Saloon Stock Cars - 80 Cars
|8||Willie Miller||95||John Munro||151||Bob Jones|
|10||James Honeyman||97||Kenzie Law||152||Dave Ramsay|
|11||Graham Leask||99||Gordon Barclay||153||Richard Law|
|12||Barry Jeffrey||101||Ray Marsh||154||Bill Calley|
|19||Dennis Watson||102||David Haddow||160||Fred Newman|
|20||George Gavin||103||Colin Robertson||163||Bill Auld|
|21||N/A||105||Tommy Anderson||165||Douglas McLean|
|26||David Gunn||110||Jimmy Honeyman||176||David Robertson|
|30||N/A||111||Jimmy Gellan||177||Alan Ramsay|
|37||N/A||114||Bob MacKay||178||Paul Smith|
|41||Kenneth McLay||115||George McKinlay||186||Peter Cleary|
|46||Keith Jarman||116||Eddie Reily||194||Steven McHattie|
|47||Ernie Burgoyne||118||Raymond MacKay||197||George Chirray|
|50||Billy Little||120||Jimmy Forrest||202||Neil Petrie|
|53||James Carnie||121||John Burns||205||Barry Gardiner|
|55||Douglas Anderson||122||Rowland Thomson||225||Vic Radzyuski|
|58||James Eglinton||123||Alasdair Smith||244||Mark Horsburgh|
|61||Stephen Henderson||124||Robin Dowie||245||John MacKenzie|
|62||George Bryce||125||Dave Forrest||247||Paul Moran|
|67||Donald Laird||131||Gordon Brown||248||Allan Ross|
|68||Harry Burgoyne||132||John Maxwell||267||Stephen McRitchie|
|73||Ralph Carson||133||Raymond McManus||271||Steven Shepherd|
|74||Ian Stewart||135||Andrew Carnegie||314||Rab Gilmour|
|76||N/A||137||Jock Baird||322||Donald Gilmour|
|83||Keith Miller||138||Nat Hill||330||Robert Bruce|
|85||Kenneth McLay||144||Melville Henry||336||Colin McKinlay|
|91||Ken Pitcaithly||149||John Dow|
Superstox - 30 Cars
|15||George Ballantyne||54||Brian Campbell||94||Vic Russell|
|17||Mike Jack||56||Tommy Carruthers||109||Willie Cameron|
|22||Stan Ross||69||Ally Devine||122||Robert Cook|
|24||John Adam||75||David Moir||135||Andrew Carnegie|
|25||James Main||79||Thomas Heany||172||David Wardlaw|
|27||John Muir||81||Bill Pullar||179||Derek Kilday|
|36||Doug Petrie||82||John Wilson||214||Jimmy McAlpine|
|39||Les Clark||84||Les Brown||222||Iain Burnside|
|48||Hamish McNab||87||Robin Brown||224||Derek Sinclair|
Hot Rods - 18 Cars
|800||Rod McCalman||829||N/A||140||Graham Wait|
|801||Kellas Maver||9||Brian Leckie||162||Malcolm Chesher|
|803||William Lamb||44||Billy Bonnar||171||Jack Hubbard|
|804||Alan McBurney||57||Arthur Edmond||174||George Barrie|
|807||Billy Park||64||Les Kay||204||Alastair Craigs|
|816||Chris Rae||134||Davey Dougan||246||John Ramsay|
Stock Rods - 67 Cars
|7||Nigel Calvin||92||Lawrence Ross||165||Douglas McLean|
|13||Andrew Wylie||95||John McIsaac||166||Eddie Bryce|
|14||John Macaulay||100||Colin Armitt||167||Steven Glover|
|31||Ronald Fraser||105||Eric Nisbet||173||Robert Clark|
|32||James Paterson||106||Victor Knox||182||Fraser Greenwood|
|34||Gary Mercer||107||John Bowie||184||Joanne Devlin|
|38||Ronald Luff||112||Steve McCall||190||George Logan|
|43||Ian Elder||119||Gordon Baillie||191||Paul Donaldson|
|45||Gordon Campbell||126||Robert Gold||192||Caroline Jamieson|
|34||Gary Mercer||127||Allan Brown||193||George Dodds|
|51||William Bauld||128||Brian Tindell||198||Mike Mlotkiewiez|
|59||Jock Rice||129||Alex McQuade||201||Ricky Whitehead|
|60||Archie Gilmour||130||Keith England||208||Ian Bell|
|61||Mark Graham ?||136||David McInnes||215||David Law|
|65||Peter Kirk ?||139||James Valentine||218||Gordon Watson|
|66||Allan Allison||141||Stan Martin||235||Alan Barr|
|72||John Izatt ?||142||Gordon Brown||237||Edward Devlin|
|74||Kevin McGowan ?||143||David Carstairs||250||Alan Williamson|
|76||Lyle McMorland||144||Melvyn Henry||264||John Wilson|
|77||John Allardyce||145||George Babes||300||Davie Duncan|
|78||Mark Doherty||146||William Young||303||Ian Kerr|
|86||Maurice Scott||157||David Cronin||305||Gerard Toner|
|88||Clark Ellis||161||Bill Shortreed|
The Saloon Stock had a healthy average of 24 cars in 1983. The highest entry was for the World Championship on the 31st July of 40 cars.
