I MET up with race manager Dave Borthwick, at the Cowdenbeath Racewall, just before the practice session on Saturday, writes our Racewall scribe Jim Turner.

It had been previously announced that the stock car racing was going to restart on Saturday September 19 only for it to be dashed by the First Minister, who has made adjustment to the Route Map out of Lockdown Phase 3 through a rise in coronavirus infections to the and it is now delayed until October 10 at the earliest.

After having to make him a cup of coffee Dave told me: “I really thought that we were going to be able to restart on the 19th with a full meeting but now we may have a closed door meeting for the Micro F2 drivers depending on their numbers.

"As the Racewall is a designated sports stadium we will be unable to r-eopen with spectators until after confirmation of the 5th October as to whether we can restart or not.”

He added: “If we do it will only be our second meeting in what was our 40th season of racing under the GMP banner which started at Newtongrange in 1981. "Having to comply with the Scottish Government’s legislation we need the co-operation of all parties to do so. There are numerous details that we have to put in place before we do so. The first thing we are doing is to set up a keep left one way system round the stadium and we ask the spectators to comply with the changes we have had to implement. "We are making an area in the bottom stand and around the pit bend which will be reserved for drivers, mechanics and their families only.

“The remainder of the fans will have access to the the other parts of the stadium but not the pits.

"We are hoping for the co-operation from drivers and spectators at this difficult time where we must implement plans to keep everyone safe.

"We also need their co-operation and we ask that they wear masks at all times and social distance. We have been told how many spectators can be allowed into the stadium and at this stage we are working on an advance ticket system and we would request that the fans book and pay through our web site. There will be admittance through turnstiles for the spectators.”

“Regarding the drivers we will need them to book in prior to the meeting and inform us of how many people they will be bringing with them. We will confirm their bookings. Unfortunately they just cannot turn up – they must have booked in and we will utilise the bottom pits plus the top pits to allow them social distancing.”

Looking at the possible remainder of the season Dave added: “With regards to the remaining fixture list we are at this stage revising what was planned and we will endeavour to give the drivers as many races as we can.

"We will shortly publicise a modified one in the near future. This could change should further restrictions be implemented by the Scottish Government.

"There will be some date changes we shall have to make and that will concern the football. If Cowdenbeath are playing at home we will have to alter our fixture accordingly so the stadium can be properly disinfected. Unfortunately this cannot be achieved between the end of the match and out start time so we will either have to race on a Friday evening or a Sunday.

“With regards to 2021 we will be looking at the fixture list and making some adjustments to it, especially as it is the 40th year of GMP racing in Scotland".

The practice session which followed our discussion saw some close and fast racing and at times it was hard to remember that it was only a practice session.

There was a scary moment for Stock Rod driver Cameron Doak when David Dignan (Methil) had a spin right in front of him but somehow he managed to swerve around him missing the car by a merest coat of paint!

The Stock Rods were always good to watch when they took to the track and this time the fastest lap was clocked up by Leon Stewart, from Kirknewton. Mind you there was little difference in the lap times set by Doak, Michael Bethune (Kirkcaldy) and Liam McGill (Dysart). There was some eye catching dices between Doak and Bethune, McGill and Stewart and Doak and McGill which augers well.

Mind you there wasn’t much to choose between Neil Gilogley (Dundee), Steve Gunby (Cupar), Lee Burden and Dignan.

With the World Final at the Racewall next year then the home drivers must be in with a good chance of lifting the title.

Dean Sievwright made his first appearance in the Formula IIs having mainly raced in the Banger formula. The change from front wheel rear wheel drive didn’t faze him at all and in their first run he put in the quickest of laps! The look on his face when the clambered out of his car after his first run said it all! Peter Watt broke a half shaft but managed to scrounge another whilst Raffaele Donofrio had a couple of mechanical problems early on.

After that they all ran relatively trouble free with Watt turning out to the quickest.

Heads turned towards the end of the racing though when an RCE chassis appeared at the track. In the end it turned out that Ryan McGill (Dysart) had bought the car from Adam Blacklock. McGill intends to have the car built up and running as soon as he can and hopes to get in some practice before the end of the year.

The Formula IIs are looking in a healthy state just now with Ben Sher and Sievwright already having practiced whilst Ross Lawrence, Darren Ewart and now McGill will all be ready for the start to the new season.

The Saloons too are looking a bit healthy as well with three newcomers getting in as much track time as they could.

Having their first taste of 2 Litre power were Logan Bruce and Brandon Morton, the latter having picked up the ex- Santry car with the last couple of weeks. Mind you Callum Smith just appeared on the scene in March but all three did suffer mechanical issues from time to time

Morton showed good pace with his car although he did suffer a mechanical issue during one of his runs, whilst Bruce only managed a few laps before he had retire. Both drivers though kept a good racing line. Smith managed to clock up the most laps as well as appearing to be the fastest of the drivers.

There was a welcome return to the track for National Hot Rod driver Billy Bonnar (Ballingry) although it might be July before we see him back racing in earnest. It didn’t take him long to get back into the swing of things and he soon had the car running sweetly. The other NHR driver there was James Mooney and apart from a few mechanical issues put in some consistent laps.

Jake Mason and John Galloway were the only two Prostock Basic drivers on show and they ran strongly throughout their sessions.

Logan Tweedie was the quickest of the Ministox drives although Jamie Dawson gave him a run for his money whilst Bobby Brandon and Zara Hutchinson ran consistently when on track.

Mia Cross turned out to the quickest in the Micro F2s from Cole Ramsay whilst newcomer Lana Middler continues to make progress with every outing.

Next Saturday afternoon, which most people had hoped would be our first meeting back, is going to be a closed session for the Micro F2 drivers only. The racing will start at 1pm but check the Racewall website for details.