SALOON STOCKS 95 CARS
|19||Derek Mackie||130||Gordon Stevenson||183||John Brady|
|20||Dave Nelson||131||Gordon Brown||184||Kevin Fehilly|
|36||Jeff Cosans||133||Stewart Sneddon||185||William Brown|
|42||Thomas Anderson||134||Joe Gray||188||Tony Murphy|
|46||Keith Jarman||136||Frank Blyth||193||Jim Borthwick|
|57||Alan Whyte||137||Iain Webster||195||Andy Johnstone|
|60||Tam Hilditch||138||Peter Black||197||Bradley Sutherland|
|61||Neil Pozzie||139||Neil Farm||199||George Chirray|
|77||Alex Sharp||143||Kenny Young||201||Kenneth Kerr|
|82||Terry Carrington||144||Fred Selby||204||Alistair Craig|
|87||James Brown||146||George Stein||208||Peter Matthew|
|88||Pete McVay||147||Joe Johnstone||210||John Grierson|
|89||William Irvine||148||Brian Stanners||213||Mick McKennan|
|90||Bob Guy||150||Jimmy Blair||214||Jimmy McAlpine|
|91||Bert Carey||151||Bob Jones||215||Michael Lewis|
|96||Alex Taylor||155||William Gray||219||James Gow|
|97||Joe Darrell||156||Ian Ostrau||220||Willie Anderson|
|98||Andrew Shaw||159||Kenneth Christie||221||Kenneth Sharp|
|101||Kenny Milne||160||James Bell||224||Stewart Landale|
|105||Bob Smith||161||Bill Shortreed||226||William Bauld|
|109||Clifford Simpson||163||James Walker||235||Jock Robertson|
|112||William Thompson||165||Douglas McLean||240||Allan Ross|
|114||Bob Mackay||166||Bob Sneddon||241||Charlie Milne|
|117||John Erskine||168||Alan McHattie||242||Bob Malone|
|118||Johnny Davidson||170||Jas Cochrane||243||Bob Malone Jnr|
|120||Jimmy Forrest||171||Tommy Davidson||247||John Gibson|
|121||John Burns||172||Ronnie Marshall||251||Jack Robertson|
|124||Robin Dowie||176||Billy Birse||255||Edward Gilfillan|
|125||Steven Leslie||177||John Gilchrist||330||Robert Bruce|
|126||Alex Cunningham||178||Allan Pryde||331||Ford Ferguson|
|127||Alex Grant||180||Robin Kennedy||333||Alistair Bowman|
|128||Robert Drummond||181||Gordon Brunton|
SUPERSTOX 32 CARS
|7||Terry Henderson||55||Bob Morton|
|8||Edward Rochford||56||Tommy Carruthers|
|9||Gus Gow||63||Stewart Barbour|
|10||Les Page||66||William Craib|
|14||George Logan||71||Bruce Thomson|
|15||Robert Valderhaut||76||Harry Gillespie|
|17||Mike Jack||81||Bill Pullar|
|22||Stan Ross||84||Les Brown|
|35||Allan Thomson||86||Leslie Page|
|38||Ian Edmiston||92||Bill Smith|
|39||Les Clark||94||Vic Russell|
|41||Gordon McDougall||100||George MacMillan Jnr|
|44||Chick Findlay||115||Dave Morris|
|45||Eric Brown||195||Andy Johnstone|
|47||Orr Thomson||209||Bruce Nash|
|48||Hamish McNab||333||Alistair Bowman|
HOT RODS 35 CARS
|11||Ronnie McKenzie||95||Alex Butchart|
|13||Sandy Clark||102||Ronnie Burns|
|16||Clive Downie||106||Hamish Buchanan|
|18||Alex Roan||116||Mike Reilly|
|21||Kenny Spence||127||Alex Grant|
|24||Brian Tindell||140||Graham Wait|
|29||Neil Gow||141||Adam Manson|
|30||Stewart Banks||156||Ian Ostrau|
|32||James Paterson||162||Malcolm Chesher|
|33||Bob Carnegie||174||George Barrie|
|34||Ronnie McLaren||191||John Buchanan|
|37||Ian Simpson||195||Andy Johnstone|
|50||Craig Bruce||196||Kenny Ireland|
|51||Mark Bruce||198||George Gordon|
|52||Sandy Elliot||222||Fraser Dunlop|
|64||Les Kay||244||Jimmy Low|
|75||Bill Crawford||293||Ian Cook|
The points awarded for the 1977 season were as follows:-
|Saloon Stocks||Superstox||Hot Rods|
Saloon Stocks on the up again with an average at 27 cars, one up on 1976. The Superstox in turn were down one at 17. The Hot Rods had a massive 50% increase at 12 cars.
