HRP October 26th - A Report
Added Monday 29th October 2018As the chill of winter descended on HRP Lochgelly Raceway this past Friday evening; drivers, teams and fans gathered under wintry skies for the penultimate time in the 2018 for the final Friday night event of the season at Scotland's premier stock car racing venue.
Despite the fact that many teams' focus switches to the winter rebuilds or new cars, all four formulas on show arrived in great numbers and produced an absolute classic stock car event.
The first formula on show were the Ninja Karts and an entry in the high thirties underlined the popularity of the formula with a big English contingent also arriving for what was one of the best Ninja Kart events in quite some time while we also saw the final outings for Josh Bruce, Zoe Mann and Jake Wilson. As always, the Ninja Karts had their whites and yellows race for the lesser lights of the formula and what a race it proved to be as the raceway was filled with karts for what may have been a record entry for this race! A few incidents along the way saw some drivers fall by the wayside and, in fact, the race was brought to a premature halt on the last lap after a big incident on turn two for Hamish Plenderleith who, while in a good position, hit a spun car and brought out the red flags - after a check on the last completed lap it was Lewis Dickson who earned a fantastic victory ahead of Plenderleith and Kenzie Bell. Heat One saw the large entry of blue graders and red tops join the fray and, with almost thirty cars on track, chaos was expected and duly arrived!!! However, having taken a couple of wins at Aldershot last time out, Englishman Finley Kew kept his cool while all around him lost theirs to take a great win ahead of Aiden Duffy and Josh Parfitt. Heat Two saw Kew repeat his exploits as he doubled down with his second win of the night as Bailey Millar and Toby Tyson completed the podium. Heat Three was another fantastic race full of incidents and talking points, as has become the norm with the Ninjas and it looked like Finley Kew was on for the hat-trick, but he was caught out by a slower-moving car in the closing stages and had to settle for second behind Toby Tyson with another Englishman Calum Gould in third. What a night of Ninja Kart action!!!
The CC Rods were also back out for their final meeting of 2018 and it was a vital one as Davie McFarlane entered the event just nine points ahead of Scottish Champion Bob Cairns in the battle for the National Points Championship. There were a few familiar faces out in strange cars as ProStocks World Champion Paul Barron was out in the Lee Scott car while Stock Rods Scottish Champion Ricky White was having an outing in what looked like Colin Thomson's car. A decent entry of cars arrived to do battle and the action started immediately as cars went everywhere on the start of heat one! However, Gary Paul had made a blistering start from the yellow grade and went on to take a runaway win from Ian Donaldson and Craig Watson with Cairns reducing McFarlane's advantage to just 5 points with two races to go. Heat Two saw further chaos with a number of cars not going the distance, including heat one winner Gary Paul, but Lee Wotherspoon wouldn't be complaining as he held a good lead. The latter stages of the race saw Ricky White eat into that advantage and White did cross the line first but was docked after a post-meeting video review for being a bit too forceful in his attempts to get past Wotherspoon - this decision handed the win back to Wotherspoon with Watson in second and White third. McFarlane's fifth place saw him increase the gap back to nine points with a potential ten for the win in the last race of the 2018 season â the feature final. Wotherspoon took a dominant win in the race with White and Watson a distant second and third but all eyes were on the battle for silver and, appropriately enough, McFarlane (7th) and Cairns (6th) crossed the line side by side although Cairns was later disqualified which meant that McFarlane had done enough to take the National Points title - what a finish to the CC Rod Season!!!
Like the Ninja Karts, the Ministox benefitted from a healthy number of visitors and an excellent twenty-four cars rolled into the HRP Lochgelly Raceway pits for their final event at the track of 2018. Jay Carruthers led the early stages before the yellows and blues arrived on the scene, there were a few stoppages along the way and we were treated to a last bend lunge for victory as Sean Naismith managed to time his move to perfection to take the win from Englishman Danny Elbourn and Ciaran Adams. Elbourn went one better in heat two as he took a fantastic win from Naismith and Jamie Sangster. The feature final was another incredible race in what has been an awesome 2018 Season for the Ministox and it looked like it would be a blue top winner as Adams, Jamie Stewart, Jamie Sangster and Scott Allardyce battled it out amongst themselves only to trip over one another which allowed Danny Elbourn through for his second win of the night with Stewart and Sangster completing the podium.
The final formula on show was the 1300 Stock Cars and a good entry of cars arrived for the coveted Mr Gunn Trophy including former World Champion ian Beaumont all the way from Essex. Heat One saw a great battle for the lead in the closing stages as the drivers well and truly got stuck in with Beaumont and Craig Haxton losing out as they battled with one another when Scottish Champion Zak Gilmour sneaked through for an unexpected win ahead of Beaumont and Haxton. A few cars had fallen victim to various issues so a slightly depleted field took to the track for heat two and it was another fantastic race with plenty of action that saw Beaumont hit the front after overhauling 2018 sensation Danny Whyte; but Whyte kept on digging and, at one point, looked like he may be preparing for a last bend lunge on the 2017 World Champ but the experienced Beaumont pulled away by an extra car-length or two to take the win from Whyte and Gilmour. The feature race was the 2018 Mr Gunn Trophy race and the cars were lined up in graded order before the gaps were closed up. After overhauling the white tops in short order, Patrick Calderwood hit the front and dominated the race to take a faultless win with Whyte taking a fine second ahead of Beaumont in third. The 1300 Stock Cars have one more meeting to go in 2018!
A cracking night of action from start to finish with plenty of great racing and no small amount of talking points! The next slice of stock car action at HRP Lochgelly Raceway comes your way this Saturday November 3rd and features Unlimited Back to Basics Bangers, National Hot Rods, Stock Rods, Superstox and 1300 Stock Cars in what promises to be a fantastic event with a giant fireworks display also scheduled to end the season with a bang from 5pm next Saturday at Scotland's premier stock car venue - HRP Lochgelly Raceway.