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It's been quite a closed season around the stock car community, with the final nail put into the coffin at Wimbledon towards the end of 2016 with the announcement that the last meeting will be held there at the end of March 2017 before it is demolished to make way for other developments, and now things aren't looking great for Coventry Stadium, who were due to host a number of major championships in the 2017 season, including the F2 World Final. Towards the end of 2016, news broke of a 'disagreement' of sorts between the Stock Car Owners / Speedway Owners / and Land Owners which ultimatley led to the removal of fixtures from the stadium. Since then, things haven't progressed, and it looks like we may have seen the last meeting at the current Coventry venue.
So, another 2 tracks removed from the stock car map in the space of a few months, which leads me to writing this blog.
Here, in Scotland, we have 3 excellent stock car tracks, all capable of providing excellent racing, good car numbers, and positivity for the sport in Scotland. However, too often is the case, we see people, who are meant to be fans, complain about the product on offer via social media and other outlets.
Given the perilous situation that the short oval community finds itself in, wouldn't it be better for those who like to complain to find something positive to say about the sport instead, perhaps, encouraging a few others to attend in the process?
The sport needs spectators to attend in order for development to occur, and for the sport to progress. Wouldn't it be great for all stock car promotors to be able to own the land they race on, so everything is in there control, rather than leasing from others, who at any time, could pull the rug from under there feet? Promotors could only afford to do this with the support of the people.
Spectators through the gate - encouraging your friends and family to come along with you, sharing events on social media - is one source of income for the promotors.
What about other avenues?
Sponsorship - Sponsors will get on board if the draw is big enough, and there is enough exposure. This relies on the promotion doing there part - advertising of events, sharing sponsors, using digital media for maximum exposure, as well as local press and radio.
Pay 2 Race - This has been mulled in the past, and has never really materialised. I think with correct marketing though, and correct use of the money, ie, greater prize money through the use of the pay 2 race funds - Used towards meeting prize money, grade awards or track championship;- I feel it would result into a better spectacle for spectators with drivers more determined to succeed, which would see an increase in people coming back week on week to watch the racing.
What wouldn't work though, is all of the money being used to bolster the coffers of the promotions, as the drivers would race elsewhere, and the spectacle would be poorer for spectators.
A lot of money is involved with gambling, and those sort of agencies pump a lot of money into sports they back. Look at football teams these days, lots of clubs are sponsored by gambling agencies.
Lots of people like a flutter at the bookies - why can't stock car racing become the latest sport to get in on the act?
A % of takings from the bets to go back into the sport.
Could be a win win for everyone!!
One thing for sure is that we, as the paying spectator, are ultimately the ones that are going to keep the promotors promoting stock car racing. We need to be united as one, and all take responsibility for the future of our sport, which is clearly at the mercy of councils and developers around the UK.
Wimbledon Stadium - Only Weeks Left
So that's the 2016 season over for me, its been a decent year, and had its ups and downs.
There has been some excellent racing throughout the year, and there has been some disappointing bits as well, though, on a whole, its been enjoyable and watchable for the majority of the season.
For me, the formula that has exceeded expectations and always provided excellent racing is the Ministox. After a tough year before, the drivers stuck together and put on a show every week.
The CC Rods have had there best season to date, with mid to high teens most weeks with good competitive racing.
The 1300s and Stock Rods have for me, been the disappointments for the season, although the Stock Rods have perked up and been a lot better over the last few months rising from single figure entries to mid to high teens - a trend that will hopefully continue into 2017.
The 1300s have had some great meetings, but too often has the case been this year, not been enough cars on track, but credit to the drivers who turn up week in week out, and put on a show, and entertain the crowd, most notably, the Mathieson brothers. Hopefully, 2017 will be a better season for the formula and the drivers that have had time out this year, will be back next year!
As for myself, thanks for all the support this year, and those of you that have bought photos, it's all very much appreciated and keeps me coming back as it helps towards the camera and website upkeep.
Thanks for using us, and visiting www.scottish-stockcars.net and hopefully, I'll be at the track in 2017 again.
Also to those who have sponsored us this year, GA AUTOS, Lee smart racing, and ASD Welding Services Ltd - Your support is appreciated and I hope you've all had a bit extra exposure through scottish stock cars.
PS, if there is anyone that would like to sponsor the website please get in touch!
End of Season Fireworks
Ladies Charity Race Grid
The caravans came to town at Lochgelly Raceway last night, and there was quite a crowd came to see them too.