The largest attendance for the Saloon Stocks was 34 cars on the 4th September, but more important than that a total of 30 cars were equalled or bettered at 9 meetings.
The Superstox high point of 27 cars was for the UK Challenge Cup on the 18th September & the Hot Rods 18 cars for the East of Scotland on the 31st July.
On 3rd April Alan Smith, "Clerk Of The Course" with Spedeworth Scotland for the previous 12 seasons presented the "Stewards Cup" for the last time. Alan's demanding schedule of lectures across the UK was now making it difficult to attend the meetings. The winners of the respective cups were, in the Saloon Stocks, newly promoted to red roof Fred Selby, downgraded to blue roof Kenny Ireland won the Hot Rod event, Les Clark continued a good run of form by winning the Superstox trophy.
It was noted in the 2nd programme of the season, that the points allocation to returning drivers was to be revised again. A system of awarding average points had been in place which was less than satisfactory. The statement made in the programme was thus "Any red or blue grade driver returning any time after the first points period, will be awarded 10 points above the lowest number of points gained by the bottom drivers in their particular grade". - Again less than satisfactory.
The most notable event at the 24th April meeting, occurred during the so called "interval", ie after the heats & before the finals. During the intervals, spectators were allowed to bring their own cars and try and break the two lap records.
Alex Johnstone brought his Escort Estate out on to the track for his attempt, only just missed the fence a few times, almost rolled twice & failed to complete his two laps. The promoters graciously granted Alex a second chance, after all the first attempt was very entertaining!
Sadly on his second attempt Alex went head on into the wall. If Alex is around and reads this don't take it too badly, but my wife had written in the programme beside his name LOONY!
At the meeting on the 21st August starting marshal Mike Grainger had a narrow escape when Saloon Stock driver Gordon Stevenson demolished the starters rostrum with Mike on it! Mike is made of sterling stuff though, picked himself up from the debris, and undaunted finished controlling the race from ground level. He had another narrow escape though a few laps later as another car tried to wipe him out at ground level!
1977 SUPERSTOX POINTS CHAMPIONSHIP
|1st||39||Les Clark||551||9th||17||Mike Jack||189|
|2nd||81||Bill Pullar||534||10th||76||Harry Gillespie||188|
|3rd||94||Vic Russell||395||11th||100||George MacMillan Jnr||146|
|4th||84||Les Brown||328||12th||22||Stan Ross||129|
|5th||55||Bob Morton||296||13th||44||Chick Findlay||106|
|6th||38||Ian Edmiston||294||14th||45||Eric Brown||79|
|7th||41||Gordon McDougall||267||15th||56||Tommy Carruthers||45|
OPEN SCOTTISH CHAMPIONSHIP - 17th APRIL UK CHALLENGE CUP - 18th APRIL
|1st||81||Bill Pullar||1st||81||Bill Pullar|
|2nd||39||Les Clark||2nd||39||Les Clark|
|3rd||55||Bob Morton||3rd||17||Mike Jack|
|4th||38||Ian Edmiston||4th||94||Vic Russell|
|5th||94||Vic Russell||5th||E323||Dave Turner|
|6th||84||Les Brown||6th||55||Bob Morton|
|7th||44||Chick Findlay||7th||45||Eric Brown|
|8th||45||Eric Brown||8th||G93||Reiner Sangerstoff|
BRITISH CHAMPIONSHIP - 14th AUGUST "COCK of the NORTH" - 30th OCTOBER
|1st||39||Les Clark||1st||41||Gordon McDougall|
1977 Race Winners
|1st=||39||Les Clark||7||15||7th||100||George MacMillan||2||0|
|1st=||41||Gordon McDougall||7||15||8th=||76||Harry Gillespie||1||2|
|3rd||81||Bill Pullar||6||15||8th=||94||Vic Russell||1||2|
|4th||84||Les Brown||6||7||10th||Ir86||Willie Ferguson||1||0|
|5th||38||Ian Edmiston||3||3||11th||22||Stan Ross||0||3|
|6th||55||Bob Morton||3||2||12th=||17||Mike Jack||0||1|
Bill Pullar had beaten Les Clark by 23 points in 76 to take the points championship, Les turned the tables on Bill in 1977 by winning the points by 17 points.