The Superstox also had a reasonable average of 16 cars. With 23 cars attending the British Championship on the 19th June.
The Hot Rods fared not too bad with 8 cars. The Open Scottish this time the best attendance with 20 cars.
The Stock Rods had an excellent average of 28 cars, surprisingly the best attendance was not at the British Championship where a total of 32 cars was achieved, but a total of 33 cars which was reached at 4 meetings during the season.
*Points Tables For All Formulae - White Top Points Scorers not published by Spedeworth Scotland. I do not have complete results for 1983. However have listed the White Top Points Scorers for which I do have records.
Saloon Stock Cars Points Table
|1st||151||Bob Jones||584||16th||138||Nat Hill||91|
|2nd||46||Keith Jarman||560||17th||19||Dennis Watson||83|
|3rd||8||Willie Miller||400||18th||103||Colin Robertson||70|
|4th||330||Robert Bruce||358||19th||83||Keith Miller||64|
|5th||202||Neil Petrie||345||20th||73||Ralph Carson||60|
|6th||114||Bob McKay||218||21st||132||John Maxwell||34|
|7th||68||Harry Burgoyne||208||22nd||85||Kenneth McKlay||36|
|8th||111||Jimmy Gellen||186||23rd||67||Donald Laird **||32|
|9th||131||Gordon Brown||178||24th||55||Douglas Anderson||27|
|10th||120||Jimmy Forrest||172||25th||99||Gordon Barclay||12|
|12th||47||Ernie Burgoyne||133||27th||314||Rab Gilmour||8|
|13th||197||George Chirray||115||28th||336||Colin McKinlay||7|
|14th||248||Alan Ross||124||29th||115||George McKinlay||6|
** retains roof grade
|15th May 1983||24th July 1983|
|Cecil Trophy||East of Scotland Championship|
|1st||8||Willie Miller||1st||111||Jimmy Gellan|
|2nd||68||Harry Burgoyne||2nd||202||Neil Petrie|
|3rd||248||Allan Ross||3rd||151||Bob Jones|
|4th||330||Robert Bruce||4th||330||Robert Bruce|
|5th||103||Colin Robertson||5th||138||Nat Hill|
|6th||132||John Maxwell||6th||8||Willie Miller|
|30th July 1983||31st July 1983|
|World Championship||Open Scottish Championship|
|1st||131||Gordon Brown||1st||46||Keith Jarman|
|2nd||202||Neil Petrie||2nd||151||Bob Jones|
|3rd||330||Robert Bruce||3rd||114||Bob Mackay|
|4th||121||John Burns||4th||131||Gordon Brown|
|5th||68||Harry Burgoyne||5th||197||George Chirray|
|18th September 1983||6th November 1983|
|Scottish Championship||"Cock of The North"|
|1st||19||Dennis Watson||1st||8||Willie Miller|
|2nd||68||Harry Burgoyne||2nd||330||Robert Bruce|
|3rd||121||John Burns||3rd||131||Gordon Brown|
|4th||8||Willie Miller||4th||151||Bob Jones|
|5th||114||Bob MacKay||5th||46||Keith Jarman|
|6th||197||George Chirray||6th||202||Neil Petrie|
|7th||46||Keith Jarman||7th||125||Dave Forrest|
Highest Points Scoring Meetings:-
Most Wins in 1983:-
The Saloon Stocks had a very impressive 29 starters for the opening show. The Final was sponsored by the local pub just outside the Stadium, the "Staggers" trophy. " What a brilliant name!
1982 "Personality of the Year" award winner, Keith Jarman was in great form with a heat and Final win & in fact he went on to make it two Finals in a row at the 2nd meeting in March. Gordon Brown collecting the other heat at the opener.
Massive delays were experienced during the day getting the many crippled cars off the track (only 7 of the original 29 starters finished the first heat). It turned out that one of the Breakdown Contractors had let the promoters down in the provision of the breakdown trucks. It did demonstrate the advantage though of having your own equipment instead of relying on others.
Despite Keith's Final win at the 2nd meeting he was pipped as top points scorer by Willie Miller who with two heat wins and a Final 3rd collected that honour.
Good to see Jimmy Forrest to the fore at the 3rd meeting of the season with a heat and Final double. Keith Jarman picking up the other heat. Mister consistency Bob Jones though, was the top points scorer on the day demonstrating the form that had won him the last two National Points Titles. Reigning British Champion John Burns made his first meeting of the season with a brand new Toyota Celica unfortunately teething problems kept him out of the results.
Following Jimmy's success the previous week brother Davie prevented Keith Jarman from netting three races in a row, when he emulated Jimmy by winning the Final.