They rolled out onto the track, and left the track in a million pieces! I wouldn't want to be the one that has to clean that up for Friday night!
The glass bumper brigade in the Superstox were out in action and did there best to shatter there own bumpers with Bryan Forrest, Tony Lattka and Barry Stephen all testing the resistance of the extremely toughened glass, whilst Dino Bruce raced away to a couple of race wins!
The Ministox never fail to disappoint, and had action from the outset as 20 odd youngsters showed no fear and through the bumpers into each other and had some excellent races. It was star drivers Euan Millar, Steven Burgoyne and long distance traveller Ethan Pope dominating the podium throughout the night.
The Ninja Karts are getting to the stage in the season where the competition is becoming intense, with numerous drivers now at the forefront of the action - Bailey Millar, now mixing it up regularly with Charlie Hardie, Robbie Armit et al. A few drivers have also reached the age limit and will no doubt be moving onto pastures new in due course, Harry Robertson and Evie Black, both now of the age limit for the formula.
I've never really been a fan of banger racing, as I've grown up with turnouts of low teens as a norm. However, this last couple of years has shown signs of encouragement as the drivers have been listened to, and events spread out, and well planned to encourage better numbers. High teens for van bangers, nearly 20 caravans, 50+ rookie bangers, and a lot of micro bangers, have given the formula a breath of fresh air in Scotland, and have been entertaining to watch with improving numbers, and strong numbers in novelty events.
Onwards and Upwards!
So, we became a victim of the dreaded 'drive error'; the cause of the unexpected web site downtime. I can only apologise for that! However, it gave a bit of an opportunity to reflect on what I should do next and in the future with regards to the web site.
I considered scrapping it all together, starting over, or continue building what we have - If I ever got it back.
I genuinely thought that we had lost everything - years of photos, results, information, discussions... Thankfully, that wasn't the case and we were able to get the data from the drive and copy it onto a new server. Phew.
Going forward, I think it may be wise to 'save' the data periodically so that if we do run into trouble in the future, all won't be lost as we will have a fairly recent backup!
As for the site, it'll plod along as it has done for the last number of years, and we'll look at ways of improving it / building it continously. Any suggestions as to what you'd like to see on it?
Enjoy your racing, from all at the home of scottish stock cars - Scottish-Stockcars.net!
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2015 was quite a year for Superstox star Barry Stephen - Starting the season as an established star grade driver, things soon become even better as he fought hard and fended off a star studded field of challengers to win the Open Scottish Championship in April after narrowly missing out on the British Championship the day before, coming home in 2nd place despite disposing of one of the biggest challengers early on in the race!
Domestically, Barry was the top driver, and opened up the season with a strong showing scoring lots of points with consistent finishes in the top 3, challenged by David Frame, Kenny McKenzie etc.
A mid season downturn in form seen David Frame and Kenny McKenzie close the gap at the top of the points charts, but Barry soon regained control as David and Kenny both ran into their own downdip in form, as the likes of Barry Stephen, Gary Nicholls and Allan Gibson all found form and made scoring more difficult in the challenging domestic field of cars.
Barry however, claimed the Scottish National Points championship and finished the season as Lochgelly Track Champion too.
Was it Barrys best season in racing though?
Barry has won a few titles in his career previously, and has had a few battles with top drivers in the past too, nothing more famous than his run in with F2 World Champion at the time, Rob Speak! Where he famously disposed of the champion on the last lap / last corner of the grand national at a Cowdenbeath meeting back in the ninties.
It was no doubt remembered from Speak though, as he returned the favour during a Scottish Championship race when he turned Barry into the infield marker tyres ending Barrys hopes of a Scottish title back in the day!
Was it Barry's best season racing to date? You would have to ask Barry himself, though, I think it was definately his most successful.
Barry will be hoping to continue his form into the 2016 season as he shows of a shiny new car that was displayed at the NEC show.
Good luck in 2016!
Disposing of the 886 pilot in the British Championship
Runner up in the 2015 British Championship
Celebrating winning the Open Scottish 2015
Open Scottish Champion
In action during the 2015 season
2016 NEC Show
As the 2015 season draws ever closer, the first weekend of practice is over with and our appetites have been whetted for the new season.
I only managed to attend Lochgelly on Saturday and my overall impression was that there is good number of new drivers across the formula, and many new shiny cars!
The practice session seen around 50 cars in attendance.. Quite a healthy number considering it was a cold and damp morning.
