SALOON STOCKS 57 Cars
|8||Willie Miller||129||Alf Clark|
|10||Des Murphy||131||Gordon Brown|
|11||Alex Sharp||132||John Maxwell|
|20||George Gavin||133||William Blair|
|32||James Paterson||138||Nat Hill|
|46||Keith Jarman||144||Melville Henry|
|50||William Carslaw||151||Bob Jones|
|62||Brian Carnegie||156||Ian Ostrau|
|67||Donald Laird||159||Kenneth Christie|
|69||Russell Scott||163||Bill Auld|
|72||James Bromley||165||Douglas McLean|
|73||Ralph Carson||169||Peter Spence|
|74||Ian Stewart||170||Jas Cochrane|
|86||Peter Cleary||182||Fraser Greenwood|
|88||Kenneth Skea||183||Derek Meldrum|
|108||Johnny Davidson||200||Allan McLaren|
|109||John Bell||202||Neil Petrie|
|110||James Honeyman||204||Alistair Craigs|
|111||Jimmy Gellan||205||Barry Gardiner|
|112||Colin Kirkpatrick||225||Vic Radzyuski|
|114||Bob MacKay||236||Raymond Beard|
|116||John Buchanan||244||Mark Horsburgh|
|118||Brian McCann||245||John MacKenzie|
|121||John Burns||248||Allan Ross|
|122||Rowland Thomson||267||Stephen McRitchie|
|124||Robin Dowie||330||Robert Bruce|
SUPERSTOX 21 Cars
|17||Mike Jack||84||Les Brown|
|22||Stan Ross||87||Robin Brown|
|24||John Adam||94||Vic Russell|
|25||James Main||100||George McMillan Jnr|
|35||Bob Thomson||115||Ally Devine|
|39||Les Clark||175||Eric Brown Jnr|
|56||Tommy Carruthers||179||Derek Kilday|
|63||Stewart Barbour||180||David Morris|
|70||David Stevenson||214||Jimmy McAlpine|
|81||Bill Pullar||238||Gilbert McCarlie|
STOCK RODS 71 CARS
|12||Frank McCann||189||Robert Drummond|
|13||James Nellies||190||George Logan|
|14||John Macaulay||192||Caroline Jamieson|
|19||Douglas Whyte||194||James Allen|
|21||Alan McLachlan||198||Mike Mlotkiewiez|
|23||Stuart Ballantyne||199||Ian Taylor|
|27||David Lindsay||199||Ronnie Brunton|
|30||John Walker||206||Tommy McLernon|
|31||Ronald Fraser||208||Ian Bell|
|32||James Paterson||209||Robert Watson|
|37||Stuart Devlin||210||Mick Thomson|
|38||Ronald Luff||213||John Laverty|
|41||Raymond Davidson||215||David Law|
|45||Ross Livingston||216||Douglas Reid|
|49||George Inglis||217||Callum McLean|
|51||William Bauld||219||Ian Crombie|
|52||Trevor Taylor||222||Iain Burnside|
|82||Douglas Smith||227||William Logie|
|85||Keith Brown||230||Neil Crawford|
|91||Craig McCallum||232||Stewart Sneddon|
|92||Lawrence Ross||234||Alex Wilson|
|99||John Borthwick||235||Alan Barr|
|133||William Blair||237||Edward Devlin|
|136||David McInnes||240||Robert Thomson|
|143||David Carstairs||247||Paul Moran|
|152||David Ramsay||250||Alan Williamson|
|153||Pat Campbell||251||John Hayworth|
|156||Ian Ostrau||253||Bob Muir|
|157||David Cronin||256||Joseph Short|
|166||Joe Nordon||264||John Wilson|
|171||Jack Hubbard||302||Ronnie Burns|
|172||Alex Johnston||303||Ian Kerr|
|173||Robert Clark||321||John Whyte|
|184||Joanne Devlin||331||Ford Ferguson|
The arrival of new competiton persuaded the promoters that an increase in prize & start money was justified.
In an unprecedented move the amounts were published in the first programme of the season.
Start money varied between 4 pounds and seven pounds depending on grade and formula.