The 2nd race had been a very close run affair between Keith & Bob MacKay, with the lead being exchanged a number of times. A last ditch effort by Bob to retake the lead ended in tears when he hit the fence and executed a neat roll. Bob's car landed back on it's wheels and Bob simply continued on, unfortunately not gaining a points scoring place.
The action started before the meeting got underway, Gordon Barclay was going all out during the pre-meeting practice. Gordon lost it on the main straight, the car rolled and leapt into the air clearing the safety fence and ending up in the stand walkway. Luckily there were no spectators around at the time.
It did and it does bring home that Stock Car Racing can be a dangerous for drivers & spectators.
The heats winner was Keith Jarman, it was Gordon Brown who won the Final (in the heavy snow!), Harry Burgoyne secured the runner up spot (constantly improving) with Keith Jarman back in 3rd.
After the end of the first grading period, the only red top driver that could make any impression on previous star drivers who had been downgraded was Keith Jarman. The first race had blue tops Allan Ross and Robert Bruce, beating him in that order.
Robert Bruce as a blue top? One of the best Saloon Stock drivers that has ever sat in a car! Some tweaking to the rules was definitely needed and in truth the Promoters obviously realised that, for Gwen said as much in her round up in the programme.
In race two it was blue tops Neil Petrie, Robert Bruce & British Champion John Burns who did the job. In the Final, it was the entire aforementioned, with Willie Miller the first red top home. Allan Ross taking the Steward's Cup win for the 2nd year in succession.
Notwithstanding all of the above, the racing was brilliant, the battles for the win still hard to come by. You only have to look at the standard of all these blue tops to see that. The depth of the quality of Saloon Stock drivers at Cowdenbeath was huge. There was also a magnificent 32 cars at the meeting.
The third meeting in April was Champagne Stakes day for the Saloon Stocks. The cash on offer was 1st - £100, 2nd - £50, 3rd - £30, 4th - £20, 5th - £10 & 6th - £5. A few changes for this event though this year. Firstly there was a new trophy (I'm sure previously it was the booze and a tankard).
Secondly it was to be contested by all formulae, two separate meetings for two classes each year. So for 1983 it would be the Saloon Stocks first with the Hot Rod event to be held in September. In 1984 it would be the turn of the Superstox & the Stock Rods.
Thirdly the event was also sponsored by Hot Rod driver Jake Hubbard through his business "Woodyard Car Sales". Fourthly all of the races would be contested "the wrong way round". The idea for this was to provide practice for international events held in Europe.
It should probably have been expected as one driver who had driven in Europe previously with great success was Keith Jarman. He duly demonstrated this by winning each of his races on the day, though it took him to the last bend in the Final before he neatly spun Neil Petrie. Neil recovered well for 3rd behind Bob Jones. Robert Bruce was taken off to hospital with concussion after a collision. Harry Burgoyne also managed to roll his car, thankfully escaping injury.
More blue top victories in the Saloon Stocks rounded off April, Neil Petire with two heat wins and a Final 2nd & John Burns with two heat 2nds & a Final win. A bit of a stramash developed between John & Keith Jarman during the meeting. Keith was forced out of the first heat after a buffeting from John. In the second heat (stopped after Gordon Barclay's stationary car received an almighty hit from Keith Miller), Jarman couldn't quite get close enough to John's back bumper.
In the Final Keith got a big hit on John's car however Keith ended up hitting the fence and rolling over. Keith did circulate his damaged car slowly round the track in the remaining laps trying to block John's path as Keith was lapped - unsuccessfully. John's new Toyota Celica was definitely back on song.
Big dip in car numbers for this meeting, down to 21. This no doubt contributed to a tamer than usual get together. Neil Petrie was again top performer with a heat win, heat 2nd and then going on to take the major honours in the Final. John Burns picked up the 2nd heat but was forced out of the Final with low oil pressure in his new Celica.
An even lower turnout of Saloons at the next meeting 20 cars. Another welcome returning winner with Willie Miller acquiring a heat & Final. Dave Forrest the other heat when Willie started to "smoke" and it wasn't from the exhaust!
Interesting to see Robert Bruce debut a new Escort, his Capri eventually getting the heave ho. Naturally Robert was taking it a bit easy in its first meeting, but he still would not have been happy with Willie Miller spinning him out on his way to his Final win.
For May's third meeting the Cecil Trophy for Saloon Stocks was the days quarry. A bit of explanation for this is necessary. It was originally decided that a Trophy Race in memory of the late promoter Roy Cecil would be competed for in each formula. This would be a one off, and it was designated "The Roy Cecil Special". However Roy & Nigel had previously discussed the possibility in 1981 of instigating a new trophy to be raced for each season by all the formulae. The prize money was as follows:- 1st - £100, 2nd - £30, 3rd - £20, 4th - £10, 5th - £6 & 6th - £4. This then was the trophy being raced for at this meeting. There would be a different one for each formula and the Saloon Stocks were the first formula to compete.
22 Saloon started the meeting, