F2 / Superstox Drivers
|4||Bill McLeod||69||Andy Dick||127||William Geurts|
|5||George MacMillan||73||John Train||128||George Findlay|
|6||Walter Brown||75||John Braid||130||Malcolm Watt|
|7||John Robb||76||Tom Cairns||137||Alfie Froude|
|9||Peter Dent||81||Bill Pullar||139||David McMasters|
|13||George Marshall||85||Sam Page||140||Chick Hill|
|14||Billy Mathieson||87||Norman Towns||142||Charles Finlayson|
|18||Gus Reid||88||Bill Copland||144||Robert Geddes|
|23||John McClellan||89||Jim Ballantyne||145||Ron Anderson|
|24||Bill Duncan / Terry Sayers||92||Ian Graham||148||Jim Easton|
|25||Gavin Paterson||94||Vic Russell||151||Neil Stevenson|
|31||Tennant Douglas||95||Ronald MacGregor||152||Bob Stuart|
|33||Duncan McDougall||97||Hilbert Geurts||159||Roy Findlay|
|35||George Strachan||98||Bill Thirkell||161||Andy Hunter|
|36||Billy McCourt||100||Les Page||162||Ian Thomson|
|37||Derek Cowan||101||Jimmy Turnball||164||Robert Begg|
|39||Les Clark||102||Robert Graham||166||Jimmy Kerr|
|41||Gordon McDougall||105||Jack Reid||170||James Nicoll|
|43||Tammy Elder||107||Malcolm Paterson||173||Thomas Meikle|
|44||Tom Blackwood||109||John Melville||180||Alex Brown|
|46||John Ferns||110||Alex Kerr||181||Roy McIntyre|
|48||James McCourt||114||Michael Moran||193||Thomas Thomson|
|57||James Gordon||115||David Morris||208||John Marshall|
|58||Tommy Halpin||118||Stanley Williamson||210||Robert Lyons|
|61||Vic Connors||119||Alan Neilson||211||Al McLeod|
|66||William Morrow||120||Peter Martin||214||Eric Smith|
|67||Dick Ritchie||121||Kenneth Kerr||603||Derek Balbech|
|68||Clark Thomas||126||Jim Downie||631||Maureen Waite|
Saloon Stock Cars
|10||Dave Reid||37||Derek Cowan||67||Dick Ritchie|
|21||Sandy Donoghue||40||Howard Jarman||104||Ronnie Nisbet|
|22||David Cairns||41||Gordon McDougall||198||Drew Barr|
|27||Chips Raferty||47||Orr Thompson||200||George Mitchell|
|28||George Findlay Jnr ?||58||Tommy Halpin||210||Robert Lyons|
SUPERSTOX POINTS CHAMPIONSHIP
|1||107||Malcolm Paterson||554||11||92||Ian Graham||139|
|2||6||Walter Brown||399||12||94||Vic Russell||136|
|3||5||George MacMillan||352||13||109||John Melville||114|
|4||25||Gavin Patterson||286||14||211||Al McLeod||92|
|5||31||Tenant Douglas||283||15||85||Sam Page||83|
|6||145||Ron Anderson||262||16||95||Ronald MacGregor||73|
|7||41||Gordon McDougall||224||17||101||Jimmy Turnball||71|
|8||39||Les Clark||200||18||144||Robert Geddes||63|
|9||9||Peter Dent||197||19=||4||Bill McLeod||60|
|10||128||George Findlay||162||19=||75||Bill Crawford||60|
|European Championship Amsterdam - 8th July||British Championship Ipswich - 28th July|
|1st||E364||Tony May||1st||E304||Derek Fiske|
|2nd||E295||Alan Freebody||2nd||E68||Trevor Frost|
|3rd||E68||Trevor Frost||3rd||E217||Bob Perry|
|4th||E294||Geoff Goddard||4th||E294||Geoff Goddard|
|East of Scotland Championship - 28th July||Scottish Championship - 25th August|
|1st||107||Malcolm Paterson||1st||145||Ron Anderson|
|2nd||6||Walter Brown||2nd||107||Malcolm Paterson|
|3rd||145||Ron Anderson||3rd||25||Gavin Paterson|
|West of Scotland - 8th September||World FInal Wimbledon - 14th September|
|1st||41||Gordon McDougall||1st||E320||Dave Pierce|
|2nd||31||Tenant Douglas||2nd||E319||Denny Pearson|
|3rd||9||Peter Dent||3rd||E304||Derek Fiske|
|4th||94||Vic Russell||4th||E284||Les Collins|
|5th||107||Malcolm Paterson||5th||E500||Alan Wardropper|
|6th||128||George Findlay||6th||6||Walter Brown|
|UK Challenge Cup - 22nd September||Cock O The North - 20th October|
|1st||107||Malcolm Paterson||1st||41||Gordon McDougall|
|2nd||6||Walter Brown||2nd||31||Tennant Douglas|
|3rd||41||Gordon McDougall||3rd||107||Malcolm Paterson|
|English National Points Title|
Most Wins in 1968:-
|13th=||5||George MacMillan Snr Snr||0||1|
It was the intention at the end of the 1967 season, that the track should be given an asphalt surface in lieu of the shale that was currently in place.
