IT was a fast-paced night of action at Lochgelly Raceway on Saturday, with five-formula taking to the track, writes Kevin McQueen.

Track conditions were perfect for racing after hot spells throughout the day as the ORCi Ministox raced for their HRP Marshals Shield, whilst the Junior Productions raced for a tyre courtesy of WUL Enterprises. The CC Rods, Superstox and Rookie Bangers all also featured.

The youngsters have consistently proven themselves to be entertaining and excellent value for money, and yet again, Saturday was no exception, with both the Ministox and Junior Productions providing thrilling racing.

The Rookie Bangers continue to race for the opportunity to qualify for the world final, in Ipswich, in November, and with only limited spaces available, the drivers have to be on form at each event, whilst racing tactically to try and cut back points that their competitors will be scoring.

Ryan Martin was in excellent form on Saturday, as he took a heat and final double, whilst Keiran Tweed, Gavin Taylor, Dan Croskell and Daniel McMullan all exchanged blows throughout the evening as they looked to outscore each other.

Douglas McConnachie, Grant Barker, Dayle Linton and Richard Cairns were all in the thick of the action, with some big hits going in throughout the night. Barker and Cairns both struggled to keep their wheels on the cars, with both drivers shedding them on more than one occasion throughout the night.

Barker entertained in his never say die attitude, much to the delight of the crowd. He continued to get stuck in and trying to get his car back out on track for more on each occasion, whilst Keiran Tweed took a race win in the second heat, which was a reward for his travelling efforts from his Suffolk base.

The Ministox provided excellent racing throughout the night, with the drivers wasting no time in getting stuck behind each other as bumpers were used to good effect, and in a timely manner.

The lower graded drivers proved to be in dominant form, with several drivers proving very difficult to both catch and overcome.

Finlay Gemmell made his first outing at Lochgelly in some time, and looked to show good pace throughout the night, taking away some good results for his efforts.

Dougie Kidd, who was in excellent form last time here at the Raceway, continued that as he raced to victory in both the heats. Shaun Boyle has mustered up a lot of confidence of late, and that is showing in his racing, with great results coming his way for his efforts.

Boyle finished in second in both heats behind Kidd but wasn’t far away from catching the flying white graded driver in both races.

Nicole Allardyce has come on leaps and bounds over the last 12 months or so, and is now a regular points scoring driver, and becoming more and more difficult to overtake. She secured an excellent fourth-place finish in heat one.

The current crop of blue graded drivers have fast become some of the quickest drivers on track, with the likes of Rachel Kidd and Hamish Plenderleith proving to be more than a match for the current red graded drivers.

Plenderleith in particular has started the 2024 season off in style, taking a win in the Keir Millar Memorial event the previous weekend, and followed that up with victory in the HRP Marshals Shield race.

Once Plenderleith moved to the front, it never really looked like he would be caught, with only Charlie Hardie making any sort of inroads into his lead. Plenderleith did get slowed down with some back markers, allowing Hardie to close the gap somewhat, whilst Hardie himself took no chances with lapped cars as he quickly moved them out of the way by whatever means necessary.

As the laps wound on, the gap was coming down, but it was never close enough for Hardie to make any form of last lap lunge to go for a win, with Plenderleith taking the flag ahead of Hardie and Kidd.

On Sunday, a number of Raceway drivers were on the road as they travelled to Buxton to participate in the English Open Championship. We are pleased to confirm that it was an HRP one-two across the line, with Hardie taking victory ahead of David Philp. Congratulations go to both drivers on an excellent result.

The CC Rods were with the Raceway for the first of two successive race meetings in an event that saw both Baillie Glencross and Brian Allen make their first outings of the season. Glencross struggled throughout the night with his car, and got caught up in one race, resulting in three DNF’s on her debut.

Baillie did show good pace though when on track, and with a little more track time and car issues rectified, she could take some catching from the white grade in the meetings to come. Heat one saw Natalie Mason race her way to the front of the pack, overcoming a number of drivers to get there, then racing for dear life as she did her utmost to keep the pack behind her throughout the race.

Craig Mason pressurised her for much of the way, with a number of others closing in as the race wore on, however, Natalie would keep her wits about her and claim her first ever victory in the formula, much to her delight.

John Gorman took victory in heat two, before Gregor Whyte raced to a commanding victory in the meeting final.

The CC Rods return this Saturday, with Kevin Hutchison hoping to be back in action having had to miss out due to attending a party at the weekend.

The Superstox also competed for the final time ahead of their A1 Containers R Us British Championship on the June 1-2 and it was the final opportunity for a number of drivers to dial in their cars for that event.

Both Kenny McKenzie and Dean Johnston were on the pace, with both drivers recording 14.0 second laps during the evening.

McKenzie claimed the victory in heat one, before Johnston went onto claim victory in heat two and the meeting final.

Benjamin Erskine is growing in confidence with each passing meeting, and becoming harder and harder to catch for the star drivers, with regular top five finishes now the norm for the 319 pilot.

Scottish Champion Ciaran Adams had a meeting to forget as he was plagued with issues throughout the evening, recording a DNF in heat one, before finishing the meeting final with a puncture.

The Junior Productions were the final formula in action, with one of the best meetings of the season for the formula to date taking place. There was lots of fast, close and hard fought racing in each of the three races for the youngsters.

The lower graded drivers, once more, dominated proceedings with the results, with Jayden Barrie taking victory in heat one, before Callum Ritchie went on to claim a heat and final double.

Kaitlyn Smart made her first outing of the season, and didn’t look out of place, as she battled stubbornly to some good results on the night. Kenzie Kopacz continues to grow in stature in the formula, with great pace throughout the evening, and a little unfortunate not to come away with a top three in at least one race.

Liam Loggie, Lewis Dickson and William Plenderleith all had their work cut out on the night, as overcoming some of the field was difficult at times, with lots of the drivers getting quicker with each passing meeting. This has resulted in the racing becoming very competitive, and drivers simply trying to maximise their points haul, with race wins difficult to achieve.

Action returns to Lochgelly Raceway on Saturday, from 6pm, with the Micro Bangers, Stock Rods, CC Rods and Ninja Karts taking to the track.