as well as it looks then he is in for a good season.

Surprisingly Stevie Forster was another putting in as many laps as he could and he was certainly the quickest on show.

Amongst the interested spectators were Pete Davidson, Garry Sime, Paul Reid (Cowdenbeath) and Gregor Turner (Dunfermline) although their cars are not quite ready. Davidson has one car all but ready to go but his other needs a fair bit of work to do before it is ready for action. Reid has the side rails cut off his car but it should be ready or the opening meeting. Sime still has quite a few hours to spend on his car, having spent a good few hours on son Ollie’s Micro F2, but hopes to be ready prior to the end of the month. Turner is perhaps a bit further forward than Sime but still has a few things needing done.

There weren’t too many Saloons about, Barry Russell arrived having raced at King’s Lynn the previous night. Russell had experienced a small fire in his carb but had rectified the problems for practice. Russell was the quickest of the Saloons but not by that much so it looks like another interesting season.

Ross Watters (Kennoway) had modified his car and was running on the 14” wheels and the new tyres which were causing the drivers a few problems – not being as “grippy” as the others. His car has been re-panelled and sign written and towards the end of the session wasn’t too far away from the quickest lap times.

Another trying out the “new “ tyres was Kyle Irvine (Glenrothes) and he put in quite a few fast laps without the car seeming to get too out of shape.

The car of newcomer Callum Smith was given a few exploratory laps by Tam Rutherford Jnr before Smith took to the track to get a few laps under his belt. Rutherford Jnr has been busy converting a lorry to accommodate his car, spares and family so he needs now to get busy on his car.

With the ORCi Stock Rod European Championship at Knockhill and the World at the Racewall it wasn’t surprising to see over double figures of cars take to the track.

There was some close racing between Michael Bethune (Kirkcaldy) and Cammy Doak, two drivers who will be contenders for the championship titles. Bethune was using the car he had used last year but had refurbished it. He certainly seemed at home in the conditions and was making set up changes each time he raced. It was a similar story with Doak and it will be good to compare them on a dry track.

Liam McGill (Dysart) was another who put in quite a few good laps and he too is going to be challenging for race wins.

The Galbraith father and son combination took to the track at every opportunity and there wasn’t too much to chose between them although perhaps Scott just shaded it! Brian Wilson proved to be consistent as did Stuart Wedderburn (Leven) and Kris Simpson (Buckhaven). Euan Robertson struggled a bit with his car but began to pick up as the session progressed.

Taylor Borthwick was having her first taste of stock rod racing and did alright although the attention of the cameras following here every movement must have been a distraction.

David Dignan (Methilhill) was missing with his sign writer being delayed but should be alright for next weeks session.

Darren Rae (Lochgelly) and Ryan Martin were in action with their Prostocks whilst Kielan Ogilvie was out in his Prostock Basic car in the colours of Barry Russell’s saloons.

There weren’t too many Ministox about but newcomer Zara Hutchinson must have been pleased with her first taste of this formula.

She was caught out a couple of times early on but after that held a decent line and is certainly going to be one to watch.

Robbie Armit and Scott Allardyce (Anstruther) were both quick and will be looking forward to the British Championship when it comes along!

Amongst the Micro F2 drivers were newcomers Caitlin Mitchell, Ben Armit and Taylor Rigby and all three were going well whilst they were in action.

Mitchell is the daughter of saloon driver Willie Mitchell whilst Armit is the son of hot rod driver Steven, who is in semi-retirement at present.

All three proved to be fast for the first time that they have been in action taking into account the wet and greasy track when they were in action.

Quickest was Connor St. Aubyn (Glenrothes) and he will certainly pick up quite a few wins along the way and along with Lennon Cuthill (Glenrothes) will provide with some exciting racing.

Cole Ramsay put in some quick laps but then encountered a problem which the team hoped that they had managed to fix and he too should pick up a few good results over the season.

Ben McLellan, Chris Davidson Jnr, Ollie Sime and Owen Marshall will be looking towards moving up the grades and hope to head into the winners circle from time to time.

It is not easy for the youngsters in the Micro F2 when you consider that they are racing in fields of over 20 cars and are between the ages of 7 to 11 years of age.

There is another practice session on Sunday so hopefully the weather will be dry and this will entice a few more drivers to take to the track.