Prize money for Saloon Stocks, Superstox & Hot Rods was:-
|£ 10.00||£ 7.00||£ 6.00||£ 5.00||£ 4.00||£ 3.00|
|£ 50.00||£ 30.00||£ 20.00||£ 10.00||£ 6.00||£ 4.00|
Of course much media coverage was given to the arrival of the promotion at Newtongrange.
Spedeworth Scotland's promoter Roy Cecil & Newtongrange's promoter Gordon McDougall were much sought after during this time for opinion and comment. Short Circuit Magazine dispatched Russell McCormack to interview Roy Cecil & Gordon McDougall and as I was contributing Scottish content to Short Circuit Magazine during this period, had the priviledge of accompanying Russell to these interviews.
Roy had stated that the split had occurred in Scottish Stock Car Racing partly due to Scottish patriotism! ie the origins of this trouble had started a few years ago when the Scottish National Party had a resurgence in popularity!
He stated that he was aware of a mood of discontent and had several meetings with the "unofficial Scottish Drivers Association". However though at these meetings he was of the opinion that they didn't seem to know what they wanted.
Spedeworth Scotland had carried out two feasibility studies on Newtongrange & it didn't stack up as a promoting option.
He stated that if Gordon McDougall was unhappy with the standard of competition in the Superstox class at Cowdenbeath he should have built and raced a Formula One Stock Car, rather than take a big risk with a new track.
Roy felt sorry for Gordon in a way because he has now got all Roy's "Bad Boys" racing for him - which of course was good for Roy at Cowdenbeath.
Roy certainly appeared to relish the prospect of the season ahead.
Gordon in turn stated that he had become disillusioned with the continual and steady reduction in car numbers at Cowdenbeath and the promotions lack of "drive" in his view, to improve on these circumstances in the Superstox formula. Basically the Stock Car Racing was deteriorating.
It was not just in Scotland though, the British Superstox Championship at Ipswich in 1980 almost saw more drivers than spectators at the meeting.
The wheel ban fiasco (referred to in the 1980 summary) persuaded Gordon to hand in his license. He then spent the rest of the season attending Brisca meetings. He witnessed packed terracing and plenty of cars, even at normal non championship meetings.
It was in October he had the idea and decided to open up another track in Scotland.
It must be said that Roy Cecil did react to the challenge of the new competition from the Newtongrange promotion. He undertook to introduce trackside traffic lights, an electronic scoreboard for race positions, re-profile the track to incorporate more of an "oval" shape to the circuit, a grandstand to the back straight, upgrades to toilets, asphalt to the pits area, an increase in prize money, mobile hand set communication from Clerk of the Course to the Pits.
Of course not all these things occurred, but some did, so it is a true adage that "Competition Improves the Breed".
The new traffic lights were on show at the opening meeting, though the drivers were obviously still going to take a while to get used to them, with a number of re-starts forced to occur in the Superstox.
One of the big problems caused by the Roy Cecil directive that only journalists prepared to provide positive reporting re Spedeworth Scotland would be admitted to the stadium with a press pass resulted in a lot of verbiage being reported, so it is often difficult to establish the facts of events at Spedeworth Scotland & Newtongrange during this period. As an example it was reported in Rods & Stocks Magazine that there were 30 cars taking part in the Saloon Stocks at Cowdenbeath & only 12 - 13 at Newtongrange.
Spedeworth's big weekend in Scotland was planned for 22nd & 23rd August. The first two day meeting for some seasons.
The weekend would be a Hot Rod extravaganza.
The UK Challenge Championship to be held on the Saturday and the Open Scottish Championship on the Sunday.
The World Banger Championship at Wimbledon on the 3rd October had two representatives from Scotland, "MAD MAX" Keith Miller finished 3rd. Drawn 26th in a field of 46 cars, though I am not certain that has any relevance whatsoever in Banger Racing. He actually reversed over the line to collect his 3rd placing!
Sticking with Bangers the "King of the Crossroads" event at Armadale was held on the 26th June.
It never ceased to amaze me that in Banger Racing, certain drivers can become regular winners, this was even harder at Armadale where figure of 8 racing was the main fare in 1981.
In the season up to that point the multiple winners were K McLay with 3 wins & Keith Miller with 2 wins.
The Cowdenbeath "Banger King" trophy took place at the 18th October meeting, & a very large crowd turned up for the event. David Watson was the eventual winner from the large entry of 58 cars.