However bad weather over the close season & the installation of floodlights by the football club meant that works were unable to take place before the commencement of the season on the 24th March.
Works therefore took place to remove the "windust" from the surface of the track & replace it with graded shale.
It was at the commencement of the 1968 season that revisions were made to the rules relating to qualification for the meeting Finals.
Non qualifiers would be allowed to start at the rear of the field in graded order for the meeting Final in non-championship events.
The British Championship was scheduled for July 28th at Ipswich. It was decided that a qualifying race should be held for any Scottish drivers who were prepared to attend the meeting.
Derek Fiske won the title, for the 3rd year in a row - what an achievement. Anglia Television had their cameras there and did a superb round up of the meeting for their "Easter Sport" magazine programme which was broadcast to the East of England devoting a 3rd of the programme to it.
From the 28th July the use of any "Racing Tyres" was banned.
The "Bo'ness Fair Cup" had its inaugural meeting in 1968. The trophy put up by the programme printers "Macroprint". It also carried additional prize money of 1st 5 pounds, 2nd 3 pounds & 3rd 2 pounds.
Interestingly the original format for this race was that the first two drivers in each of the 4 heats would qualify. The 8 cars would then race in a non-contact form for the title. The meeting Final would take place as normal. Not surprisingly this format did not exist for too long.
In May the two bends had tarmac put down. The racing looked to improve, however there was still a dust problem lifting from the straights. This despite a fair amount of rain and the use of a water cart. The promoters decided that the straights should be surfaced with asphalt as soon as possible.
It was intended to re-introduce the "Open Scottish Championship". It had been last raced for at Glasgow White City in 1964 and had been won by English driver Don Mason. In fact Don had confirmed he would come and defend the title at Cowdenbeath, if the scheduling of the event was approved by the International Board of Control.
Scottish F2 Stockcar stalwart "Tiger Thomson" had decided to retire from active competition. He had briefly raced in 1967 after a short layoff and had commented that it was time for him to retire & leave it to the "youngsters". He was going to help the promotion in an official capacity though. Tiger's son Stan would also be absent from the raceway as he had emigrated to Australia. Roy Cecil lamented on the loss of the Thomson's on the raceway "the first time in Scottish Stock Car History that a Thomson from Armadale has not raced".
A few sections of single rail Armco barrier were installed in front of the post & wire fence to try and avoid damage through collecting fence posts. Initially it did avoid a few cars being lodged in the fence as they were deflected off. However in ensuing weeks as the Armco rail became more damaged car bumpers started to get lodged underneath the rail. In retrospect there were a number of failings with this system. Securing the rail to the post & wire fence resulted in too much free movement of the supporting fence in a collision - which in turn lead to damage of the rail. The single rail seemed to be mounted too high. Multiple rails would have been better. In the end that probably would also have failed, it needed to be secured to a more solid base structure. Full marks to the promoters though for the initiative to try & reduce damage.
A large number of new cars on show for the 1968 season. Two which particularly caught the eye were the new "Lazy Fireball" car of Malcolm Paterson which used a traditional "stock" cab & the fully fabricated and very low slung car of Gordon McDougall. Malcolm collected the first Final of the season & Gordon the second.
The Ipswich Spede Weekend in July - The headlining race being the British Superstox Championship was scheduled to be held over 50 laps.Time trials for the first time would be held to establish the grid positions. Substantially more drivers would therefore take part in the meeting than would qualify for the actual race.
So to the Opening Meeting of the season on the 24th March, a huge crowd turned up in anticipation. Colourful flags and bunting were flying, the new shale surface looked good. The first race was very entertaining with some of the lesser lights showing some great pace, in fact white top John Braid was still in the lead right up until the last bend when Walter Brown sneaked through. Les Clark was the victor in the 2nd race. Walter Brown also won the 2nd heat but this time stamping his authority by lapping every other car, George MacMillan Snr Snr was next, and Fred Waite all the way from Darlington was 3rd. Les Clark & Malcolm Paterson battled it out in the last heat exchanging the lead position until Les spun out leaving the win to Malcolm. In the Final only one non-qualifier took advantage of the new rule which allowed them to start at the very rear of the field in the Final. Cars crashed out everywhere, Tommy Cairns completed a roll over, in fact only 5 cars were still running at the end with Malcolm Paterson repeating Walter Brown's earlier feat of lapping the entire field. George MacMillan Snr Snr was 2nd and Gavin Paterson 3rd. Walter was very unlucky having lead the race from lap 4 until lap 19 when his radiator blew. The track did deteriorate quite alarmingly during the meeting.
