The Racewall - Saturday 19th August 2017

For 2017 Autospeed took the decision to take the Saloon Stock Car World Championship “on tour” and the venue chosen was the mighty and historic Racewall at Cowdenbeath in Fife, Scotland.  Whilst, yes, it was not 100% popular with all, it proved to be a sound decision on so many levels with a fantastic evening of racing in front of a huge crowd and some terrific action from the Saloon Stock Cars backed up by the BriSCA F2 Stock Cars who too were in good form.  Unfortunately, the somewhat un-summer like inclement and indecisive weather in the afternoon of the meeting did prevent some of the pre-meeting entertainment and the planned Army display was cancelled due to them being called out on operations.  But, all the Stock Car related pre-meeting plans did take place with the very well received ‘dummy’ grid on track during the afternoon where the crowd were invited on to the track for poster signing with the drivers in the big race and pre-race interviews being conducted over the PA.

Saloon Stock Cars

First up for the Saloon Stock Cars was the task of deciding who would fill the last six places on the grid for the World Championship.  Thus, the last chance race had the drivers present lined up in World Ranking order.  The action started very swiftly and really set the tone for the rest of the evening and indeed weekend.  Amongst the many prizes on offer over the course of the meeting was an extra £100 cash prize from ‘Team Beaks’ for ‘the first driver on their melon’ in both formulae.  For the Saloons there wasn’t too long to wait as 951 Robert Mahwinney not only rolled, but took a huge tumble on turns one and two early on.  There was plenty more going on after the re-start, with hopes of being on the grid for the big race dashed for some and it was 149 Jamie Sampson who led all the way to the flag.  The first consolation race saw a disappointed 161 Billy Smith take the victory, not that he had won the race but naturally that he had won the wrong race.   Then came the main event with a big build up to the race, with the qualifiers entering the amphitheatre of the Racewall via dry ice and the temporary tunnel before being reintroduced one by one on the grid in the traditional Autospeed style.  After two slow rolling laps with the huge crowd in anticipation at the drop of the green flag the two front row starters 158 Shane Davies and 730 Deane Mayes both went for the same piece of track and tangled together and this sent both wide enough to allow 349 Michael Allard into the lead from his inside second row start with 306 Daniel Parker into second and Mayes recovering for third as the cars made their way down the back straight for the first time.  Amazingly all cars bar 157 Max Stott made it round the first lap, but the second was not the same story as Stott was collected by 386 Dan Petters and this triggered a huge pile up in which 570 Simon Venni rolled and was carried some distance upside down.  This brought out the yellow flags and thankfully Venni and all involved were all fine as they exited their cars.  Allard led off the re-start but Parker soon pounced and sent the 349 car wide with Mayes and Davies going into second and third and behind Allard defending title holder 6 Simon Welton and 499 David Aldous.  Aldous moved past Welton, but the latter decided to spin the former whilst Allard battled his way back past Davies and Mayes, but at this point, approaching the halfway stage Parker appeared to be getting away.  At the halfway point there was an equal gap between Parker the leader, Allard in second and Welton in third although the latter was the fastest car on the track.  Behind them there was a battle between Davies and 217 Sid Madgwick, which was resolved when Davies spun the 217 car.  As the laps ticked off in the second half, the leader and those chasing found themselves deep in back markers and as a consequence all three caught the other.  It could have been that Allard had what was ultimately a missed opportunity at this stage to pounce on 306, as Welton pounced on him and went second and suddenly a third historic World title in a row looked a real possibility.  However, with two laps to go, almost inevitably several of the back markers who were having their own race crashed, spun and tangled with the leaders amongst them.  Parker somehow managed to avoid it but Welton was sent spinning by 85 Kyle Irvine and this allowed Parker the breathing space he was looking for to complete the remaining lap and a half and bring the 306 car across the finish line in first place.  Allard tried everything but had to make do with (another) second place for himself and in a great recovery Aldous was third ahead of 684 Ian McLaughlin, Davies and Mayes.  It was a classic Stock Car race.  A real race and a very hard race.  With a degree of regret however, the result at the time of writing has been suspended whilst the SSCA seek clarification on a technical matter.   A big 30 car grid for the second consolation of the evening saw Venni show that he was none the worse for his earlier roll with victory whilst the meeting Final saw 161 Billy Smith lead all the way until two laps from home when he was caught by 671 Ross Graham.  Smith put the brakes on 671, who sent him spinning but he too then had pressure from McLaughlin who in turn spun Graham on starting the last lap and went on to win with Graham recovering for second and 641 Willie Skoyles Jnr in third.

BriSCA F2 Stock Cars

It is fair to say that BriSCA F2 Stock Cars are and probably always will be the formula that Autospeed (and GMP for that matter) will call upon as support for the Saloon Stock Car World Championship meeting as they fit so well together and this was no exception and especially given that it was only two weeks after the World Championship Semi Final meeting was staged at The Racewall, the 40 car entry assembled in the pits from all four corners of the United Kingdom was especially welcome.  What was not so pleasing was the embarrassingly low entry for the annual Young Guns and Teen Sensations Championship, moved for the first time this year from Smeatharpe.  This became one less when 414 Josh Rayner unfortunately blew his engine in pre-meeting practice.  All that said, the five young drivers did put on a good show with NI935 Dean McCory coming through to win from NI221 Anthony Kincaid and 142 Jonathan Hadfield.  In a rare full-format meeting at Cowdenbeath the two heats went the way of 901 Ian Thompson and NI312 Christopher Kincaid whilst the consolation went to 64 Marc Fortune who reeled in long time leader 251 Craig Driscoll in the closing stages.  The Final was for the “Mac 100” Trophy in memory of George MacMillan and it got off to the most spectacular of starts as 100 George MacMillan Jnr heavily collected an inner marker tyre, bounced straight back into the pack which caused a huge crash in which Dean McCory, 854 Robbie Dawson and NI929 Conor Hughes all rode the wall and the latter rolled (which got him the ‘Team Beaks’ £100).  Several others were involved too which necessitated a complete re-run.  Thankfully all drivers were ok.  121 Henry King was the early leader for the second attempt until passed by 476 Ryan Wadling who held sway until just past halfway when 16 Craig Wallace went past.  However, a yellow flag with NI747 Brad McKinstry on the wall bunched the pack up and then as is often the case there was another yellow flag soon after, this time after a nasty crash on the pit bend for 126 Jamie Avery, who was collected by fellow south west driver 979 Paul Moss.  Avery was given time to exit his car and was taken to Kirkcaldy Hospital for further checks.  Wallace had the remaining laps all covered, Christopher KIncaid made second and 41 Dennis Middler was third.  The action wasn’t done there as there was a yellow flag strewn Grand National, including a rollover for 3 Liam Rennie.  Christopher Kincaid took his second win of the evening.

Saloon Stock Cars 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
LCQ 149 171 219 73 301 45 first 6 to WF
Cons 1 161 671 229 276 677 30 640 207 nof
World Final 306 349 499 684 158 730 6 218 38 171
Cons 2 570 149 5 96 131 26 641 711 507 157
Final 684 671 641 158 131 399 157 811 149 220
First On Melon 951
BriSCA F2 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Young Guns NI935 NI221 142 nof
Heat 1 901 854 16 615 38 126 121 391 979 NI929
Heat 2 NI312 476 100 41 NI935 480 652 NI944 221 852
Consolation 64 251 NI747 679 629 102 17 142 850 321
Mac 100 Final 16 NI312 41 38 476 615 17 142 629 679
Grand National NI312 38 16 142 615 854 92 850 nof
Grade Awards W 102 Y 121 B 476
First On Melon NI929
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