HRP October 6th - A Report
Added Monday 8th October 2018
ALL WHITE ON THE NIGHT!!!
A summery-feeling afternoon gave way to a cold winter's evening when the sun descended at HRP Lochgelly Raceway this past Saturday as drivers, teams and fans gathered for the latest slice of stock car action at Scotlandâs premier stock car venue presented by Hardie Race Promotions.
Championship Fever continued apace as it was the turn of the Stock Rods to headline the evening's entertainment as they raced for their Scottish Championship while the 1300 Stock Cars would race in a winner takes all race as part of the culmination of the MR Coachworks and Ringtone Racepaints Series for 2018. The Superstox, Junior Productions and Ninja Karts played a supporting role to the headlining acts at a dry but increasingly chilly HRP Lochgelly Raceway.
The Ninja Karts were first on track and, as always, it would be the whites and yellows race that got proceedings underway. Having been promoted to white grade from the rear, Declan Dixon made an electric start and headed the field in the early stages before Douglas Kidd arrived on the scene and scorched into the lead and he would remain at the front until the chequered flag to take an excellent win ahead of Dixon and Kieran Hay. If the start Dixon made in the whites and yellows race was good, then his start in heat one was even better - Dixon shot straight into the lead and justified his promotion to the front with a stunning win as he took victory ahead of English Champion Bailey Millar and Rachel Kidd. Heat Two was incident-packed from start to finish but it was Rachel Kidd who came through the chaos to take the win ahead of Toby Tyson and Kyle Johnstone as the star-graded drivers stamped their authority on proceedings in a race punctuated by a spectacular rollover for Millar. Heat Three saw the drivers on track for the final time and Team Millar had worked hard to get Bailey back on track but it was World Champion Charlie Hardie who took the win after an evening to forget for one of the top drivers who was caught in incidents in the earlier races - Millar and Rachel Kidd completed the top three on another night of frenetic Ninja Kart action.
While Hardie had a topsy-turvy evening in his Ninja Kart; it was an even worse night in the Junior Productions as his car had problems during practice and would take no part in the meeting. The usual suspects rolled into the pits for three races plus nit was great to see Amber Tyrrell back on track after a protracted season. Heat One saw victory for Jase Walle who made the most of his advantageous starting position while the star graders battled with Chloe Baird a little further back down the track. As Walle continued on his way to a brilliant win, it was Jack Beresford and Lennon Grant who came through for the other podium places. Heat Two followed a similar pattern to heat one as Walle made his escape while the rest of the field battled with one another â Walle strolled to another win with Beresford again in second while Koddi Wright claimed third. The question at the beginning of the feature final was whether or not Walle could make it a hat-trick and he duly answered that with an emphatic yes as he took his third win of the night with Beresford docked from second after some rather forceful driving thereby elevating Wright to second and an unusually out of sorts Scottish Champion Cameron Willacy in third.
The Superstox were also back in a supporting role and, yet again, Englishman Mark Dews had made the trip north from his base to take part in his fourth HRP Lochgelly Raceway event in succession - a fantastic effort. Heat One saw Trevor Harris lead briefly before a flying Dean Johnston hit the front, European and Scottish Champion Stuart Gilchrist had made a flying start but was not able to catch Johnston who took the first win of the night ahead of Gilchrist and Kenny McKenzie. Heat Two saw Gilchrist determined to go one better than the previous race and he duly did so as he claimed yet another victory ahead of David Frame and Chris Hay The feature final saw the usual early chaos before the racing settled in for the duration and it was Gilchrist who took his second win of the night as National points Champion David Frame pursued the Lanarkshire man but was not quite able to get a telling hit on the back bumper.
The 1300 Stock Cars were back on duty with a good number of cars on hand and the main focus for the bumper brigade was their first race which saw the drivers racing in the finale of the MR Coachworks and Ringtone Racepaints Series. The drivers were lined up in series points order with Danny Whyte and Kevin Hutchison on the front row and, as the green flag fell, the bumpers flew in everywhere the eye could see. Stuart Farrell went into the; lead but his engine expired in spectacular fashion which then let Whyte back into the lead. Whyte held on at the front for the middle portion of the race; but the highly-experienced Craig Haxton was tracking Whyteâs every move and moved into the lead in the closing stages to take home the prize money with Whyte in second and National Points Champion Andrew Mathieson in third. Two subsequent heats saw some great racing with the wins going to Ian Christie and Patrick Calderwood.
The final formula on show were the headlining act as the Stock Rods took centre stage for their Scottish Championship event. A good number of cars arrived for the event including 2018 debutant Jock McEwan in a stunning Corsa D and rookie David Rogerson in the ex-Chris Lattka Corsa C. Two reverse grid heats would determine the grid for the main race and the first of those saw David Crichton on pole with Darren McAlpine alongside him. At the drop of the green flag, the highly-experienced McAlpine shot straight into the lead as Crichton lost a number of places in the early stages of the race. McAlpine duly completed the job as he took the chequered flag to win the first heat ahead of Rickey White and Chris Lattka. Heat two saw the cars lined up in the reverse order from heat one and former Scottish Champion Siobhan Martin staked her claim as she took victory from gary Dean and Lattka. With heat Winners McAlpine and Martin level on points; Martinâs faster lap-time gave her the inside line and pole position while Lattka lined up on the inside of row two. As the grid was formed, the tension built underneath the HRP Lochgelly raceway floodlights before the rolling lap commenced. As the green flag fell, Lattka got down the inside of Martin in turn one and the cars almost spun round as they headed down the back straight; Martinâs car then appeared to spin Lattka towards the fence and this, and several other incidents brought a quick halt to the race as the red flag was called for. The steward deemed that Martin had illegally turned Lattkaâs car and she was therefore not permitted to take part in the re-run of the race while fellow front-row starter McAlpine was unable to do so due to a mechanical issue. This left Lattka as the pole sitter and he sped off into the lead with Ricky White in second and Gary Dean in third. Lattka is arguably the driver who has won the most titles in stock car racing and had his sights firmly set on a seventh Scottish title in the formula as he entered the closing stages of the race. That was, until he attempted to pass the slower-moving car of Boab Low as they exited turn two; as he tried to pass Low on the inside, the two cars came together and then it appeared as if Low drove Lattka towards the infield kerbs where Lattkaâs challenge came to an abrupt and spectacular end as his outside front tyre was now punctured. After a relatively trouble-free run in second, Ricky White was now promoted to race leader and he duly went on to take the chequered flag and the 2018 Stock Rod Scottish Championship with Dean in second and Stewart Paterson with a respectable third from way down on the starting grid. Some spectacular action that will no doubt be talked about for a while but certainly not what is expected of the Stock Rod class.
A great night which had some good racing and no small amount of controversy; many thanks to all drivers, teams and fans who made the evening what it was and congratulations to the 2018 Stock Rod Scottish Champion Ricky White.
Next up at HRP Lochgelly Raceway sees the culmination of CHAMPIONSHIP FEVER as the National Micro Bangers contest their World Cup with the ProStocks European Championship co-headlining this Saturdayâs event at HRP Lochgelly Raceway from 5pm. The CC Rods will be racing for their coveted Bill and Ciaran Hawkes memorial trophy while the Ministox will also be in support action. And, as if that wasnât enough, Sunday from 1pm will see the Micro bangers, ProStocks and Junior productions all in Open Scottish Championship action plus the 1300 Stock Cars in the Bill Auld Fabrications Series Trophy Finale.
A great weekend in prospect with two days of action lined up at Scotlandâs premier stock car racing venue.