The Stewards Cup event, first meeting in April saw wins for Eric Brown Jnr (he also won both heats), Bob Jones in the Saloon Stocks & Graham Wait in the Yawn Rods, where 3 cars finished each procession.
We had a "special" Banger racing event as part of the meeting in that they had to fly over a ramp!
Unfortunately the ramp disintegrated during the "spectacle" and it is really difficault to put into words just how bad this idea was, anyway surely never to be repeated. Unfortunately it was - on the 19th April. Worse still the intention was to have Two Ramps at that next Banger meeting!
2nd meeting in April marked the arrival of the electronic scoreboard.
In that weeks programme it was revealed that there was a much happier atmosphere at the meetings this year, - there was a sense of "jollity" in the racing which has been missing over the past few years! - There was "friendly" feelings between the drivers! - It was like old times with jokes and fun in the pits! - The under current of trouble has now entirely disappeared! - "Good Grief!"
Unfortunately the "Sweetness & Light" didn't last terribly long, for at the very same meeting Eric Brown & Jimmy McAlpine had a "set to" with each other which garnered a disapproving rebuke from the track commentator in the following weeks programme, which ended thus "There are plenty of other places they can learn about bad sportsmanship".
What could he mean?
The East of Scotland Championships at the beginning of August produced very disappointing fields of cars for the championship races.
The Superstox was won by Les Clark from a 10 car field.
The Saloon Stocks was won by John Burns from a 13 car field.
The Hot Rods was won by Malcolm Chesher from a 7 car field.
156 Ian Ostrau raced in Stock Rods, Superstox & Hot Rods in 1981.
SUPERSTOX POINTS CHAMPIONSHIP
|2nd||175||Eric Brown Jnr||407||Red|
|8th||100||George MacMillan Jnr ***||184||Blue|
|13th||214||Jimmy McAlpine ***||93||Blue|
*** Retired May
Roof Colour Change Points Estimated
NOTE the points totals are not complete, a few meetings records are at this point unknown, totals to be corrected.
UK CHALLENGE CUP - 21st JUNE WEST of SCOTLAND "ARMADALE" - 14th JULY
|1st||IRE34||Jimmy Greenwood||1st||87||Robin Brown|
EAST of SCOTLAND CHAMPIONSHIP - 2nd AUGUST SCOTTISH CHAMPIONSHIP - 30th AUGUST
|1st||39||Les Clark||1st||39||Les Clark|
|2nd||87||Robin Brown||2nd||94||Vic Russell|
|3rd||24||John Adam||3rd||84||Les Brown|
|4th||175||Eric Brown Jnr||4th||N/A|
Most wins in 1981 (to be updated when full records obtained)
|2nd||175||Eric Brown Jnr||6||11|
|4th||100||George MacMillan J||2||5|
Top points scorers (to be updated when full records obtained)
|2nd||175||Eric Brown Jnr||5|
|4th||100||George MacMillan J||2|
George MacMillan Jnr had a great start to the season, both heats and final at the first meeting, heat win and heat 3rd, and the 2nd final in a row at the next.
George arrived at the 3rd meeting with a new car and proceeded to win the 1st heat.
Despite all of George's great form in the early part of the season it was the inimitable Les Clark who led the points at the end of the first points period.
UK Challenge Cup for Superstox in June, Dave Pierce was the defending champion from 1979, with all the excitement in 1980 the UK Challenge Cup was forgotten about!
Programmed to appear in addition to 320 Dave Pierce, were 211 Howard Cole, 206 Robin Randall, 323 Dave Turner, 685 Bryan Jones, & Ian McKnight from Ireland. It was No 34 Jim Greenwood from Ireland who won the race, in a 1300cc F2 Stock Car, which was a bit of an embarrassment for Roy Cecil who had claimed at the start of the season that the Brisca F2 Stock Cars were a 2nd rate Superstox.
All other races were won by Dave Pierce.
The full result was
1st Jimmy Greenwood
2nd Dave Pierce
3rd Dave Turner
4th Robin Randall
Les Clark who had been winning most everything this season ended up on his roof, while the other big hope
Eric Brown Jnr pulled out with a puncture after a clash with Robin Randall.
