IT was a night with plenty of on track action on Saturday night at Lochgelly Raceway with some great racing from both the contact and non-contact classes, writes our Raceway reporter Kevin McQueen.

The U-Pull-It 1300 Stock Cars were in sensational form, as they provided non-stop action throughout the night, with hard hitting, fast paced on-track action.

Martin McCaffery and Kai McNulty had both spent a bit of time on their cars since their last outings, with both now being fully sign-written and looking excellent.

McCaffery, who sat out most of the 2023 season, didn’t take long to get into the swing of things with his new car, as he raced excellently throughout the night, and was perhaps a tad unlucky not to get a race win for his efforts.

The 710 pilot found himself leading the way in one of the races, before being caught up, and collecting a spun car, causing a little bit of damage to the car, hampering his progress as a result. Former Scottish Champion, Blair Robertson had one of his best outings for quite some time, as he finally returned to form, picking up a couple of runners-up spots, before going one better in the final, with a first race win of the season.

Throughout the night, we saw racing with 3-4 cars wide on various occasions, with little room for error by anyone – this kept everyone on edge as the U Pull It 1300 Stock Cars proved once more, why they are seen as one of the most entertaining formula in the UK.

The meeting final saw Charlie Folan and Kai McNulty lock horns during the race, with McNulty taking it to Folan mid-way through it, with Folan finding himself pointing the wrong way, but keen to get back on track to try and get some repercussion – however, this wasn’t to be, and we may need to wait till these two are back on track together to see what comes next.

Gary Nicholls and Craig Haxton took the race wins in the heats, with Robertson taking the win in the final. Jake Wilson and David Farrell completed the top 3 in the meeting final.

The National Hot Rods competed in their 11th qualifying round of the campaign, with just one more round to go, and qualification still open for the World Championship at Ipswich in July. Gordon Alexander was out in the borrowed Scott Devine car, having run into some issues with his own car at Ipswich earlier in the week.

Alexander found the car difficult to get used to, but appeared to get quicker as the night went on in the Devine Ginetta. Joey Palmer and Kevin Gooding both made the trip north to be with us at Lochgelly, with Palmer coming away with some good results for his efforts, whilst Gooding grew in pace throughout the night.

It was good to welcome Marc Spence and Alex Wilson back in to the formula, with both drivers missing out the last few meetings. Marc Spence looked set to take victory in the opening heat having opened up a good lead early on, before an issue with the car forced him into retirement, with Ross McWilliam taking over the lead of the race.

Spence didn’t make heat 2 either, however, had the issued rectified in time for the meeting final – which he managed to go on and win quite convincingly. Ethan Doull put in another steady performance, with more good results for his efforts, including a race win in the 2nd heat, although a DNF in the meeting final will have left him leaving a little disappointed.

Darren Scott has seen his form continue to impress following his switch of chassis over the winter months, with Scott steadily moving up the rankings, and scoring some good points along the way – the 320 pilot took another podium finish in the meeting final, coming away with 2nd place behind Spence, and holding off fellow northerner, Ross McWilliam just behind.

The ProStocks saw 19 cars booked to race, with the majority of them turning up and putting in yet another entertaining night of racing.

Graeme Fleming, who hasn’t had the best of starts to the 2024 campaign, looked back to his best, as he stormed to convincing victories in each of the two heats, which saw him return to the blue grade for the meeting final. However, he wouldn’t go on to take the hat-trick, with a DNF putting an end to any hopes of 3 out of 3.

One driver that did manage to complete a hat trick of sorts though, was Ian Christie – the formed World Cup winner took three 2nd place finished on the night, proving to be the bridesmaid in each of the races!

Paul Barron currently leads the national points, however, he has found points a bit tougher to come by of late, with a number of drivers picking up form, combined with Barron getting caught up in incidents. A coming together between Becki Ritchie and Paul Barron, in heat 2, saw the 755 car spin around and end up with a puncture, forcing it into retirement.

A lively meeting final saw a few incidents, with the biggest coming mid-way through the race, with a four car train going into turn 3, Barron pushing from behind, with Lewis Gilchrist, Becki Ritchie and Hollie Ritchie all directly in front.

As the bumpers locked, the two Ritchie cars made contact, with Hollie spinning around, and Becki clattering into the wall, with Gilchrist finding himself with a damaged radiator, whilst Barron made the move up the inside of the 3. Jamie George has had a great start to the year, and continues to fly under the radar, picking up good points at each event, with 3x fourth place finishes going his way on Saturday night. Barron would take the win in the meeting final, ahead of Christie and Ryan Martin.

The 2.0 Hot Rods saw a couple of drivers drop out pre-meeting – Mark Dews blowing up in practice, whilst Keiron Johnson also ran into issues in practice – both cars ending up retired for the night, before the racing even got underway! Chevy Mills and Nathen Maidment both made the trip north to be with us – Chevy is becoming a bit of a regular, and may need to change his name to McMills in the near future!

Maidment made only his 2nd appearance in the 2.0 Hot Rod, and his first at Lochgelly. Maidment got to grips with the track throughout the night, and looked quicker with each passing race. Allan Gibson took the victory in heat 1, with Chevy Mills going on to take a heat and final double thereafter. Frankie Cunningham had an evening to forget, as he had issues throughout the night as he struggled in both heat 1 and heat 2, retiring in heat 2, before loading the car up and missing the meeting final.

We are back in action this Saturday, with the Rookie Bangers, Ministox HRP Marshals Shield, CC Rods, Superstox and Junior Productions all in action, with a 5.45pm start time.