Spring Cup meeting on the 31st March was cancelled due to "snow & rain".
The second meeting then took place on the 7th April and it was Les Clark & Gordon McDougall that shared the spoils. Les picked up heats 1 & 3 & Gordon heats 2 & 4. The only problems Les encountered in his heats was when he was lapping Sam Page who was in 3rd place! I don't think Sam was too keen on being lapped & he set about giving Les a hard time. It was to no avail though & the crowd gave Les (with his current yellow top) lots of appreciation.
The Final then was to be the Clark / McDougall showdown Les indeed was among the first leaders along with John Braid & Gavin Paterson. Unfortunately Les was the first to depart when he spun out - twice!
John Braid then crashed out. the then leaders Gavin Paterson & George Findlay clashed and went out, Gordon McDougall flew off the track Vic Russell punctured Peter Dent & Malcolm Paterson were now fighting it out until Malcolm crashed a knocked himself out. It was now Dent & the recovering McDougall out front, they
both hit the fence on the last lap but it was Gordon that emerged just in front on the line! Phew this Stock Car Racing is a great sport isn't it!
Third meeting of the season the "Easter Trophy" 14th April, the re working of the track surface produced some great racing with Gordon McDougall just holding off Walter Brown to take the 1st heat. Les Clark won a battle with Gavin Paterson when Gavin collected a puncture having just passed Les for the lead, the 3rd heat was another race long battle between Tennant Douglas & Gordon McDougall with Tennant (the current holder of the Easter Trophy) collecting the chequer this time. Gavin Paterson made his tussle with Les Clark to take the 4th heat. The Final witnessed a marital dispute between Maureen & Fred Waite when they managed to take each other out early in the race (Maureen & Fred were the regular long distance travelers from County Durham). The stars of the heats however all met with misfortune, Tennant Douglas picked up a puncture Les Clark & Tommy Cairns crashed into the fence together. Sam Page retired, Gordon McDougall paid a visit to the fence. Who else but Malcolm Paterson kept his wits about him to come through to collect the Trophy from Ronnie Anderson & Vic Russell. A great days racing.
The meeting was further livened up during the interval when the Production Car Lap Trials took place, a Mr A Johnston from Glasgow unfortunately damaged his Austin Healy Sprite & the safety fence. The ex F2 European Champion Bill McLeod earned a new two lap record in his Ford Cortina.
The following meeting 21st April another trophy affair this time for "The Daredevils' Trophy", unfortunately brought a return of some massive rainfall & unfortunately the track disintegrated. Many problems had been encountered with the track in 1967 hence Roy Cecil's decision to lay a tarmac surface, but as commented on previously this plan was frustrated by the weather. The works carried out on the shale surface over the close season was executed in the hope that this would allow some decent racing until the aspahlt could get put down. In the dry conditions this seemed to be quite successful, however this week demonstrated that the asphalt surface could not come quick enough. It was a disaster in fact only 4 car managed to finish the 4th heat. 1st heat win to Gavin Paterson, the 2nd heat was a close fought battle between Les Clark, Walter Brown & Tennant Douglas with taking it in turns to lead the race at the end though it was Douglas from Brown & Clark.3rd heat was a win for Malcolm Paterson at a canter.Les Clark was in front in the 4th heat mentioned previously and it was Les Clark again who battled the conditions to collect his 1st Final for over 12 months.
At the end of the first grading period Les Clark had taken advantage of his yellow grading to lead the points table. He was 3 points ahead of George MacMillan Snr Snr.
A further 8 points back the Patersons Gavin & Malcolm in = 3rd. John Braid had made a magnificent start to the season making the jump from white to red roof, he had only commenced his Stock Car Racing in 1967.
28th April, the 5th meeting was for the Steward's Cup - a title race that stood the test of time with Spedeworth Scotland, with an improvement in weather conditions ie there were still showers - just not enough to create the mud bath! Two wins for Walter Brown & Tennant Douglas the latter just holding off Malcolm Paterson in his 1st win for a great part of the race, much to the appreciation of the race fans & Alan Neilson in the 2nd. It was reigning Scottish National Points Champion Sam Page who collected his first win of the season from Tennant Douglas in 2nd (there was not much left of Tennant's car at the end as it had progressively shed various components during the event - but finish it did!).
Unfortunately the only information I have been able to acrue re the 5th May meeting was that Malcolm Paterson won the Final. Any other info would be greatly appreciated.
