HRP October 7th - A Report
Added Monday 9th October 2017Another dry evening greeted drivers, teams and fans as they gathered at HRP Lochgelly Raceway this past Saturday as CHAMPIONSHIP FEVER continued at the well-appointed venue with the Ringtone Racepaints CC Rods Scottish Championship headlining the event with the Superstox, Stock Rods, Ministox and Ninja Karts also in action.
The CC Rods have had an outstanding year with plenty of cars, some great racing and no shortage of talking points! An impressive 22 cars were in the pits before the start of the event but Tony Wright's car did not make it on track as Heat One gridded up with the rest of the contenders lining up according to the results of a public draw. Lee Wotherspoon's new car did not take off as he would have hoped for and this caused problems for a number of drivers who were eliminated almost as soon as the race began with several cars looking worse for wear. The second attempt at racing saw a great battle ensue between Stewart Aitken, Jamie Bell and Graham Osborne as they battled over the lead but it was Aitken who headed Bell and Osborne home at the chequered flag to pick up the valuable points which would determine the grid for the final. Ian Donaldson's defence of his title ended acrimoniously as he sent a car spinning towards the safety fence at the end of the race â an action which saw Donaldson loaded up for the evening. The second heat saw the drivers lining up in the reverse order from heat one and it was Colin Wotherspoon who took full advantage of his starting position to take an excellent win in his recently-debuted Vauxhall Corsa with Ian Hotchkies and Jamie Brown picking up the other podium spots while heat one winner Aitken finished in sixth. Aitken's sixth place finish in the second heat was enough to secure pole position ahead of Wotherspoon with Ian Hotchkies and Bob Cairns claiming slots on the second row. At the drop of the green flag, Aitken shot straight into the lead while Wotherspoon moved into second as those behind battled over positions in the early stages. As those behind him battled with one another, Aitken continued on his merry way but a late caution period put the Stirling driver under pressure with Wotherspoon and Brown now within striking distance with just one lap to run. However, Aitken made the perfect start and went on to claim the Ringtone Racepaints CC Rods Scottish Championship with Wotherspoon taking second and Craig Watson an excellent third.
The Ninja Karts were back on track and, with school holidays seeing a few drivers enjoying some well-earned relaxation time, a slightly depleted field of 19 karts were on hand for the nightâs action which started with the traditional whites and yellows race. In a carbon copy of the previous whites and yellows race seven days earlier; Connor Frame shot into the lead in the early stages and continued to hold on in first all the way to the chequered flag for his second win in as many weeks with Toby Tyson and Kyle Johnstone rounding out the podium. With a few less cars in the pits, HRP took the decision to allow white and yellow graded drivers to take part in all three heats as opposed to their usual two so a full complement of cars came on track for heat one. As he had done in the whites and yellows race, Connor Frame took up the early running and looked odds on for another win until the closing stages when National Points and Scottish Champion Charlie Hardie and star pilot Lennon Grant managed to overhaul the Frame machine with Hardie taking the win. The second heat saw another white grader feature prominently as Jack Baird stood out but, once again, Hardie was not to be denied as he led a star grade trio home with Bailey Millar and Lennon Grant filling the other podium spots while Baird held on for an excellent fourth. The third and final heat of the evening saw Hardie claim a faultless hat-trick as he held off the challenge of Lennon Grant and Harry Robertson while Frame claimed another excellent result with a fourth-place finish. It was fitting that Lennon Grant took a trophy home in this race as it was his last in the Ninja Kart formula at HRP Lochgelly Raceway ahead of a possible move up to the Junior Production formula for 2018 â we wish him well.
Also taking part in their final meeting at HRP Lochgelly Raceway in their current formula was Ministox ace Terri Linden. Terri has been hugely consistent at HRP and picked up many trophies so the challenge was on for her to take one home in her final meeting. A very healthy grid of Ministox arrived to battle including two welcome visitors from England in the form of David Shearing and Charlie Sime. The first heat saw former Ninja Kart ace Scott Allardyce pick up the early lead of fellow white top Barry Scott and Allardyce continued to stretch his lead as the laps wound down as Steven Burgoyne managed to get ahead of Charlie Folan for second place. With only the last lap left to go, Allardyce's lead had been reduced to nothing and Burgoyne put the bumper in on the last corner to take victory from Allardyce by less than a car length! The second heat was another excellent race with Allardyce spinning out early on which allowed Jamie Stewart to enjoy some time at the front of the pack. Charlie Folan had looked quick in the first race and he came through with Taylor Borthwick and Steven Burgoyne in tow to take the win from Borthwick and Burgoyne with Terri Linden coming home just outside of the trophy places in fourth. The feature final was another superb race as the Ministox continued their impressive season and, once again, Allardyce took the early initiative as he moved into the lead. Using all of the experience he had gathered in the Ninja Karts, Allardyce kept a cool head as he continued in the lead while the battle raged on behind him featuring Folan, Borthwick, Burgoyne, Naismith and Linden among others. Naismith was the first to make the break from the chasing group and he pursued Allardyce as the laps wound down and eventually caught and passed the 2017 rookie for the win but Allardyce held on for an excellent second while Terri Linden signed off on her HRP Ministox career with a trophy for third spot. Great action from the youngsters.
The Stock Rods were back in action for the first time since Chris Lattka claimed the British Championship here at HRP Lochgelly Raceway a fortnight ago and he was part of a strong field that also featured National Champion Siobhan Martin and Best in Britain Jonathan Lattka plus many of the usual top pilots although Gary Nicholls was unable to take part after problems before the start of the event. Connar Venters made most of the early running but he was eventually overhauled by Siobhan Martin and former British Champion Andy Grant with Venters taking third. The second heat saw heat one winner Martin's challenge end as she was involved in an incident which left her car looking rather second-hand and this incident also saw both Lattka brothers, Gary Dean and Ross Finlay with issues. Recent heat and final winner Doug McLean came through for another victory in what has been a good 2017 for the former Cowdenbeath Track Champion but only after Darren McAlpine and Alan Cuthbert, who finished ahead of McLean, were docked for jumping the restart and original start respectively. The feature final saw a rather depleted field take to the track and, after the initial sort-out, it looked like McLean was on for another heat and final double as he crossed the line first but, in an ironic twist of fate, he was docked for contact which gave Darren McAlpine the win ahead of Grant and McLean. The Stock Rods will be racing for their Scottish Championship on October 21st at the Banger Ramp Rollover event!!!
The Superstox were the final formula on show and newly-crowned National Points Champion David Frame arrived with the silver roof in place on his machine. Paul Dunn took the lead in the early stages of the race but the likes of Chris Hay, Zak Gilmour and Ally Noble all featured prominently before Frame came through to take the win ahead of fellow star drivers Barry Stephen and Stuart Gilchrist. Having taken a hat-trick last time out; Gilchrist returned to victory lane in heat two after a dominant win. The feature final was punctuated by a nasty incident for Paul Dunn who clipped the wall on the exit of turn two before stopping in the middle of the back straight. The yellow flags were out instantly but the unfortunate Allan Gibson was unsighted as came around and hit the Dunn car. After a few moments, Dunn exited his car under his own power with a foot injury but no other major injuries. Gilchrist had already claimed the lead of the race prior to this incident and went on to complete the other nine laps at the head of the field to claim the feature final win ahead of Frame and Stephen to complete an excellent night of action.
This weekend at HRP Lochgelly Raceway sees two great days of action with the National Micro Banger World Cup and ProStocks headlining the event. Over 120 Micro Bangers are currently booked in plus a big entry in the ProStocks and they will be joined for two days of racing by the 1300 Stock Cars with the Ninja Karts racing on the Sunday. Racing gets underway at 5pm on Saturday October 14th and 1pm Sunday October 15th at HRP Lochgelly Raceway â it should be a cracker.