DO you remember the Formula II Scottish Championship at the Cowdenbeath Racewall in September 2014?, writes our Racewall reporter Jim Turner.

It was a classic three day meeting that had action and excitement galore with one of the loudest Cowdenbeath roars when George MacMillan jnr crossed the line to win!

The Formula II drivers headed north to the Racewall in 2014 for the Formula II World Final and what an amazing weekend of racing it turned out to be. There had been a temporary stand erected behind the pit bend to house an extra 1,500 fans, but all around the stadium the fans were standing shoulder to shoulder. The Scottish fans roared with delight as one of the home drivers - George MacMillan Jnr, from Stepps, crossed the line to become the World Champion

The last chance qualifying race on the Friday night set the standard for the weekend with the action starting on the drop of the green flag. Cars were being shoved around whilst Peter McCallum clambered over Chris Mikulla’s car but somehow managed to keep going. Those who made it through to the back of the World Final grid were Sam Wagner, Robbie Dawson, Mickey Brennan, Nathan Maidment, Tim Bailey and Jamie Avery.

On Saturday the weather was dry and sunny with the drivers arriving early for pre race scrutineering, practice, race talks and the very popular grid walk. By mid afternoon the place was buzzing. There was question of whether Rob Speak would turn up after he and Gordon Moodie had a fall out, especially with the Formula I 'World' looming. Not one to shirk anything Rob turned up, smiling.

George MacMillan Jnr told me: “I was quite happy to start on row 5 for the final; the semis had been on shale at Mildenhall and I was a wee bit surprised to have finished as the top Scottish driver. The pits were buzzing when I got there and I only did a few practice laps but I was really pleased with my lap times. I was second fastest! The week before I had blown the clutch and I was just wanting to make sure that it was alright. The “greet the drivers” session was amazing – the number of people coming onto the track to get autographs and photos was unbelievable and even at this stage the tension was building up.”

“To get onto the track for the parade lap we had to pass through a tunnel of smoke – the cauldron of Cowdenbeath – and then you were greeted by an amazing wall of noise!”

The track floodlights were now ablaze and the order went out to ”Gentlemen Start Your Engines” and to a crescendo of sound 30 odd engines burst into life with the fans cheers almost drowning over the sound of the engines. The atmosphere was electric as the cars set off on their slow parade laps. “I was a nervous wreck by then,” he commented.

Josh Coleman and Barry Goldin were on the front row with George on row 5 and one of the other Scottish hopes, Gordon Moodie on row 8.

Not long after the green flag dropped then all hell broke loose. Coleman went straight into the lead with Goldin tucking in behind only for the latter to be clipped by Connor Hughes resulting with the latter spinning out of the race. Toon Schut, Mark Hargreaves and Luke Wrench tangled but all restarted.

As the mid order headed into the pit bend the anticipated chaos unfolded. Jan Bekkers was introduced to the Racewall along with Kyle Taylor and Mark Wright, as the latter tried to cut the corner to miss the pile up but to no avail. Before anyone could restart they were joined by six others led by Martin Ford who was hit amidships by Michael Lund, whilst Craig McConnell clambered over a couple of cars. The race was immediately red flagged.

“I had held back a bit when the race started knowing that there was probably going to be a pile up and sure enough it did happen, but luckily it happened behind me. Even then I had bounced off a couple of cars but hadn’t suffered any damage”.

The grid was reformed and again Coleman led Goldin into the pit bend, but his time at the front didn’t last long with Goldin taking over the lead spot. Bradbury was sitting in third spot and ahead of Rob Speak, who had Gordon Moodie closing with the latter having just got ahead of MacMillan Jnr.

Speak looked to be on a Sunday jaunt and managed to delay Moodie long enough to let a field of cars stream through. “Rob and Gordon had fallen out down at Taunton a few weeks before so I was sure that it would all kick-off when they closed up. Sure enough it did and I was able to slip through unscathed.”

MacMillan Jnr was now in third but Robbie Dawson, who had started on row 16, was now up to fourth. By the time Moodie got ahead of Speak he was down in 13th but once he had he began to make up ground and was quickly back into the top ten. As the race progressed MacMillan Jnr got ahead of Bradbury into second although Goldin still had a sizeable lead.

Half distance the gap between Goldin and MacMillan Jnr was 1.5 seconds. Dawson moved into third with Moodie catching Bradbury. “I was slowly catching Barry but was beginning to think that I was going to have to settle for the runners-up spot.”

The race was then turned on its head when Steven Gilbert’s engine blew as he headed into the pit bend depositing its oil onto the track. Goldin hit the oil and crashed heavily into the wall but MacMillan Jnr somehow managed to miss the slick although it caught out third placed Dawson who spun. The race was suspended and after the track was cleared MacMillan Jnr was the new leader with one car between him and Bradbury with a further two between the latter and Moodie then Dawson.

“My dad had always told me to keep looking ahead and whilst I saw Gilbert’s engine blow, Barry was too close and when he hit the oil slick he crashed hard into the wall. Being still on the straight I managed to slow enough to get through but I saw that Robbie was also caught out and spun. It took a while to get Barry out of his car. I was trying to keep calm whilst the paramedics were at Barry’s car but the tension was building up the longer it took. There were only six laps to run and I was thinking that there was bound to be another stoppage. Gordon and Robbie were not that far behind so I was ready for anything to happen. The other thing that I remember as I was sitting on the grid was that I could hear the fans shouting over the noise of the engines!”

On the restart MacMillan Jnr made a good restart and opened up a gap over Bradbury who was to drop a place as Moodie moved into second. MacMillan Jnr then reeled off the remaining laps and to a crescendo of noise the chequer was waved as he became the new World Champion. “Finally the race got underway and I tried to concentrate on making sure I didn’t make a mistake. I don’t really remember too much about crossing the line first. I really couldn’t believe that I had done it. I remember driving into the lay-by, clambering out of my car and onto its roof. Then I got mobbed by my family and friends. The atmosphere was something that you have to experience.”

There was an emotional moment when he was hugged by his granddad, George, and the applause on the victory lap was something else. “It was by far the best night of my life – and it was at the Racewall!", remembered George.

“I was back out the following day with the gold wing on the car. It was different having to start right at the back of the grid but that is what we race for – the right to race with the prestigious gold roof.”