Another meeting that was to stand the test of time (until the football club kicked them out anyway!) was "The Cowdenbeath Cup" 12th May this was the inaugural running of the race sponsored by the Football Club. Another rainy day, however extensive works had been carried out over the previous week on the town drainage system, which improved the track surface markedly. Tennant Douglas the 1st & 3rd heats, in the 3rd heat he was actually in the lead after the 1st lap. He was starting from the blue grade having dropped down at the start of the last grading period. All the red tops bar Malcolm Paterson managed to eliminate themselves from the 2nd heat leaving Malcolm to a comfortable victory. 6 cars crossed the line in close formation in the 4th heat with Sam Page in the front.
It was Malcolm Paterson who came through the field to pick up the trophy, amazingly his 3rd already in only 6 meetings.
19th May beautiful weather Sam Page again was just victorious in a supremely hard fought 1st heat. Former F2 European Champion Bill McLeod at last debuted his new car in the 2nd heat - whereupon the wheel fell off! Tennant Douglas drove very calmly in the 2nd heat as he was having to contend with 2 broken ribs - he won by 1/2 lap. Comfortable win for Walter Brown in the 3rd heat after 1/2 the field contrived to eliminate themselves and each other! Malcolm Paterson won the last heat after many laps were run under the yellow flag while Johnny Melville was freed from his upturned car. Tennant & Sam Page were battling for the lead when first Tennant slammed into a dead car & then Sam did the same into a pack of them on the home straight. So who was left to take up the mantle - none other than Malcolm Paterson making it 4 out of the first 7 Finals!
The fog descended on Cowdenbeath for the 26th May meeting and the 1st heat produced a 1st ever occurrence that being a dead heat for first place the two protagonists were reigning Scottish Champion George MacMillan Snr Snr & Malcolm Paterson. Malcolm also collected a win in the 2nd heat. Alan Neilson was going great
guns in the 3rd heat until visiting the fence, in fact he managed to recover & then go off the track a further 4 times before retiring! Tennant Douglas won this one. Malcolm Paterson emerged from the fog to win heat 4. To the final and seven non qualifiers lined up at the back of the grid taking advantage of this new rule. 8 cars formed a big pile up on the 1st lap to which another 4 joined in the fun next time round. Tennant Douglas emerged in the lead - by a long way. On the cusp of the win for the 3rd meeting in a row he failed to make the finish coasting to a halt. Walter Brown took up the cudgels until he suffered the same fate. You know what's coming don't you? Malcolm Paterson was into the lead and it looked like yet another Final for the youngster. However he crashed into a dead car which slowed him up a bit - not enough to give any of his fellow competitors some hope though - no he had to hit the same car on the following two laps as well! It was Ronnie Anderson who collected the Final win from Gavin Paterson, Gavin had been in the lead until he too hit the same car that Malcolm had visited 3 times - obviously a Paterson magnet! Ronnie was incidentally one of the non qualifiers that started at the back of the grid so another 1st was completed at this meeting.
Malcolm Paterson had moved into the lead position of the points chart by 8 points, George MacMillan Snr Snr was still in 2nd and Walter Brown had moved up to 3rd a further 20 points back. Tennant Douglas & Sam Page both regained their Red Roofs.
June 2nd and the Holiday Cup was up for grabs. In addition to the regular visitors from England Fred & Maureen Waite we had Derek Balbach (603) from Teeside, he managed to complete 3/4 lap before hitting the fence! Ronnie Anderson collected heats 1 & 3. Gordon McDougall heat 2, his first win for quite a few weeks. Heat 4 & Malcolm Paterson dominated by lapping all his fellow competitors. Malcolm then endeavored to lap everybody in the Final - in this he just failed to lap 2nd man home George Macmillan Snr Snr.
A Spedeworth Control Board meeting on the 2nd July reviewed complaints that the Malcolm Paterson engine was illegal. The result was that it was declared fully compliant and legal.
June 9th - Stock Car Laurels; Malcolm Paterson was the defending champion, a race he had won the previous year in quite bizarre circumstances when Ronnie Anderson & Tiger Thomson had gone into the last corner locked together only to smash into the fence just before the finishing line, luckily Malcolm was only a few metres behind & he sailed across the line for the win. This years' defense commenced the best way possible with 2 heat wins for Malcolm, one each for Gavin Paterson & Walter Brown - the Final and it was another win for Malcolm thus completing a spectacular treble.
The laying of the asphalt surface to the track commenced.
June 16th "The Summer Cup" - as the extent of the tarmac surface increased so the racing seemed to improve, however the remaining shale was finding its way on to the asphalt and the dust that was being created was really beyond belief. The cars simply disappeared into it on the 3rd bend. Ronnie Anderson was the victor (probably!).