The Open Scottish Superstox Championship (still referred to as Formula 11 on the front of the programme) was dominated by home drivers, filling the first 8 places. In fact the best placing in all races was 4th in the second heat by Mike Holton. Bill Pullar won the championship from Les Clark & Bob Morton.
Vic Russell won the Scottish Superstox Championship, incredibly becoming the first driver ever to win it twice.
In preparation for the British Championship on the 14th August, Gordon McDougall was on his travels again. Starting at the rear due to his World Champion status, Gordon got a 2nd in the Final at Ringwood & a 4th in the Final at Eastbourne.
In the event Gordon didn't even make it to the start with his new car giving persistent problems, (the problems were eventually fixed a few weeks later by replacing the carburettors!, in fact he went on to win 3 finals in September). Les Clark won the race, Howard Cole collected a creditable 2nd on only his 2nd ever visit to the track, Vic Russell a brilliant 3rd from his dead set last grid position draw.
Bob Morton scored the most successful away result for the season by taking 3rd in the World Superstox Championship at Wimbledon, behind Jim Welch and I believe Allan Cayzer. Bob then went on to win the meeting final.
This result was something of a shock to the system for the English Superstox drivers. Jim Welch was the visiting driver from the "Boston" promotion driving basically what was a Formula Two Stock Car, he lapped the entire field up to the 2nd placed Allan Cayzer, Allan of course was a recent addition to the Superstox ranks, having been a regular in the Brisca Formula One Stock Cars & then our Scottish representative Bob came 3rd!
In the Superstox UK Challenge Cup, visiting German drivers outnumbered English drivers 4 to 3. Bill Pullar won the race from Les Clark, highest place English driver was Dave Turner in 5th, Reiner Sangerstoff the highest placed German in 8th.
1977 SALOON STOCK POINTS CHAMPIONSHIP
|1st||330||Robert Bruce||486||11th||177||John Gilchrist||117|
|2nd||151||Bob Jones||390||12th||150||Jimmy Blair||110|
|3rd||241||Charlie Milne||326||13th||235||Jock Robertson||104|
|4th||144||Fred Selby||319||14th||210||John Grierson||97|
|5th||46||Keith Jarman||294||15th||146||George Stein||96|
|6th||131||Gordon Brown||262||16th||166||Bob Sneddon||87|
|7th||170||Jas Cochrane||147||17th||161||Bill Shortreed||85|
|8th||214||Jimmy McAlpine||131||18th||120||Jimmy Forrest||74|
|9th||240||Allan Ross||126||19th||171||Tommy Davidson||56|
SCOTTISH CHAMPIONSHIP - 12th JUNE EAST of SCOTLAND CHAMPIONSHIP - 31st JULY
|1st||330||Robert Bruce||1st||210||John Grierson|
|2nd||46||Keith Jarman||2nd||144||Fred Selby|
|3rd||166||Bob Sneddon||3rd||46||Keith Jarman|
|4th||170||Jas Cochrane||4th||235||Jock Robertson|
|5th||240||Allan Ross||5th||88||Pete McVay|
|6th||121||John Burns||6th||151||Bob Jones|
|7th||131||Gordon Brown||7th||242||Bob Malone|
|8th||146||George Stein||8th||146||George Stein|
UK CHALLENGE SHIELD - 25th SEPTEMBER "COCK of the NORTH" - 30th OCTOBER
|1st||330||Robert Bruce||1st||151||Bob Jones|
The stats for the most wins in 1977 were as follows:-
|1st||330||Robert Bruce||10||20||10th=||146||George Stein||1||0|
|2nd||241||Charlie Milne||5||12||10th=||242||Bob Malone||1||0|
|3rd||46||Keith Jarman||5||10||12th=||120||Jimmy Forrest||0||2|
|4th||214||Jimmy McAlpine||3||5||12th=||131||Gordon Brown||0||2|
|5th||210||John Grierson||3||3||12th=||150||Jimmy Blair||0||2|
|6th=||144||Fred Selby||2||3||12th=||161||Bill Shortreed||0||2|
|6th=||151||Bob Jones||2||3||12th=||171||Tommy Davidson||0||2|
|8th||177||John Gilchrist||2||1||17th=||20||Dave Nelson||0||1|
|9th||170||Jas Cochrane||2||0||17th=||121||John Burns||0||1|
Meeting top points scorers:-
Charlie Milne was in great form on the lead up to the Scottish Championship having won 3 of the previous 6 finals, Jas Cochrane taking 2 & Keith Jarman 1. He was in the lead in the National Points Championship & in fact had been in the lead in 10 of the 14 meetings so far.