The Scottish Championship for Superstox at the end of August could be said to be a "walk in the Central Park" for Les Clark, driver and machine were in top form and truthfully nobody else could get close. The competition was continuing to get depleted as star drivers George MacMillan Jnr & Jimmy McAlpine had both moved over to the F2 ranks by this part of the season.
Vic Russell & Les Brown came through for the minor spots.
6 Scottish Superstox paid a visit to the Festival of Speed meeting at Brands Hatch in September and Les Clark collected 4 wins out of 4 starts. Scotland comfortably won the team event, it should be pointed out that the home "Promotasport" F3 were a type of "cut price F2 / Superstox with less power & did not compete with racing tyres. I don't believe the excercise was ever repeated.
The World Superstox Championship was held at Kaldenkirchen in Germany. An all in draw saw 5 out of the 9 English drivers taking part drawn in the first 6 places on the grid.
Only two Scottish drivers were given an entry Eric Brown drew 11th on the grid Les Clark drew 23rd on the grid.
It was Dave Pierce who made his way to the front, with 7 laps to go Neil Bee pushed him out of the way, only for Jo Van Rengs from Holland to get past Neil, but only for about two seconds, when Neil administered a very hard hit which put Jo out.
1st 482 Neil Bee (13th on the grid)
2nd 320 Dave Pierce (10th on the grid)
3rd 397 Paul Pearson (1st on the grid)
4th 34 Jimmy Greenwood (12th place on the grid)
5th 39 Les Clark (23rd on the grid)
6th 768 Derek Hales (5th on the grid)
The European Championship for Superstox was held in Ireland, the qualifying procedure was over three tracks, Aghadowey, Portadown & The European Championship itself at Ballymena.
The four races at Aghadowey were won by the home drivers, Ian McNight (2 wins), Clifford McNight & Jimmy Greenwood. At Portadown it was Dave Pierce who collected the two wins and indeed it was Dave who won the big race itself at Ballymena, Neil Bee was 2nd & Ian McNight 3rd.
Unfortunately I have no knowledge of the Scottish drivers, if any, that took part. As late as the end of September the published information in the programme was that it was unknown who would be taking part. The problem seemed to be that due to one of the meetings taking place on a Wednesday there was difficulty in getting time off work.
The 1981 qualifying system for the 1981 British Championship entitled the top 4 Scottish drivers in the points. Les Clark, Robin Brown, Vic Russell & Eric Brown Jnr. I believe the race took place at a very wet Wimbledon in November? The Cowdenbeath programme of 13.09.81 however, states that the meeting was to be on 19th September?
The result was:-
1st 298 Bill Bridges
2nd 320 Dave Pierce
3rd 93 Chris Knights
This interesting little ditty appeared in the programme of the 18th October, it read as follows:-
"Maybe many of you do not know that it is a Spedeworth Scotland gesture to drivers who register for the next years racing in the last 4 weeks of the current season, they are allowed to finish off the fixtures outstanding for the year.
This has proved a great help in the past in giving new drivers confidence on the opening meetings of the new season or experienced drivers returning to racing, a feel of the track and car.
The only stipulation to a next years registered driver racing now, is that should they win a final, they are not eligible for the current "Cock of the North" Championship".
Seems somebody was very worried the "Old Fox" Bill Pullar who had just returned to Cowdenbeath after his Newtongrange spat with Ray Tyldesley may win a final and thus qualify for their "Cock of the North" race! Although no doubt pleased at Bill's return, really he had to penalised for daring to race elsewhere! Personally I can't see why they just didn't give Bill 100 lines "I must not race elsewhere"!
There was further intrigue in track commentator John Kelly's piece in the same programme where there was a welcome back mention to Mike Jack, who had appeared the previous week in his brother in law John Adams car, and only just failed to win the final. John hoped he might make it back to this meeting and win the final & thus qualify for the "Cock of the North" final "the more the merrier" he stated, - unless your name is Bill Pullar of course!
Bill Pullar made his return to Cowdenbeath then at the meeting on the 18th October following his Newtongrange contretempt.
I don't know if Bill was one of Roy's "Bad Boys" that Roy had referred to at the beginning of the season. Anyway Bill collected three 3rd places in the races. Two of which only had 9 participants & one had 8.