The track itself has undertaken a bit of work across the winter months - The start finish line has been moved to just beside the pit gate, a new hand rail being put in place around the track and some work getting done on one of the grandstands.
The Gordon Alexander Hot Rod looked quick and will take some beating I think - It looked just as good too!
In the 1300s, it looked like Zak Gilmour was the quickest car on track, with Fraser Clark debuting his new GRP car - Still in primer!
The Superstox seen John Clark, a releation to current Superstox driver Lee Clark take to the track. He seemed fairly competitive for his first time out. Kenny McKenzie looked the quickest of the Superstox out on track. Marc Fortune had his F2 out as well, and the F2 looked quickest of all.
A few new Mini drivers and Ninja Karts were also in attendance - Its always good to see new blood coming into the sport and hopefully all will find their feet and enjoy being part of the stock car community.
Siobhan Martin was out in her Stock Rod, showing off her silver roof for the first time.
A quick browse around the net today for what was going on at Cowdenbeaths practice led me to find some good photos of some 2l Saloons - Many new cars and a few new drivers to boot as well.
The early signs for 2015 are certainly looking positive - New drivers across the board ... and possibly some inter promotion work going on if rumours are to be believed!
Gill Andersons 2.0 Hot Rod looked amazing
Gordon Alexanders 2.0 Hot Rod
Kenny Purdie had his 2.0 Hot Rod Citroen Saxo out for a blast
Looking along the new Tony Lattka Superstox
Tony Lattkas new Superstox - Looks fantastic
Rumour has it that this gent is looking to get involved at HRP in 2015!
Ive been involed in stock cars sine the tender age of 11 in 1980 watching the racing at Cowdenbeath spdeworth days then also at Newtongrange when it opened and Armadale.
I raced hot rods at Cowdenbeath in 1994 in the ex Davy Philp mk3 Escort and Saloons at Cowdenbeath in the ex Kev Drummond car in 1995.
These days I still go to all the tracks to spectate like Racewall and Hrp and many trips down south and I still race stock cars but only online and rc ones.
Today I will focus on the RC cars but will update the blog with everything as new season unfolds.
RC racing is a good way to race without the expense or work of racing a full size stock car so ideal for a frustrated ex racer like myself.
Racing takes place at Leven on Tuesday nights (same night as racewall online league 😂 ) Newport near Dundee on Friday nights and Lochgelly town hall on every 2nd Sunday.
We race 4 formulas stock cars (f2), saloons,hot rods and bangers and I race all 4.
There are championship events throughout the season where big trophys can be won and a chance to race againt the English just like the real thing and also roofs are graded just like the real ones.
There are also many great events involving bangers usually at Leven like caravan races and robin reliants.
There are always plenty 2nd hand cars for sale or you can buy kits from mardave, kamtec or large IT and they offer really good value for money
Racing is fast and furious and really great fun and everyone at the clubs is always willing to offer help if you need it.
So if you would like to race but cant afford the real thing check out the RC cars.
With the various #tbt photos that we've seen of late around the web, I decided to go through some of the galleries on www.stox.photos and pick out a few of my favourite images from the season gone. Hopefully it'll whet the appetite for the 2015 season ahead
The Kenny McKenzie Superstox gives us a flash of what it is capable of under the lights
The 2.0 Saloons had a mixed season at Lochgelly, but this particular meeting had numerous talking points
Not an action photo, but I think it shows what banger racing is all about
The National Hot Rod Euroean Championship has become a highlight of the HRP Season - Great fields of cars, impressive under the lights
I can't miss out the Ninja Karts - 4 wide here as they wait for the green flag
The ProStocks provided a bit of a mixed bag in the 2014 season - This captured the moment 96 took to the air!
John Sibbald turned out an immaculate National for the 2014 season, this image captures him at full speed on the back straight
Steve Donovan didn't do a lot of meetings in 2014 but the ones he did, he was in the thick of the action!
Probably one of my favourite types of photo. Not action but I think it captures what stock car racing is about - Enjoyment and striving for success
This one is simply someone supporting the site throughout the season
The ministox were one of the top formula in 2014, providing nail biting action and the youngsters showed no mercy
Stuart Gilchrist taking the title in June - Celebrating with a 'baby' rock - Stuart celebrated the birth of his daughter only a few days later
The F1s returned to Scotland for the first time in around 5 years. Lets hope its not another 5 before they are back again
The top formula of 2014 - Huge grids throughout and this image captures the length of the straight
The Rookie Banger Scottish Championship meeting - This HUGE head on had the full stadium cringing!
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