Charlie missed out on making a meaningful defence of his Scottish Championship, largely thanks to the antics of one Pete McVay and lack of any discipline by Spedeworth officials. Pete had decided he didn't appreciate some treatment meted out by Charlie in a previous exchange. So he therefore made strenuous efforts to eliminate him every time he was lapped (which was quite often!). Normally of course this sort of behaviour would result in a black flag, this most certainly would have been the ouutcome if say Robert Bruce had been the recipient of Pete's attentions, however we are talking about Charlie here, and the Spedeworth offficials were not about to do their favourite Saloon "Bad Boy" any favours, in any case I'm sure he wouldn't have wanted any.
Charlie naturally was not going to put up with this behaviour for long, so on the next lap summarily dealt with Pete. The race had to be stopped as Pete made that he had been injured, Robert Bruce being handed the win.
Pete made a miraculous recovery for the championship race, and again tried to eliminate Charlie every time he was lapped. Despite the delaying tactics Charlie made it up to second behind John Burns. Charlie caught John but they tangled and slowed, Pete manoeuvred his car in front of Charlie to stop his progress & Robert Bruce again sailed through for an uncontested win.
The crowd of course loved this, in truth these contretemps are what brings the public back for more. Robert Bruce moved into the lead in the National Points chase as a result of this meeting and was never headed again for the rest of the season.
In the programme for the British Superstox Championship, Gwen happened to mention that young John Gilchrist could be somebody to watch in the Saloon Stocks. Low and behold John went on to win the final. It should be noted that Gwen had an extraordinary ability as a talent spotter, many a novice was spotlighted by Gwen & then went on to bigger & better things.
One of the most memorable events in Scottish Stock Car Racing took place on the 25th September & arguably was responsible for shaping one of Stock Car Racings major formulae.
Spedeworth Scotland staged their first international Saloon Stock race - the UK Challenge Shield. Johnny Davidson had taken part in the British Saloon Stock Championship at Wimbledon in 1971 and had in fact attained 7th position.
Jack Keeton, Davey Philip, Johnny Davidson, Dougie Farrer, Fraser Dunlop & William Plank had also raced in England as far back as 1973, however as the English specs differed, these visits were curtailed.
The promotion had been under pressure for some time by parent organisation Spedeworth International to adopt their Saloon Stock specifications. There were obvious promotional opportunities, plus the ability for drivers to race away at international events. So as a pre-cursor to changing to the English specs this meeting was duly arranged.
The meeting itself turned out to be complete mayhem. It was essentially a banger race but with Saloon Stock cars.
Racing commentator John Kelly really hated it and described the meeting as "one to forget". I should point out that John, unusually for a Stock Car race commentator didn't approve of Stock Car tactics!,
John was in the complete minority though, even promoter Roy Cecil described the meeting as entertaining in the drivers newsletter.
The fans of course thought it was brilliant, a massive crowd turned up for the meeting, and some of Cowdenbeath's all time record attendances occurred at future Saloon Stock Internationals.
Back to the UK Challenge Shield - 21 cars started the event including 6 top English drivers. Bob Jones survived the carnage to collect his first big win. Bob went on to collect many more big wins and would certainly be a major contender as Scotland's greatest ever Saloon Stock driver.
After the event promoter Roy Cecil stated that "there will be no more Saloon Stock internationals between the countries and that plans to switch to the 2700cc Saloons would probably be abandoned"
Roy I think mistakenly believed that English Saloon Stock drivers behaved like this all the time!, whereas the Saloon Stock racing in England was much the same as Scotland. (albeit with slower cars!)
For the first part of Roy's statement the internationals were not abandoned, however the second part did eventuate the English Saloon Stock regs were not taken up. This meeting though did open up the door for Scottish drivers to take part in major English meetings & when marauders such as Robert Bruce (quite fitting really), Keith Jarman & Bob Jones started winning high rated races from the back of 45 car fields in England. It was only a matter of time before Spedeworth International adopted the Scottish specs which over time morphed into the 2 litre Saloon Stocks formula we see today.
The modern day 2 litre Saloon Stock to my mind though is not as edgy as these late 70,s early 80's Saloons. The hits today if anything are bigger, so what is it? The cars are definitely far more stable and hugely stronger - but something is missing, maybe that is it, they are too planted and stable.
Unfortunately they also don't look much like any saloon which grace our roads, any faint resemblance they do have is to vehicles that have been obsolete for decades.