Gavin Paterson gradually overhauled Tennant Douglas to pick up the 2nd heat & Les Clark the 3rd. Tennant Douglas again coasted to a halt, while in the lead and only a few laps from the flag in the 4th heat leaving Gavin to pick up his 2nd win of the day. Malcolm Paterson did not lap the field in this Final but he did finish half a lap ahead of Gavin for his 8th Final of the year.
June 23rd & both the bends were now covered with asphalt. "The Mugs Trophy" was the award up for grabs. The 4 heats were shared between Walter Brown & Malcolm Paterson with two each, but it was Malcolm again who proved victorious in the Final now his 9th of the season, though it was a closely fought affair this time right to the flag with Gavin Paterson & Tennant Douglas close behind.
Bo'ness Fair cup June 30th. Another record set today when Walter Brown won 4 races. How is this possible when each driver competes in two heats to qualify for the Final? Well the Bo'ness Fair Cup was an additional race where only the first two cars from each heat qualified, or the next car down if already qualified.
This was a sprint race ie no contact unless accidental, where in the end Walter won by only half a metre from Malcolm Paterson. Malcolm carried Walter round on his car for the victory lap of honour to the rapturous applause of the crowd. Malcolm & namesake Gavin won the other two heats.
Summer Break till 28th July.
July 1968 was a pretty momentous month for Stock Car Racing because a new formula was introduced "Stock Cars" by Spedeworth England, these were to be standard production cars with no "extra aids" to power beyond original manufacturers equipment. The first meeting was scheduled for Aldershot on June 22nd. When sufficient cars appeared they were to be added to every F2 meeting. Only the F2 name was to be dropped and the cars would now be known as Super Stocks. In fact Hednesford promoter Bill Morris had proposed such a formula name in the December 1966 edition of "Stock Car Racing News". Bill's idea related to a new F1 Stock Car class though, an almost anything goes "elite" class specification wise. With the existing F1 Stock Cars being limited to a lower engine capacity.
The name obviously appealed to Les Eaton and so Spedeworth F2's became Super Stocks later to morph into Superstox. Interestingly the word "Superstox" was being used in some quarters in print even before the first "Super Stock" race took place!
I must admit to feeling a lot of nostalgia in relation to these original Saloon Stock Cars, the way Saloon Stock Cars have developed was certainly never part of this concept.
The Scottish representatives in the European Championship in Amsterdam on the 8th July were Malcolm Paterson, Peter Dent, & Gordon McDougall. Gordon McDougal had a good draw in 2nd position and he sped off into a great lead, in fact he stayed in the lead until well past the 1/2 way mark of the race and was 1/2 a lap in front of the rest of the field. The track had started to disintegrate and cars were now bouncing up to a metre in the air hitting holes or large lumps of debris. Unfortunately this caused damage to Gordon's gearbox and he had to pull out. Peter Dent drew 13th position on the grid and I believe may have finished in 6th position, but unfortunately I do not have official results down that far. Malcolm Paterson was drawn 15th on the grid and he unfortunately "bounced" on to another car and he was out of the race.
The winner driving a magnificent race and not holding back despite the atrocious track conditions was Tony May. (In fact Roy Cecil commented that "it was the worst track conditions he had ever seen!") Tony again demonstrated his full commitment in the meeting Final when after hitting some huge holes he executed a triple roll, his car landed on its wheels and he continued until after 5 more laps of "bouncing" his car cried enough and he withdrew.
An England V Scotland match race was held at Wimbledon on the 16th July, Scotland was spifflicated 30 points to 6. The Scottish representatives were the 3 above plus George MacMillan Snr Snr, Walter Brown, Gavin Paterson, Vic Russell, E Smith, Fred & Maureen Waite.
First meeting after the summer break 28th July, was for the first "major" of the season "The East of Scotland Championship". Walter Brown picked up the 1st heat after the unlucky Ian Thompson had his car expire close to the end of the race. Ex Scottish Champion "White Roof!!" Jim Easton and Vic Russell were contesting the lead until tangling an letting Malcolm Paterson through for the win. Walter Brown again to the fore with a win in the 3rd. Malcolm Paterson was into the lead by lap 5 in the 4th heat & coasted to an easy win. Unfortunately it was not a closely fought Championship, in fact Malcolm was into the lead by the 2nd lap, Walter Brown made his way through to 2nd & Ronnie Andersen in 3rd. It was good to see "Happy" Sam Page again, he was in attendance to return the trophy he held over the previous 12 months. Sam announced to his fans that he hoped to be racing again next season "health permitting".
