DESPITE the weather being a bit dull the second closed door practice session at the Cowdenbeath Racewall was well attended on Saturday and there were some fast laps by the drivers despite their being a bit of water exiting the turnstile bend, writes our Racewall reporter Jim Turner, who also caught up with Formula II driver Euan Millar.

Lana Middler made her debut in the Micro F2s, which are open to drivers between the ages of seven to eleven years and apart from one spin, must have been pleased with her first outing.

Martin Balfour and Graeme Callender brought out their Classic Hot Rods whilst World Champion Robert McDonald and Gordon Alexander had their National Hot Rods at the track.

The morning session was open to the youngsters in the Micro F2s with Oliver Heron, who had travelled up from Liverpool, marginally quicker than David Philp Jnr Jnr. Mind you Owen Marshall, Cole Ramsay and Ben McLellan were clocking up fast laps and once the racing starts will be looking for some good results.

Newcomer Ollie Sime ran consistently whilst Taylor Rigby, who was down from Crimond, continued to progress in what is his first season.

In the afternoon the practice sessions carried on with some fast pace action. Chris Burgoyne, still using last year's car, was the fastest in the Formula IIs but he was not that much quicker than Craig Wallace who was getting his new car sorted out. Daniel Scrimgeour had a couple of problems during the afternoon but his session ended early when his diff seized. Peter Watt was running well in his new car whilst Ben Sher continued to chalk up the laps as he gets used to his new formula.

One surprise was seeing Saloon driver Barry Russell in a Formula II. It wasn’t his though it was Nigel Davies’ car and he was given the chance to try it out. However, fear not Barry is staying in the Saloons but next week he is racing a Formula I at Kings Lynn and wanted to get some laps in whilst running anti-clockwise.

Barry Glen was again the quickest in the Saloons although again Tam Rutherford Jnr wasn’t that far adrift. Graeme Anderson went faster as the session ran and at the end he was turning in some really rapid laps which was just a shade slower than Glen and Rutherford Jnr. White grader Alisdair Smith was having his first run of the year and ran without mishap!

There was another healthy turn out of ORCi Stock Rod drivers with again Cammy Doak the quickest. although he wasn’t using the car he had the previous week. Dysart’s Liam McGill was running strongly in his new Adam car and was taking the opportunity to make slight changes to the car's set-up to gain more speed. In the end he was only a couple of hundreds slower that Doak.

Leon Stewart and Craig Tosh ran strongly although the latter did have one or two problems which he was able to overcome. David Dignan (Methil) was getting used to his new car and like McGill changed the set up to get the car handling as he would like it to. Taylor Borthwick continues to improve with each run and once the racing starts could soon be picking up some strong results. Newcomer Lee Burden, who has switched from the Bangers, ran well and picked up the pace as the session continued.

The Prostock Basic formula, set up to attract newcomers into the racing, had plenty of cars on show. Kielan Ogilvie brought two cars with him and along with Jamie Reid gave the cars plenty of track time in an effort to get the cars problems sorted out. Graeme and Jordan Dignan (Leven) were running well whilst Joanne Hilditch was giving her new car an outing and was running with a new paint scheme. Kinglassie’s Callum Rennie’s car looked very smart and reasonably fast whilst Jake Mason proved to be the quickest with his new car.

The Ministox drivers were back and running as quick as ever. Charlie Hardie was the quickest from Robbie Armit and Lewis Clark Burgoyne. There was little to choose between Jay Paterson (Saline), Ryan Borthwick and Rachel Kidd for speed whilst newcomer Bobby Brandon showed up relatively well despite being in his first season.

The Classic Hot Rod duo of Martin Balfour (Glenrothes) and Graeme Callender brought back memories of the “old” times with their cars and both drivers were certainly quick.

National Hot Rod World Champion, Robert McDonald, had a good run in his car before he continues the qualifying rounds for next year's final.

There is another closed practice session next Saturday with drivers having to book in to race through GMP.

I was lighted to have a conversation with Euan Millar

One the bright prospects that races stock cars at the Cowdenbeath Racewall and whilst still in his teens, he already has a Formula II Scottish Championship to his credit.

Euan told me: “When my sixteenth birthday came along I had to retire from the Ministox formula and bought a Formula II car.

"They are a single seater with bumpers front and rear and sport aerofoils on the roof. The cars are powered by either a highly tuned 2 Litre Pinto or a Zetec engine and car achieve speeds of over 70 mph on a ¼ mile oval. "The car I got was an RCE built chassis that had been used by Ian Thompson so a lot of the initial setting up problems had been sorted out. I only managed three outings in the car that year.

“The following season I won my first ever race. It was at the Ballymena New Year meeting and the opening heat of the season. I picked up a few wins early on in the season which moved me up the grades. I raced as often as possible and at the end of the year I won the Novice of the year championship.”

“My best season so far was the 2018 one. I was using the same car and over the opening weeks of the season I again won quite a few races and ended up racing from the Superstar grade. I had scored well in the World Championship Qualifying rounds and was feeling confident as we headed to the 'Scottish'.

"That disappeared the week before when I rolled the car and as a result it suffered a lot of damage. We spent a full week in the garage getting it back into shape. I managed a seventh in my heat. There was plenty of early action at the start to the 'Scottish', which I managed to miss and as the race progressed I was sitting in third but adrift of those ahead.

"Going into the last lap I had new that I couldn’t catch the pair ahead and was resigned to finish third. On the last bend Liam Rennie made his bid for the win but in doing so took out the leader Adam Blacklock. I couldn’t believe it when I saw them stranded on the last bend and I drove past them and then I saw the chequer dropping as I crossed the finish line – I was the Scottish Champion – brilliant!”

Added Euan: “In the World Championship semi-final I got hooked up with another car and didn’t finish and there was more disappointment at the last chance qualifying round when my clutch cable broke and I didn’t finish. That was later forgotten about when I ended up winning the Racewall track points championship where I beat Craig Wallace by a handful of points.

“The following season didn’t go quite so well. I finished third in the Scottish Championship and the runner-up in the track points championship. I had done well in the World Championship qualifying rounds and had a good place on my semi-final grid at St. Day.

"The first semi had been run in a rain shower but the track was showing signs of drying out when mine came along. I made the wrong tyre choice and dropped own the order although I did finish in the top ten.

"When the 'World' came along at Buxton I had worked my way up into sixth before being sent crashing out of the race.

“I have a new RCE chassis for this season with a Zetec engine and am quite pleased with how the car is running. Mind you I might not get in too many meetings this season so will be looking to make a good start to the 2021 season.

"I live in Lockerbie so have quite a trip to get to the Racewall each week!"