CENTRAL Fife racer Raymond Dick says his car will be ready for the re-start of racing within two weeks of it being flagged up, he told our Cowdenbeath Racewall scribe Jim Turner.

“In all the years that I have been racing I don’t think that I have ever managed to finish in a Scottish Championship, no matter how hard I have tried”, Raymond Dick, from Glenrothes, told me, “but that is high on my list of things to do! ”

"It is just one meeting that nothing seems to go right for me.”

Raymond, who is a fitter at McConnachie’s, in Leven, doesn’t have his Saloon Stock car ready for action just now, "Once we get the go ahead to start racing it will be ready within a couple of weeks.

"I used to keep the car at the garage we had at the house in Glenrothes, but just recently we got a unit in Kirkcaldy. Unfortunately I cannot go over and work on it just now or it would be ready to race as soon as we get back to normal.

"Where we are, at Kirkcaldy, there are a few other stock car drivers keep their cars there so we can always get a help if we need to.”

Added Raymond: “Both my mum and dad used to race stock cars but they stopped once my sister and I came along. I used to watch the old videos of them racing when I was young and we would go along to the Racewall to watch.

“When I was ten I asked my dad if I could have a Ministox but it didn’t appear until I was thirteen. When it did appear it wasn’t gift wrapped but under a tarpaulin! At that time we didn’t have a garage so it was kept under wraps each night until we did get one.”

“I warmly remember my first Ministox race vividly. I started from the back of the grid and was pretty slow. Right at the end of the race I crashed out with Kris Drummond.

"I got a bit of a fright and didn’t go out for the other races that night. I was back racing the following week and as my confidence grew I started to pick up speed, but at the 'Scottish' I got spun and crashed backwards into the wall wrecking the car. We then got the Ian McLaughlin car but that didn’t last too long unfortunately.

“After that I raced the ex-Ross Watters car, which was pretty new when we got it. As I grew in confidence I moved up the grades and won a couple of races. However, over the time I still didn’t finish a Scottish Championship race!”

Raymond went on: “In my last year of Ministox racing we got an offer from Alan Rae to swap his Formula II for our Mini so I retired from the Minis a couple of months early. I must say that I enjoyed my time in the Minis though.

“Initially I had wanted a Saloon but by that time we only had a sectionalised garage and it wasn’t really suited to working on the car and trying to set the vehicle up. Mind you Formula II cars are not the easiest things to keep on top of but there isn’t as much heavy contact in them so the repairs are not quite so bad.

“My first outing in the car was something different! First of all it is rear wheeled drive, the engines are much more powerful and the gear box is literally in between your legs.What an adrenalin rush that was. Practice wasn’t too bad with only a handful of cars on the track, but when the season started it was quite daunting.

“I began to get a lot of help from Ryan Walker and Gary Coffey and they took over setting up my car. As a result I began to get more competitive and started to pick up points. I moved from the white grade up to the blue grade and whilst it was a bit harder from the blue grade I was still able to pick up decent results.

“In the four years I raced Formula IIs I still didn’t have any luck in the Scottish Championships and it just wasn’t a lucky race for me. The Formula IIs were beginning to get a bit expensive and at the end of the season I sold my car.

“I took a year out but when Neil McLaughlin decided to hang up his goggles at the end of the following season I bought his car so we were where we thought we would be five years ago.

“Neil helped us to set the car up. It was quite different from a Formula IIs but once we got the hang of it we were able to keep it going. The Formula IIs were quite nimble to drive but a Saloon is anything but. It was like driving a boat.

"Mind you once you get used to the car's peculiarities it is not too bad. The Saloons are full contact as I found out during my early outings and we soon got quite good and repairing bumpers and changing struts!

“In 2017, when the 'Scottish' came along it was the usual story but to compensate I made it to the Saloon World Final at the Racewall.

"The meeting was run by Autospeed and whilst I wasn’t seeded into the final, my chance came during the last qualifying race. I did alright; there were a few shunts early on which I managed to miss.

"As the race got to the closing stages I was in fifth place. I managed to hold onto fifth and got myself onto the grid for the World Championship. I was really pleased to have qualified, although in the race itself I didn’t have much luck - as usual! Still it was a great experience to qualify and race in the World and the atmosphere was something else!”

Raymond said: “Kyle Hegg started to set up my car for me the following year and I started to pick up better results, although the Scottish was another disappointment. " I picked up my first win in the Saloons that year. It was my best ever meeting. I started by getting a third in the first heat, a second in the next although I had a problem with the diff.

"Luckily it held together in the final and I went on to win. A win is always something special especially when it is at your home track. I was absolutely delighted to have won and the grins on the faces of my mum, dad and my mechanics said it all.

“I went down to Skegness last year for the UK Challenge weekend but it turned out to be a bit of a disaster. I think I managed to get caught up in any incident that was happening and I broke every corner of the car. I enjoyed the weekend but I didn’t get much time to watch any of the other races – too busy fixing my car.”

“Back at the Racewall I thought my luck in the 'Scottish' had changed for the better. I managed to get through into the lead early on but then there was a race suspension and my lead disappeared. On the re-start I got tangled with Barry Russell and that was that.

“The World was back at Cowdenbeath and again I was in the last chance qualifying race. Not long into the race one of my water hoses came adrift and I had to retire. I was back out for the other races over the weekend and it was a great experience. The end of the season was a disappointment. I had problems with the car on both days and didn’t do much racing.”

“I get a lot of help working on my car from my mum and dad, my uncle Andy, and my cousin Mark. I get sponsorship from EJB Autocare, Tower Car Sales, Neil McLaughlin Timber Contracts, Maxwell Racing Developments and Trevor Harris Paver Hire. I would like to thank them for all their help and support it is important to me.”