The first World Qualifying round took place on the 4th August. 6 Drivers would qualify for the World Championship at Wimbledon. In England it was the top points scorers in the English National Points that qualified. In Scotland this was considered unfair "BY THE PROMOTERS" as it didn't allow people that had started late in the season a chance to qualify for the major championships. Well how about the drivers who have made the effort to get their cars ready for the start of the season and have attended week in week out in their battle to accumulate points? No we have to give "the Johnny Come Lately's" a fair go. I have said it before and I will say it again it was simply a crappy system of getting your best drivers into the major championships and it went on to be demonstrated time after time after time.
HOWEVER it did give a few "championship" type meetings which were exciting and brought in lots of punters. I suppose in the end the promoter was in business to make money. Not get the best possible drivers representing the country.
Tennant Douglas took the first heat reasonably easily. Starter Mike Grainger almost came a cropper though as James McCourt & Davey Morris joined together to try and get through the safety fence at him.
Gordon McDougall raced through to a race win in the 2nd heat. Tennant took the 3rd with only 3 laps to go after forcing his way past Jim Easton. The 4th heat was stopped after the track got completely blocked with a huge pile up of 8 cars. Clark Thomas landed on his roof but righted the car himself. Malcolm Paterson was in the lead
again after 2 laps.
In the Final Tennant Douglas got into the lead & at long last his car did not expire before he reached the chequered flag. Malcolm Paterson was chasing him down to the crowds great excitement. He could not quite catch "The Saint" though & he went on to collect his first long overdue Final win of the season.
The second qualifying leg on the 11th August and there were no less than 17 drivers carrying over points from the first leg. 6000 fans turned out to witness the showdown. The racing under "the beating sun" was very fast with virtually the whole track now asphalted.
White top Ian Thompson raced off into the lead as he had done on many an occasion this season, however this time he was helped by Malcolm Paterson scoring an own goal and careering into the fence when closing Ian down. Always great to see a white top win & Ian had certainly deserved this after his recent form. Heat 2 was one of the best races seen at Cowdenbeath during this season. Stanley Williamson completed a spectacular roll. Jim Ballantyne who had sped off into the lead, lost a wheel which vaulted the fence and hit a couple of spectators, who luckily were not injured. The 2nd time a wheel has ended up on the terracing in the past few weeks. The race had developed into a 4 way battle for the lead, Jim Easton, Ronnie Anderson, Malcolm Paterson & Tennant Douglas. Position changes continued lap after lap but no-one broke free until Jim Easton was clattered wide & then Ronnie Anderson clipped a loose wheel. So it was down to two - Tennant & Malcolm, two of Scotlands' best battling it out. Tennant hit the lead then Malcolm came back only for Tennant to just get home in front. Did the crowd like that - you bet they did! This was only a heat! Walter Brown picked up the third heat & Vic Russell did a multiple roll in the 4th except that it seemed to be 5 metres in the air! Jim Easton crashed into the fence & his car burst into flames! both drivers escaped without injury. Oh & Tennant Douglas won the race.
The Final, well it was Tennant Douglas for the 2nd week in a row, but more than that it was two heats & a Final two weeks in a row & that was another new record at Cowdenbeath.
That's the way to earn World Qualifying Points. The Qualifiers then were Tennant Douglas, Malcolm Paterson, Walter Brown, George MacMillan Snr Snr, Jim Easton & Peter Dent.
The 18th August was the very forgettable debut of the Scottish Auto-Spedeway League. I guess it was something which had to be tried. The format for Motorcycle Speedway Racing had proved & still proves outstandingly successful. For cars it does not work & it never will. I don't think the 5000 fans would have been impressed.
There would be 3 cars for each team as opposed to the 2 bikes, there was to be no bumping or boring, only accidental contact would be tolerated.
It would seem information releases to the press had created a great deal of interest!
Unfortunately even though there was meant to be no bumping or boring - it was VERY "Boring".
The results for what they are worth saw George MacMillan Snr Snr's Glasgow team beat Edinburgh 12-4 while the Midlands team drew with the Lowlands team. The yawn events did prevent some cars from taking part in the "proper" meeting events through damage or vehicle failure - so they in turn suffered as well. In the first heat yet another wheel came off a car, Jim Easton's this time, unfortunately this time a spectator was hurt & stretchered away. Gordon McDougall won the race & the 3rd heat. Tennant Douglas won the 2nd heat which had a very high attrition rate. Tennant Douglas won the last heat.
In the Final Tennant & Gordon McDougall tangled and landed in the fence. Walter Brown took over the lead but Malcolm Paterson wore him down winning his 9th Final of the season.
Scottish Championship day 25th August. The 3 qualifying heats were won by Tennant Douglas, Gordon McDougall & Malcolm Paterson, the consolation race to Ian Graham. The championship race itself was full of drama. The early leaders were Jim Easton & Gordon McDougall & they both looked to be going well until they spun out. Tennant Douglas's engine expired, Malcolm Paterson took up the lead on lap 8, he was about 1/4 lap ahead of Ronnie Anderson. The gap from Malcolm to his chasers did start to close and with 3 laps left the crowd were cheering Malcolm to another Championship when amazingly his engine stuttered and the car rolled to almost a standstill on the back straight, Ronnie zipped past then Malcolm's car returned to life and he almost caught Ronnie at the line.