Hot Rod Points Championship
East of Scotland Championship - 2nd June UK Challenge Cup - 22nd August
|1st||162||Malcolm Chesher||1st||E351||Barry Lee|
|2nd||64||Les Kay||2nd||140||Graham Wait|
|3rd||140||Graham Wait||3rd||E19||Mick Collard|
|4th||134||David Dugan||4th||64||Les Kay|
|5th||246||John Ramsay||5th||150||Jimmy Blair|
Open Scottish Championship - 23rd August Scottish Championship - 30th August
|1st||Ire962||Ormond Christie||1st||64||Les Kay|
|2nd||162||Malcolm Chesher||2nd||162||Malcolm Chesher|
|3rd||E351||Barry Lee||3rd||246||John Ramsay|
The NHRPA under the stewardship of General Secretary Philip Bond took a disgraceful stance (as eventually became apparent) re the new promotion at Newtongrange. The health of Hot Rod racing in Scotland was damaged for years as they sought to support the existing member promoter Spedeworth Scotland rather than the health of Hot Rod Racing in Scotland.
The exclusion of Newtongrange initially could be given some credibility, in that the new promotion should provide a base of its own drivers before admission to the organisation.
In later years it was more out of the belief that exclusion would disadvantage Newtongrange & advantage Spedeworth Scotland with absolutely no regard for Scottish Hot Rod racing.
The "divy up" of international drives "awards" to those Hot Rod drivers who had remained loyal to the Spedeworth Scotland promotion was as follows:-
European:- Graham Wait
John Ramsay (Les Kay opted out after qualifying for the World)
Accompanying Scottish Superstox to Germany:- George Barrie
Plus one other
Irish Open:- Graham Wait
British:- Jimmy Blair
National:- Graham Wait
Isle of Man (Manx):- Jimmy Blair
At the 2nd meeting of the season Jimmy Blair won the final in the Hot Rods, however he was disqualified as the officials stated that they believed (mistakenly) that Jimmy's car had been dropping oil, handing the win to Graham Wait.
This was the 2nd week in a row that Jimmy had fallen foul of the officials. He had been dropped a position the previous week for allegedly nudging Graham Wait! Graham had spun out Jimmy earlier in the meeting so maybe there was a bit of this going on, anyway Jimmy appealed the unjust decision, and it was eventually reversed two weeks later. So justice was done.
Cowdenbeath commentator John Kelly had a bit of a spray in the track programme at Iain Robertson "Rods & Stocks Magazine" correspondent for some of Scotland's input, or "Thingy" as John described him. The reason for the spray, was that Iain had criticised John's contribution to the Scottish section of the World Hot Rod Championship programme. Iain had described the content as "Junk".
John defended the piece by stating it was written entirely "tongue in cheek" and was meant to be read by people who had a sense of humour.
I hope the suggestion wasn't that you had to have a sense of humour to follow Scottish Hot Rod Racing!
First World Championship Qualifying for the Hot Rods mid June, three drivers to Qualify, many races only had 3 cars this season, so it would be interesting to see how many fronted this meeting, well a relatively healthy 10 cars attended.
The points after the first meeting were as follows:-
Round 2 of the World Hot Rod qualifying at the end of June saw Malcolm Chesher win a heat, a heat 3rd & a final win, Jimmy Blair with a heat 2nd, heat 3rd & final 3rd, & Les Kay with a heat win, heat 2nd & final 2nd to make the 3 qualifying places.
Graham Wait who headed the qualifying after the first round had a desperate day with mechanical gremlins which meant he failed to qualify by 1 point.
Malcolm Chesher put the fact that he was top points scorer in the World Championship qualifying and this upsurge in form due to the acquisition of the ex Alan Dent "Burton" engine.
Graham failed to qualify having crashed out of the last two races, he did get to represent Scotland at the European Championship at Newton Abbot along with John Ramsay. Graham failed to finish when he crashed out after collecting a puncture and ended up with a fair bit of damage. John Ramsay finished the race though not in the placings.
1981 marked the first of Ormond Christie's World Championship victories, Northern Ireland compatriot Davey Evans crossed the line first but was docked one place for contact with Ormond, a decision Davey did not dispute, he stated that you do not get many opportunities to win World Championships so when they come up you just have to go for it.
