HRP August 25th - A Report
Added Monday 27th August 2018It was a late summer's evening that greeted drivers, teams and fans as they gathered at HRP Lochgelly Raceway this past Saturday for the latest instalment of CHAMPIONSHIP FEVER - a spell of meetings that sees at least one championship on offer at every Saturday night event between now and mid-October. This time it was the turn of the Superstox to headline the event with their Scottish Championship up for grabs while the 1300 Stock Cars, Stock Rods, ProStocks and Junior Productions provided the support on a busy night of racing.
The Junior Productions kicked things off at Scotland's premier stock car venue and it was great to see former Ninja Kart racer Jase Walle finally out for his first race meeting in his new formula after what appeared to be a pretty successful practice session last Tuesday. Walle began the first heat on the front row but it was fellow white grader Chloe Baird who shot into the lead as the rest of the pack struggled to negotiate the Jase Walle car as the youngster got to grips with his car under racing conditions for the first time. As Jack Berresford attempted to get past Walle, Scottish Champion Cameron Willacy took to the outside and passed both cars to begin his pursuit of Baird. It looked like a forlorn attempt; but some very fast laps saw Willacy on the rear of the Baird car in no time at all and he managed to pass the young lady racer to take the chequered flag with Baird taking an excellent second and Berresford third. The second heat saw Willacy take his second win of the evening with Lennon Grant and Koddi Wright claiming the other podium spots. The question ahead of the feature final was whether Willacy could take the hat-trick in the last outing for the formula before he defends his Scottish Championship and it was Baird who made most of the running once again but Berresford was determined not to let what happened in heat one happen again and he took over the top spot as soon as he could with Willacy closing in all the while. Berresford held on to his lead all the way to the chequered flag to post an excellent win with Willacy having to settle for second and Baird in third.
The 1300 Stock Cars were back on track just seven days after their bruising Scottish Championship which saw a reduced field in action. Kevin Hutchison made a great deal of the early running in heat one from his advantageous white grade start; but he was soon within the sights of the top guns led by Andrew Mathieson from the rear of the grid. The local man soon hit the front and went on to take a relatively trouble-free win with Danny Whyte and Craig Haxton completing the podium. Heat Two followed a similar pattern with Hutchison on the move in the early stages, he was eventually overhauled by that man Mathieson who took the win; but Hutchison held on for a superb second ahead of Haxton. The feature final saw Hutchison zoom off into the distance as those behind battled it out over the lower places before Mathieson made the break to overtake Hutchison to take a faultless hat-trick of victories while Hutchison took another fine second while Danny Whyte continued his good form with a third place.
The ProStocks arrived in good numbers this past Saturday with some drivers back on track having raced in Northern Ireland the previous week in their British Championship with Paul Barron taking third spot in the big race. Barron, the defending National Points Champion has been in hugely dominant form of late as he has taken hat-tricks at the last few meetings at HRP Lochgelly Raceway. It looked like this past Saturday that that particular run had come to an end as Mark Boyle crossed the line first in his good-looking Corsa ProStock, however, as Boyle did not have the required transponder fitted; he was removed from the results meaning that Barron took the win by default. The second heat saw Barron take yet another win as he beat Graham Watt and Ian Christie to victory lane after another rapid drive through the field. The feature final was another entertaining race from the limited contact class; but none of the drivers had an answer for Barron who swept to yet another hat-trick of wins! The European Championship looms on the horizon at HRP Lochgelly Raceway and it would be a brave man to bet against Barron.
Despite a couple of late cancellations, the Stock Rods arrived in good numbers for their first meeting at HRP Lochgelly Raceway in around five weeks! Stewart Paterson made his return to the formula after a year on the naughty step while Jamie Bell made the move up from the CC Rods to make his Stock Rod debut. Former HRP racer David Kempton was also on track, Kempton is now registered with the Midlands promotion Incarace and, despite making the lofty heights of red top in his time, was graded white for the evening. This advantage certainly came into play in the heats as Kempton swept to two relatively easy wins in the heat races with John-Lee Green and Siobhan Martin completing the podium in heat one and David Crichton and Bell on the podium after heat two. The feature final saw Kempton promoted to yellow grade courtesy of his two wins, so it was Crichton, as the lone white top, who surged into an early lead while those behind battled amongst themselves. As the twenty-five-lap race wore on, Crichton held on to a healthy lead from those behind him and, despite only making his debut this season, held on for a fantastic first win with Green and Martin completing the podium after several cars fell by the wayside during the race.
After their exploits two weeks previously in the Service Central UK European Championship, it was a disappointing number of Superstox who arrived for their Scottish Championship. Defending Champion Bryan Forrest sustained a broken thumb at that weekend and was sadly unable to take his place on the grid in his attempt to make it three in a row - speedy recovery Bryan. Chris Hay led briefly in the 2017 World Championship winning car; but newly-crowned European Champion Stuart Gilchrist took full advantage of his row three start to get to the front early in the race. Allan Gibson gave valiant chase and, indeed, managed to give the Gilchrist bumper several hits but Gilchrist began to power away after half-distance to take another Scottish Championship to add to his CV while Gibson held on for second and the ever-improving Aaron Riddell in third. Two subsequent heats saw Englishman Mark Dews on track for what may well have been his Superstox debut. Heat One was won in fine style by Dean Johnstone while David Frame took the second heat after a great battle with Johnstone saw Frame take the lead on the last lap. Johnstone held on for second while a video replay was necessary before Jordan Black was given third place just ahead of Chris Hay.
It is a quick turnaround at HRP Lochgelly Raceway this week as racing returns this Friday August 31st with the Superstox, ProStocks, CC Rods and Ministox all in action in another FUN-TASTIC FRIDAY event which begins at Scotland's premier stock car racing venue at 7pm this Friday evening.