WHEN the stock car drivers return to the Cowdenbeath Racewall on July 27 some are going to be in for a hectic time, when you view the remaining fixture list, writes our Racewall scribe Jim Turner.

There are two World Finals, for saloons and ORCi Stock rods; Scottish Championships for the Formula IIs, Stock Rods and Prostock Basics; National Series Rounds for the Formula IIs and saloons, plus numerous other trophy meetings.

The season ends with a two day meeting where the Formula IIs have the Champion of Champions, the James Clarke Cochrane Memorial Trophy, plus the Grand National Championship; and the Saloons their Superbowl and Gordon Barclay Memorial Trophy.

It is towards the Saloon World Final on August 31 that the promotion is gearing up for and one of the items on the to do list is to investigate the water ingress on the back straight. Works to rectify this problem commenced as soon as the last stock car meeting was over, a resolution has been implemented and hopefully the works will be completed within the next few days.

However, there is still quite a way to go for the Saloon drivers, before they even can contemplate being seeded onto the final grid, which is determined through a World Ranking points system.

Prior to then the Saloon drivers have three World ranking events to contest, ‘the UK’ at Skegness over the weekend of July 13/14, and then at the beginning of August they have their European Championship weekend over August 3/4 at King’s Lynn and then a week later the British Championship at Mildenhall- the latter two championships are on shale.

Then the top seeded drivers will be known and where they start on the grid is determined by their World Ranking points. There are designated places on the grid for drivers from Northern Ireland, Netherlands and Germany.

The last three rows on the grid are left for the drivers who failed to be seeded on to the grid and they race in either one or two last chance qualifying races, to determine who fills the last three rows.

After all the cars have been scrutineered, there is what is termed a grid walk, where the drivers bring their cars on to the track where they can either be photographed or sign autographs and generally chat to the spectators. It is a popular part of the build-up to the evening’s action.

This year there are joint major sponsors for the World Final, David Philp Commercials at East Calder; and Shevill Coaches of Carluke; but there are numerous other smaller sponsors who will help to make the World Final a success.

Hopefully there will be a healthy sprinkling of Scottish drivers seeded onto the grid with the likes of Stuart Shevill Jnr, Ross Watters, Barry Russell, Graeme Shevill, Zak Gilmour and Jordan Cassie staking their claim. However, just outwith the seeded drivers are the likes of Ian McLaughlin, Kai Gilmour, Gary Paterson and Andrew Mathieson, who given a good run at the championships still to be decided, could easily force their way into the seeded places.

The ‘Saloon World’ first came into being in 1982, over in Kaldenkirchen, in Germany, and amongst those who travelled were the likes of Bob Jones and Keith Jarman. The race was won by Datlev Katstein. The following year it was staged at Cowdenbeath, where on a night to remember, Gordon Brown went on to win a destructive race where he edged out Neil Petrie. As he crossed the finish line the Cowdenbeath Roar raised its head, nearly taking the roof of the stand when Brown crossed the finish line. The scenes afterwards had to be seen to be believed!

All told the ‘World’ has been staged in Scotland eleven times, once at Armadale, twice at Cowdenbeath and eight times at the Racewall. It has only been raced out of UK once more, and that was in 1985 when it was run at Ruisbroek, in Belguim.

There have been numerous successes for the Scottish drivers, with Jones winning back-to-back victories in’86 and ’87, whilst Harry Burgoyne won in ’98 and ’99. There have been single victories for Brown, in ’83, Ernie Burgoyne in ’9,1 and Stuart Shevill Jnr in 2013.

Unfortunately, the likes of Diggy Smith, Daniel Parker, Shane Brown, David Aldous, John Halifax and Darren Goudy have all headed north and taken the title back home with them! Apart from that there has only been one other success for a European driver and that was in 1984 when Dirk Thomas won at Wisbech.

The present holder of the title is Deane Mayes, who won is title last year at Taunton. Barry Russell was the leader going into the last bend only for Ryan Santry to send both wide and that allowed Mayes through to pick up an exciting win.

One thing that I find difficult to come to terms with is the fact that there are now the likes of Archie Brown, Alfie Aldous, Warren and Harry Darby, and Corey Hunt winning races and titles -I remember their dad’s racing! In fact, at the English Open the age of the first three home didn’t reach 80 years! I am getting old!

On Sunday the Saloon drivers will be racing for the Raymond Gunn Tribute Trophy which is being held by Jack Grandon at present.

This will be the 42nd time that the Saloon World has been staged with the Scottish drivers winning the title seven times, foreign drivers twice and the rest of the time the title has stayed south of the border – time for a change!

Sharing the highlights over the weekend are the BriSCA Formula II drivers, who have one championship and one trophy to decide the following day.

On the Saturday the drivers will be racing for their Scottish Championship, which is at present held by World Champion Gordon Moodie. The ‘Scottish’ for the Formula IIs first started at Newtongrange in 1981, and in all that time there is only one driver who has successfully defended that title and that is Windygates’ Moodie!

There have been a few 'almosts' but it wasn’t until 2004 that Moodie became the first to do so. He has gone on to win the title on no fewer than ten occasions, and in one spell won three in a row.

Amongst those who have won the title are Bill Batten, Garry Hooper, Russell Taylor, John “Chalky” White, Rob Speak, Jim Paterson, David Polley and Chris Burgoyne, but they were never able to retain their titles. George MacMillan was the first Scottish driver to get his hands on the trophy at Newtongrange, in 1982, with John Gilchrist the winner the following season.

There have been many top drivers who failed to taste success in the ‘Scottish’ with the likes of Keith Stanford, Errol Johnson, Jimmy Moodie and Keith Brown, to name but a few, who never got the break they need to win.

Recently the Scottish Championship has been part of the World Championship qualifying round, but this year it is a standalone meeting.

The following day it is the Mac 100 trophy, in memory of the late George McMillan, and this trophy is always fiercely contested.

The present holder is Craig Wallace, and he is having a strong season to date and will be more than delighted if he can hold onto this trophy.

On the Sunday the ORCi Ministox driver are the backup formula, only they are likely to steal the headlines with their antics. It is hard to believe that the drivers are aged between 11 and 16 years!

The present title holder is Alfie Tomkins and there is likely to be quite a few visiting drivers to swell the ranks.

This year the likes of Robbie Scott and Charlie Hardie have reached retirement age, but up have stepped the likes of David Philp Jnr Jnr, Rhys Kelly, Ollie Sime and Caitlin Mitchell, to give the established stars, Oliver Heron, Shay Page, Kerr Paterson, Bailey Millar and the Gemmell’s, Ethan Jack and Finlay, a run for their money, Don’t think for one minute that the Ministox drivers will not be holding back in any of their races – it just doesn’t happen, so look out for fireworks.

There are still plenty of plans still be finalised but keep looking on the web site for announcements as they unfold.

At the Buxton World Championship qualifying round on Saturday, World Champion Gordon Moodie was in action. In his heat he finished in ninth place, but during the 36 car final he brought his car home in fifth place.