Davey of course deservedly went on to win the title the following year.
The first 4 past the flag were:-
1st Ormond Christie
2nd Davey Evans
3rd Nigel Murphy
4th Colin Facey
5th John Edwards
Best Scottish result was Les Kay with 10th which in fact was his starting position in the race.
Malcolm Chesher had a successful meeting at Great Yermouth following the World Championship collecting three 2nd places.
European Championship at Newton Abbott, Ormond Christie secured the best lap time and thus pole position, with Peter Grimer alongside. The other significant lap time was Barry Lee in 18th!
Graham Wait retired on the 2nd lap with a puncture. Ormond won the race by 3/4 of a lap from Mick Collard, John Edwards and Peter Grimer.
Also in August we had Scottish Hot Rod Championship day, the meeting also featured the Scottish Superstox Championship.
A large crowd turned up for this double bill. No defending champion in the Hot Rods though as Dougie Farrer was now racing at Newtongrange.
Les Kay collected another Scottish title with it seemed relative ease, after Jimmy Blair's car which had won the first heat seemed to develop mechanical maladies. Malky Chesher was 2nd & John Ramsay 3rd.
The British Hot Rod Championship at Arena Essex in August saw a large crowd arrive to witness the event despite very poor weather conditions. The question was whether Ormond Christie would complete the hat trick to add the British to his World & European, a last position grid draw put paid to that.
Barry Lee came through from a grid position near to the back, Colin Voyce was 2nd (the first PRI driver to make such a high position in a major), then followed Leon Smith and Pete Winstone.
Neither of the Scottish drivers finished.
The Hot Rod stars booked for Scotland's big weekend in August were Barry Lee, Mick Collard, Ormond Christie, Davy Evans
11 cars took part in the UK Championship which Barry Lee won from his 2nd row grid draw, Jimmy Blair 2nd, Jimmy went on to win the meeting Final.
10 cars for the Open Scottish on the Sunday. Ormond Christie won this race form his 2nd row grid draw. Ormond was a lucky starter for this race having bent his axle and damaged the half shafts on Saturday night. Repairs to the car were only completed 20 minutes before start time on Sunday. Barry Lee won the final on the Sunday after Mick Collard was docked a place for half spinning Barry earlier in the race.
So despite the NHRPA's massive support for Spedeworth Scotland, Philip Bond was unable to arrange ANY Midlands drivers for these events, very disappointing.
The other notable occurrence from this meeting was that Spedeworth Scotland provided more appearance money to "former" World Champions Barry Lee & Mick Collard than reigning World Champion Ormond Christie!
Mentioned in this programme that Graham Wait was leading "Short Circuit's" new points system chart which includes all NHRPA drivers in the UK, "long me you stay there".
Unfortunately for Graham he didn't stay there very long, in fact the magazine immediately revised their points system when they got wind of the fact that Graham's points were garnered racing against two other cars!
Argh!, would it be possible for the Yawn Rods to get any worse. 4 cars started the 2nd heat and only 1 car finished! The final 2 cars started & only 1 finished!
Could we possibly have a race where NO cars finish!
The result for of the single meeting NHRPA Championship in 1981 was:-
1st Colin Facey
2nd Malcolm Chesher
3rd Peter Grimer
This race was probably the 2nd most important race in the Hot Rod calendar due to the size of the prize fund. Unfortunately Bangers were on the bill with the Hot Rods and the decision was made not to sweep the track before the big race. They did however decide to water the track, which did a lot to ruin the event, with the inside line drying out and the outside remaining wet.
Colin Facey won after Malcolm Chesher let him through believing he was holding him up. He wasn't and Malcolm remained on his tail through to the end of the race. A great result for Malcolm, but he really could be too much of a gentleman sometimes.
Saloon Stock Points Championship
Roof Colour Change Points Unknown.
Note the points totals are not complete, a few meeting records are at this point unknown, totals to be corrected.
