DO you remember when the Brisca Formula 1 drivers made their visit to the Cowdenbeath Racewall in 2018 for their bi - annual Scottish Championship?, writes our Racewall scribe Jim Turner.

Ex-saloon driver Lindsay Wilson was amongst those who raced and he shared his experience with me!

Martin Spiers was the unlikely victor of the BriSCA F1 Scottish Championship at the Racewall on the Saturday evening when he led home outgoing champion Tom Harris and former World Champion Lee Fairhurst.

Forty-four of the V8 giants made the long trip to the Racewall, mostly from south of the border, although there was significant Scottish interest including F2 Scottish Champion, Euan Millar; former Saloon Stock Car World Champion Stuart Shevill Jnr; former Scottish Lightning Rod and Saloon Stock Car Champion Lindsay Wilson, and former FII World Champion John Fortune, along with Ron Ferguson and English-based Colin Nairn.

“I had hoped to get a run in Stuart Shevill’s car on the Friday afternoon prior to the meeting but there was something going on at the stadium so it wasn’t going to happen," Lindsay told me.

"Stuart told me that it would be fine. He said it was like driving a tractor – no handling at all!”

The atmosphere is always buzzing when the Formula I drivers are at the Racewall. This year it was different, Lindsay Wilson, from Comrie, told me, “I was racing one! My daughter, Megan, had bought me a run in one of the hire cars for my birthday. I was nervous and had got to the track early.

"I was wanting to have a seat in the car and see if I could reach the pedals and just get used to the cars. In fact I missed him coming in! I was a bit apprehensive getting into the car and trying out the Hans device. Mat brought all the equipment and when I got into the car I felt comfortable in the seat. I wasn’t that comfortable with the goggles because I hadn’t worn them before. It certainly was different.”

On the afternoon the rain had fallen making the track wet and greasy but when the Formula Is went out to practice the rain had stopped and soon the track began to dry and when it was time for the hire car drivers to go out to practice there was a semblance of a dry line. Former Scottish Champion Craig Utley was out in their last session and he put in the quickest lap but several of the top names were relatively far down the order owing to the continually changing track conditions.

Lindsay recalled:“When I went out for my practice I had to push someone around the track and into the pits and I was struggling a bit just to drive the car. It had rained during the afternoon but when I went out there was a dry line and after a lap or so I just went for it.

"The car was nice but scary, but holy smoke, the noise was unbelievable. I was hanging on like grim death whilst trying to get a rhythm going. I was knackered after the 6 laps I did - it felt like 26, but it was totally awesome! When I got out of the car I was amazed when they told me that I had done the second fastest lap of practice. I could have gone home after my six laps. I had ticked all the boxes.

“Mat took me out on the parade prior to the meeting – he said he wanted to take the “local hero” around – it was totally surreal. Imagine me being driven around the track by a superstar in the Formula Is – not real!”

Heat one ended with Karl Hawkins winning from former Scottish Champion Frankie Wainman Jnr and Luke Davidson with Wilson in eighth.

“I was pole yellow for the meeting, and I managed to keep out of trouble to finish in eighth position in my heat, the opening one," went on Lindsay. "I set the fastest laps a few times during the race and that surprised me because I was completely out of my comfort zone. I was really apprehensive about driving the car but perhaps the others were more apprehensive about the wall!"

In heat two Mat crashed out with Joff Gibson with Tom Harris going through to win from National Series Champion Stuart Smith and Will Hunter with Shevill Jnr placed fourth. A good field of cars assembled for the consolation which saw Fortune hit the wall hard on the turnstile bend, leading to major damage sufficient to end his night’s racing. Utley showed that he was a force to be reckoned with by taking the win, with Newson second and Danny Wainman third.

“I felt apprehensive lining up for the final," added Lindsay.

"All the big names were out there. The likes of Tom Harris, Frankie Wainman Jnr, Stuart Smith and many more and here I was in my first run in a Formula I car racing against them.

"The atmosphere was electric as the cars roared following the 'ladies and gentlemen...start your engines! command. The noise was something else when all the cars fired up.”

Scotsman Ronald Ferguson led the race away as Tristan Jackson and Colin Goodswen trained into the wall whilst Phoebe Wainman and Will Hunter got hooked up on the turnstile bend and eventually came to a halt on the inside of the home straight.

Ashley England went for a trip to the wall whilst Chris Cowley spun and retired in front of the stricken Goodswen car. Jackson rejoined just in front of Ferguson delaying him and that allowed Spiers through into the lead. Harris and Fairhurst started to make their way through the pack and with two to run had caught and passed second placed Shevill Jnr. By now Spiers was far enough clear of the chasing duo and he went on to become the 2018 Scottish Champion in his new self-built car. Harris and Fairhurst completed the podium with Shevill Jnr and Ferguson ending up fifth and sixth respectively.

Reflected the Fife racer: "In the Scottish I finished the race but not in the top ten. "I had clobbered the wall a few times but I was more focussed and determined on finishing the race. I had the likes of Frankie Wainman Jnr and Stuart Smith chasing me, Formula I World Champions, for a few laps before they eventually got through so I must have been doing alright. I think I was the fourteenth car home. Awesome!

“I found the final quite rough. Mind you I was getting tired – these are heavy pieces of machinery to hang on to but I did finish the race but not in the top ten. I was like a shot 'doo' driving the car into the pits.

"Harris went on to win the Grand National, from Fairhurst and Hawkins in a race that featured a heavy knock to the wall for Steve Reedman and a roll over for Wayne Marshall.

“I went back out for the Grand National and had a bit of a half spin going down the straight. I got going again but a car rolled in front of me and I hit him on the roof. I just couldn’t stop the car in time – I didn’t like that! Once he was out of the car I rejoined the race and managed to finish.

“I would do it again in a minute, it was a fantastic experience and I absolutely loved it. I was happy after my 6 laps, that would have been enough for me. I might have another go in one, Knockhill Trioval would be good – when are they back again? Mat was very helpful and I couldn’t thank him enough.”