One other incident from the meeting is remembered and it occurred in the bangers. Terry Carrington came out with what ostensibly looked like a beautiful Daimler Limousine, after crashing into the fence however the vehicle caught fire, and developed into one of the most spectacular blazes seen to that date at Cowdenbeath. Ace track photographer Jim Fyffe caught the action as Terry jumped from his car to safety. It is a photograph which has been used by many publications.
At the Banger King event on the 16th October Terry's Daimler again appeared & managed to catch fire again - TWICE!
Keith Jarman showed a glimpse of what was in store for 1978 by winning the last 4 finals of the season.
Robert Bruce produced remarkable consistency to win the Scottish Championship Points for the third successive, year a magnificent achievement. To mark this, the points championship shield was given to Robert to keep. (The shield was also now full!). A new larger shield was commissioned for 1978, though all the previous winners were still recorded on it.
This was a remarkable achievement which Bob went on to even better, yet another guaranteeing a nomination for Scotland's greatest ever Saloon Stock driver.
1977 HOT ROD POINTS CHAMPIONSHIP
|1st||106||Hamish Buchanan||380||5th||196||Kenny Ireland||190|
|2nd||162||Malcolm Chesher||276||6th||244||Jimmy Low||183|
|3rd||140||Graham Wait||216||7th||191||John Buchanan||173|
|4th||64||Les Kay||194||8th||222||Fraser Dunlop||163|
SCOTTISH CHAMPIONSHIP - 22nd MAY EAST of SCOTLAND CHAMPIONSHIP - 31st JULY
|1st||106||Hamish Buchanan||1st||196||Kenny Ireland|
|2nd||196||Kenny Ireland||2nd||106||Hamish Buchanan|
|3rd||244||Jimmy Low||3rd||191||John Buchanan|
|4th||75||Bill Crawford||4th||222||Fraser Dunlop|
|5th||33||Bob Carnegie||5th||162||Malcolm Chesher|
|6th||102||Ronnie Burns||6th||244||Jimmy Low|
OPEN SCOTTISH CHAMPIONSHIP - 4th SEPTEMBER "COCK of the NORTH - 30th SEPTEMBER
|1st||E351||Barry Lee||1st||222||Fraser Dunlop|
The race winners for 1977 were as follows:-
Note a number of meetings featured 2 Hot Rod races only - these have been classified as heats.
|1st||106||Hamish Buchanan||8||10||8th||E19||Mick Collard||1||0|
|2nd||196||Kenny Ireland||5||9||9th||E351||Barry Lee||1||0|
|3rd||64||Les Kay||4||6||10th||102||Ronnie Burns||0||8|
|4th||140||Graham Wait||3||13||11th||191||John Buchanan||0||5|
|5th||162||Malcolm Chesher||3||5||12th||127||Alex Grant||0||2|
|6th||222||Fraser Dunlop||3||5||13th||50||Craig Bruce||0||1|
A great season for Hamish Buchanan, but there were a few up and downs, these were the remnants of a clash with Graham Wait (photo knockhillimages.smugmug.com)
Meeting top points scorers:-
Ex Saloon Stock star drivers Fraser Dunlop & Jimmy Low commenced their endeavours in Hot Rods in fine style. Fraser ended the first points period in second place behind Hamish Buchanan & Jimmy headed the blue grade drivers. Fraser in particular went from strength to strength during the season & managed to qualify as one of Scotland's representatives in the World Championship in July finishing a creditable 7th despite a rear of grid draw position.
Hamish Buchanan won the Scottish Hot Rod Championship, his main opposition being Kenny Ireland. Kenny had won both qualifying heats, and got into an early lead in the Championship race itself. Hamish caught up with Kenny and they ran neck & neck for several laps, before Hamish edged ahead and finished around 30 metres ahead at the flag. Hamish's car failed to restart for his lap of honour, so he ran the quarter mile with the flag. Now this wasn't the first or the last time someone has had to do this, but the 6000 fans gave Hamish a rousing reception, making it a very memorable event.
The Open Scottish Hot Rod Championship turned into an epic battle between World Champ Barry Lee and Duffy Collard. They were both drawn on the front row of the grid, but that did not lessen the excitement of the dice for the entire race. With nothing between them, Barry held on for a well deserved win, Duffy second and Hamish Buchanan a half lap distant 3rd. Duffy got some revenge by taking the meeting final.
International Hot Rod Racing really packed in the crowds at Cowdenbeath. 7000 turned up for this meeting. To put that in some sort of Stock Car Racing perspective, 7000 fans attended the Formula One Stock Car World Final at Ipswich in 2008 (according to the BBC website).