Open Scottish Championship - 20th May East of Scotland Championship - 2nd June
|1st||121||John Burns||1st||46||Keith Jarman|
|2nd||138||Nat Hill||2nd||151||Bob Jones|
|3rd||53||James Carnie||3rd||202||Neil Petrie|
|4th||114||Bob MacKay||4th||131||Gordon Brown|
|5th||74||Ian Stewart||5th||121||John Burns|
|6th||88||Kenneth Skea||6th||67||Donald Laird|
Half a dozen different winners during March's 4 meetings, with Bob Jones the dominant force winning 2 final wins and coming home 2nd in the other two, he also collected a heat win, 4 heat 2nd's & 1 heat 3rd. The other stand out display came from white top Jim Honeyman with no less than 4 heat wins and a final, a red roof was on the way at the end of the first grading period. Willie Miller collected the other final in March.
Two welcome returns to the raceways at the beginning of May, Johnny Davidson at Armadale on the 3rd complete with his new number 108, after having competed for many years under 118. Quite successful too, with a heat 3rd and final 4th. Fraser Greenwood was the surprise winner of the two heats at this meeting with Allan Ross taking the final. At the Cowdenbeath meeting two days later, it was Robert Bruce who returned after a short layoff. Robert received a massive ovation from his huge fan base, and he didn’t show any sign of rustiness taking well earned 2nd place in each of the races. He must still have been slightly disappointed though, as the man who beat him in each race was old adversary Keith Jarman.
Robert could consider himself a bit unlucky as he managed to return when Keith was in a particularly rich vein of form, in fact Keith went on to collect 8 wins in a row.
It was Gordon Brown who broke this run by expertly spinning Jas Cochrane on the last lap to take the final.
By the end of the month Robert Bruce demonstrated that he was well and truly back in town by winning all 3 races.
Second major of the season was for the Saloon Stocks Scottish Championship and it was Keith Jarman who captured the glory.
27 cars for the first heat, John Bell rolled his Capri and it promptly burst into flames. On the restart Keith scythed through to the lead closely followed by Robert Bruce. Despite both qualifying you would have thought they would take it easy in the 2nd heat and save it all for the Championship. Not a bit of it, a 3rd of the way through the race and they were both through to the front. This time it was Robert that collected the win by half a car.
Robert collected a puncture in the final so it was left to Bob Jones & Neil Petrie to see if they could get close to Keith, they couldn't and Keith cruised through to his 2nd Scottish Championship title.
In a bit of a "spoiler" in the programme, the promotion stated that they were proud to race only "Scottish Drivers", with the exception of Internationals, holidaying drivers or special requests.
Quite why this should be something to be "proud" of totally escapes me.
Keith Jarman defended his British Championship, held as part of the Spede Weekend at Ipswich on the 11th July. England's Graham Overy no 616 (blue roof) won the race from Wally Hall, Conrad Self & Terry Thorpe. Allan Ross in 5th was the best placed Scottish driver. The race was televised by ITV World of Sport.
Every Scottish driver was spun on the opening lap (with the exception of Robert Bruce who found himself in the fence before the race even started), in a concerted and planned effort to end the embarrassing situation of the handful of Scottish drivers continually being victorious over their English counterparts despite being outnumbered at best 10 to 1 .
They slipped up in the Sunday final though when Keith Jarman yet again stormed through for the win. The 2nd year in a row he had done this. Bob Jones had won the 1979 final.
Two qualifying meetings were held for the British Championship, four place were allocated to Scotland in addition to Keith Jarman who automatically started as reigning champion. The points totals after the first round were-
|151||Bob Jones||27 pts|
|131||Gordon Brown||16 pts|
|248||Allan Ross||16 pts|
|110||James Honeyman||13 pts|
After the 2nd round Bob Jones topped the points, Robert Bruce had a great meeting after a poor first one, Allan Ross and Gordon Brown joined them together with defending champion Keith Jarman.
Mention should be made of 121 John Burns, John had taken the unusual route of building himself a Toyota Celica Saloon Stock. Much interest was shown in this machine and John maintained a red roof status with this car, winning many races and scoring large hauls of points, he collected another heat and final at the Scottish Hot Rod / Superstox meeting at the end of August.
At the mid September meeting Donald Laird managed to blow his engine during pre-meeting practise. Jimmy Gellan offered Donald his spare engine. So off they went to one of the local villages to pick it up. They then changed the engine in the pits, and Donald rolled out in time for the first heat. With no spectators realising what had just gone on. This was all completed in around an hour!