It was Ronald Anderson though who was the 1968 Scottish Champion, a great drive to 2nd for Malcolm Paterson & a great finish from Gavin Paterson in 3rd, a great recovery from Gordon McDougall in 4th, Walter Brown in 5th & 1967 Scottish Champion George MacMillan Snr Snr in 6th.
The first meeting in September on the 1st was the setting for another team racing experiment, though this event had been held since 1966. It was the East V West Challenge. The East had won last years event but the West were the favourites this time around with 5 of the 7 top points scorers. Multiple race winner Malcolm Paterson (from Biggar) had been allocated to the East team. Gordon McDougall won the first challenge race and the points after this race being East 25 West 11. Unfortunately he suffered gearbox damage in this race. So he dashed back to Edinburgh picked up another gearbox and fitted it before the Final. Malcolm Paterson won the 2nd heat. The final points total was East 48 West 24.
The other two heats were restricted to the lower grades won by Ronnie McGregor & Roy Findlay (incidentally both from Arbroath).
In the Final it actually started to rain, something we had seen very little of this summer! This was the first time the new asphalt track experienced rain and it was interesting how few of the drivers were able to cope with the slippery surface. It was Gordon McDougall who mastered the slippery conditions, with Walter brown taking the 2nd slot & Gavin Paterson a close 3rd.
It was great to see Gordon's determination and commitment paying off.
On to the 8th September and the West of Scotland Championship. Now you may consider that a West of Scotland Championship being held in the East of Scotland is a bit strange, however it was still the full intention of the promoters to open a track in the West. Almost the entire driving base for Cowdenbeath were originally from the west when White City Glasgow closed. Spedeworth Scotland had tried Coatbridge for a spell but with no success. So the race would continue until a venue was found that matched the title. Malcolm Paterson had won the 1967 race at Carntyne.
Walter Brown picked up the first heat after closest challenger Ronnie Anderson lost a wheel in the closing stages. Gordon McDougall had a reasonably straightforward run to the flag in Heat 2 after eventually getting past the stubborn Bill McLeod. Alan Neilson executed a spectacular roll but thankfully emerged unhurt. The 3rd heat was a real crowd pleaser when white top Jimmy Turnbull picked up the win. In the 4th heat Malcolm Paterson was up to second on the first lap! It was evident something had to be done re the warming up lap starting procedure. It wasn't long before the leader at that point Bill McLeod visited a fence post & Malcolm sped off to an easy win.
Not so the final where Malcolm clashed with Jim Ballantyne and though he got going again had just lost too much time. Gordon McDougall was the man to watch, his closest three pursuers all tangled up with each other, whereupon Tennant Douglas shot through into 2nd and despite his best efforts was just unable to get to Gordon before the end.
No meeting 15th September due to World Superstox Championship at Wimbledon on the 14th. Malcolm Paterson was unable to attend the race so Gordon McDougall stepped into his place. Although Gordon had raced at Wimbledon on a number of occasions this was his 1st qualification for the World Championship.
It was Dave Pierce who went through to win his first World Championship, Denny Pearson was 2nd & Derek Fiske 3rd. Scotland's best finisher was Walter Brown in 6th place. A great result. Gordon McDougall & Tennant Douglas were spun out. Peter Dent crashed into the fence. Jim Easton didn't have a good race & George MacMillan Snr Snr finished in 10th.
UK Challenge Cup on the 22nd September. It was a bit disappointing that the World Champion Dave Pierce, & English points leader Trevor Frost were not in attendance, and in fact I am not positive that triple British Champion Derek Fiske made it - though he was booked to appear. However bizarrely there was a major Superstox meeting on at Ipswich this same weekend!
We thought "mad" scheduling was a modern phenomena!
Current European Champion and 3rd in the English points Tony May (the current holder of the UK Challenge Cup), Geoff Goddard 5th in the points and John Gray 12th in the points did attend.
Tony May was a firm favourite with the Scottish fans and he received a big cheer as the reigning European Champion handed the UK Challenge Cup back. 13 Scottish representatives joined the 8 English visitors for the race itself.
Two heats for lower graded drivers were held before the main race which were won by Ian Thomson & Bill McLeod.
Tennant Douglas drew first position out of the hat, Tony May was the first English driver to apear, last position was drawn by Malcolm Paterson who had won the cup back in 1966.
