NO sooner had the 2020 stock car season started at the Cowdenbeath Racewall then it was stopped, writes our Racewall reporter Jim Turner, who this week looks at the impact of the coronavirus situation on the stock car world!

2020 was the start to the 40th year of GMP in Scotland and the 60th anniversary of BriSCA but the coronavirus has really put a spoke in the celebrations!

To date there has only been one meeting at the Racewall and that was last week and it was held back to the 14th as it was the same weekend that Gordon McDougall opened the doors to the Newtongrange Oval, just south of Edinburgh. Cowdenbeath didn’t re-open until 1989 and is known for the concrete wall and an electric atmosphere.

The stock cars is usually a family affair and can be quite difficult to stop. Generations of families can often be seen involving grandparents, their sons and wives and even their offspring traipsing around the stadium.

Often sons follow in their father’s footsteps although at the start to this season Scott Galbraith’s father Sandy, returned to the Stock Rods after being a spectator and then mechanic to his son for 10 years.

Names who are synonymous with the stock cars are the Jones, the Burgoynes and the Moodies although there are quite a few more who have raced over the years. Quite often you would see drivers dicing hard on the track and then laughing and joking about it in the pits.

The first part of the season could well be wiped out due to this virus and there are certainly repercussions for some of the major events. Are we in danger of cancelling all the major championships this year if the qualifying rounds cannot be accommodated or are these just going to be cancelled anyway?

There are a few meetings in danger of being lost to the Scottish fans and one is the biannual visit of the mighty BriSCA Formula I cars on 25th June, which was the last meeting prior to the holiday break! Will there be a holiday break this year or…..?

The Stock Rod European Championship at the Knockhill Trioval is in danger of being lost. It could be rearranged for the World Final weekend but..!

The first to go is the Unlimited Banger World Cup and it had the makings of being the best for a while with around 25 drivers already booked in to race. There are a lot of Banger meetings in the second part of the season so it might be difficult to get a date which doesn’t coincide with major meetings south of the border.

If the drivers don’t get restarted at the beginning of July then the UK Speedweekend down at Skegness is under threat. This meeting brings Formula IIs, Saloons and Formula I drivers together for an exciting weekend's racing. Drivers and their families, from all over Britain and the continent, congregate at “Skegvegas” for a popular two day's racing.

However, there are also quite a few social gatherings in either the stadium or in some of the popular spots in the town as people meet up for an annual get together. It is also the start of the holidays for quite a few people!

The Knockhill Trioval was back on the stock car calendar for the first time in seven years but is in real danger of not happening. The Trioval was popular with both drivers and fans alike and it would be a great addition considering when the likes of Stoke and Birmingham have closed whilst Belle Vue in Manchester is in danger of following suit.

Many drivers have spent many a long hour in their garages over the winter months trying to get their cars ready for the start of the season sacrificing precious time with their family. Mind you sometimes their better halves might have been glad to see them go to the garage!

Whilst there have not been rule changes to the Formula IIs, most drivers strip down their cars once the season is over discarding any worn parts. Engines usually get a bit of TLC and then the cars are rebuilt. Mind you the drivers usually underestimate the time required to get their cars back in action and are usually in a rush to get their motors ready in time.

However, a few drivers are changing from the 2 Litre Pinto engine to the Zetec and the likes of Garry Sime, Colin Forbes and Gregor Turner are in the throes of doing so. By stark contrast Chris Burgoyne is switching back from Zetec to Pinto although he and his brother Steven are using Zetec power in their shale cars.

Daniel Scrimgeour, Peter Watt and Euan Millar have bought new cars and have already raced them whilst Craig Wallace has his new one all but ready.

The numbers in the Formula IIs looks to be on the increase with no fewer than five new drivers scheduled to appear this year but so far only Ross Lawrence has made it onto the track.

The Formula II drivers could see up to ten World Championship qualifying rounds wiped out and that includes the 'Scottish weekend' when there were three World Championship rounds to be staged in three days at Knockhill, Cowdenbeath and than at Crimond.

Should the racing restart in July then it could well be difficult to reschedule those rounds before the semi-finals come around on 8th August. The semis are scheduled to be staged at Northampton but cannot be rescheduled at the track as their next meeting is not until after the World Final!

The Scottish Championship is due to be run on the 2nd May but there shouldn’t be a problem in that being rescheduled for later in the season.

Taunton will probably reschedule the running of the Ben Fund meeting as will the FII Challenge and Irish Open, at Nutts Corner.

The Saloons could see championship dates being rescheduled but one meeting that could be in danger is the Irish Open and Masters scheduled for April at Nutts Corner. Hopefully another date could be found. However, it looks like that the English, British, National, European and Scottish Championships will need to be rearranged.

However, quite a few of these meetings count for World Ranking points which determines the grid for the World Final.

The powers that be will need to decide if they are going to reschedule these meetings later on during the season so that the grid for the World Final will be as of now!

It looks as if the National Hot Rod Qualifying rounds are over so the drivers who are in the leading points places at present will be the ones who represent Scotland.

The Ministox drivers have quite a lot of trophy races that will have to be re scheduled including the British Championship. Others likely to be rescheduled are the Keir Millar Memorial and Cowdenbeath Civic Week trophies.

The annual visit from the American Cup Series is in real danger of being cancelled but whether they can be accommodated at a later date is doubtful.

It is hoped that we shall all be back in action as soon as possible but it is going to be a bit of a headache for the Promoters to reschedule the Championship events to suit although quite a few of the domestic events can be juggled to suit.

However, the most important thing is to stay well and pay attention to the Government’s advice, hard as it may be. I know that already I cannot wait until we start racing again but I will try to stay indoors as much as possible! Keep an eye on the Racewall website for news of when we are restarting.