Wouldn't it have been great if Donald or Jimmy could have won the final as a reward for their efforts. However it was Bob MacKay who stormed through for the win beating Keith Jarman to the line, this was his 2nd final in a row, he had beaten John Burns to the line the previous week.
End of September, Keith Jarman managed to break his arm in an innocuous shunt where his arm slipped through the steering wheel, during the final while lying in 2nd position, he had already won both of the earlier heats. New superstar Bob MacKay who had been in the lead continued on after the re-start to collect yet another final win, John Burns was 2nd. 124 Robin Dowie had won his first final of the season the previous week preventing Bob from making it 3 in a row.
Keith Jarman having broken his arm, travelled down to Cleethorpes after having the plaster adjusted. Apparantly did exceptionally well, he may even have won! Sadly I do not have all the results for this meeting, so if antbody can help out?
This was called the English / Scottish Trophy, Keith explained that adjustments to his plaster here and there allowed him to enter the race.
The other Scottish attendees were Bob Jones, John Burns, Willie Miller, Donald Laird & Jimmy Gellan.
In another "sweetness & light" episode, 110 Jimmy Honeyman was suspended from racing until 1983 for fighting and striking another driver still harnessed in his car.
Stock Rod Points Championship
Scottish Championship - 24th May West of Scotland Championship - 7th August
The first ever Scottish National Points scoring meeting for Stock Rods on the 15th March produced over over 30 cars.
The first winners were:-
Ht 1 Willie Bauld - Ford Escort
Ht 2 Lawrence Ross - Fiat 128
Ht 3 Dave Cronin - Ford Escort
Fin David Law - BL 1300
03.04.81 - Armadale's opening meeting of the season was for Stock Rods & Saloon Stocks.
Lawrence Ross took two heats, Billy Young the other and Alex Wilson the final.
2 Scottish representatives took part in European Stock Rod Championship in Germany, unfortunately however I have no knowledge of who they were or how they performed.
The points for the end of the 1st grading period were
208 Ian Bell 68 red
51 William Bauld 56 red
264 John Wilson 49 red
215 David Law 44 red
92 Lawrence Ross 40 red
321 John Whyte 37 red
The first ever Stewards Cup for Stock Rods took place at the first meeting in May.
Unfortunately consistent rain hampered the large 37 car field of Stock rods that turned out for this meeting.
White top Bill Logie led the Trophy race form the start right through to the last lap when he was overtaken, undaunted he fought back to win by the smallest of margins from David Carstairs, BL 1300's taking both positions.
While the numbers of cars in the other formulae were in free fall, the Stock Rods continued to go from strength to strength (as far as car numbers were concerned anyway).
In fact this meeting in the middle of May produced a White Roof only heat for 14 cars.
The first "Major" for the season was the 1st ever Scottish Championship for Stock Rods. 35 cars took part in the qualifying heats. It was Bill Logie the star of the Stewards Cup in early May that was the runaway star. Or that should be runaway White Top as I believe he still sported that roof colour despite the Stewards Cup win.
Though this may have helped Bill in his earlier heat win, the championship was a draw for grid positions. It may have been a graded draw, whatever, Bill found himself on the front row.
He held on to become the first Scottish Champion, David Lindsey was 2nd, David Carstairs 3rd.
On the 9th august the British Stock Rod Championship was held at Cowdenbeath. However the attitude of some of the participants left a bit to be desired.
23 cars competed in the 30 lap race.
English driver Jeff Foster led the early laps, but Scotsman Willie Bauld moved into the lead, reigning champ Brian Smith in his BL 1300 caught up with Willie and appeared to nerf him out of the race. Brian then found himself bundled out of the race, it was then on for young and old, in fact it turned into the best "Saloon Stock" race seen for many a day. The final result was:-
David Storey England BL 1300
Jeff Foster England Ford Escort
David Carstairs Scotland Ford Escort
David Carstairs won a heat & the final as some consolation for the home fans.
On the 13th September No 21 Alan McLachan executed a spectacular take off after bouncing off the fence. The amazing thing is that you can get a Toyota Corolla to go fast enough to execute such a manoeuvre on a quarter mile oval. Alan was knocked out in the incident, but recovered quickly.
On the 12 th October, another spectacular incident at this meeting when Jim Paterson executed a 5 times roll in his Escort.