First casualties were Vic Russell & Tony May. Then the leaders Jim Easton & Englishman Mike Packer were taken out. Walter Brown disposed of English driver Alan Freebody leaving Scottish cars filling the top 6 places. Tennant Douglas & Walter Brown occupied the top two spots, but from his rear of the grid position Malcolm Paterson was looking ominous. Tennant then had yet another mechanical malady when in the lead of a race and coasted to a halt.
It was Walter Brown who was now in the lead. Malcolm closed him down and then they clashed, both of them requiring to execute 180 degree manouvres to rejoin.
Such was their dominance of the race that they still occupied the front two positions. Malcolm managed to get past Walter on the last lap to an exceptional "Cowdenbeath Roar"from the seasons biggest crowd.
Two consolation races followed Gavin Paterson & Ronnie Anderson. The Final was a win for Walter Brown.
The 29th September meeting was significant in that the Saloon Stock Cars made there debut at Cowdenbeath, the cars were few (only 7) and it was Geordie Mitchell who won both races. There were reputedly already 30 - 40 cars under construction. Walter Brown picked up the first & third Superstox races. Vic Russell won the 2nd heat with no small thanks to white top Jimmy Turnball who managed to hold up Malcolm Paterson for quite some time. Gordon McDougall was quickly into the lead in the 4th heat & it was white tops Jimmy Turnball & Bill Pullar who were doing the chasing this time. In the end Malcolm Paterson did get into 2nd but only just at the finishing line.
An incident packed Final, with cars in the fence, pile ups galore. Tennant Douglas recovered the first and opened up a lead, Walter Brown was into 2nd but smashed into a dead car & retirement. It was then Malcolm Paterson & Vic Russell challenging for 2nd till they then went into the fence. Gordon McDougall kept it together to come through for the runner up spot.
First meeting in October on the 6th and another win for Walter Brown in the first heat. A very close fought 2nd heat finished with Gavin Paterson a whisker in front of Gordon McDougall & Malcolm Paterson. The rain came down in torrents in the 3rd heat which slowed the field down appreciably. Bill Pullar got to the front and was in the lead for the bulk of time until withdrawing with mechanical failure. His white top accomplice Jimmy Turball took over. Bill McLeod then took up the premier slot which he held to the line - again just - this time from Tennant Douglas. Malcolm Paterson had a comfortable win in the last heat.
Malcolm Paterson avoided a huge melee at the start of the Final, which eliminated most of the other red tops to shoot through to an easy win.
The meeting on the 13th October was presentation time for the Scottish National Points Champion. The award of course went to Malcolm Paterson his season total was 554 points - the previous record was 382 in 1967 by Sam Page.In fact Walter Brown in 2nd spot also scored more points than Sam in 1967.
He had won 12 Finals up to this point and went on to win the days Final. Malcolm already held the record for most number of Final wins in a season at 6.
To win 13 Finals was some demolition of a record!
Heat one was a renewal of the Tennant Douglas / Malcolm Paterson rivalry. They were tooth and nail right throughout the race, Tennant made the last bend lunge on Malcolm and just failed.
The 2nd heat saw Bill McLeod into the lead which he held until the last lap when Walter Brown & Ronnie Anderson slipped through. Vic Russell earned a fairly easy win in the 3rd heat when his adversaries all contrived to go out or hold each other up. Walter Brown won the last heat, again into the lead within a few laps of the start. The starting procedures really did need a review.
To emphasis this Malcolm Paterson hit the front in only two laps in the Final, he was not out on his own though with attack coming from Tennant Douglas, Vic Russell, Walter Brown & Ronnie Anderson. It was only Ronnie Anderson though who maintained the challenge as the others crashed out. He could not stop Malcolm winning his 13th Final of the season. George Mitchell & Drew Barr won the Saloon Stock races.
20th October the final meeting of the season and of course the "Cock of the North" Championship" Amazingly there were only 6 qualifiers for the event. Malcolm Paterson led for most of the race however Gordon McDougall and Tennant Douglas were close behind. Gordon then Tennant got past Malcolm and Tennant then went for Gordon, Tennant could not quite get in front though and Gordon went on to retain his title. The best Rookie of the season award "donated by Peter Dent" went to Ally McLeod who managed to acquire a total of 92 points.
The heat winners were Vic Russell & Davey Morris, the consolation to Roy Findlay.
The Final saw a win for Ronnie Anderson from Gavin Paterson & George MacMillan Snr Snr. The Saloon Stock races were won by Howie Jarman & Ronnie Nisbet.
Despite good intentions the Open Scottish Championship was not contested in 1968.
1968 was the year when Malcolm Paterson came of age. A winner of major championships before - he was the UK Challenge Cup winner in 1966. But in 1968 HE was the dominant force 14 Final wins and 19 heats. That was 10 Finals ahead of his nearest rival. Malcolm was to dominate Scottish Stock Car Racing until his retirement.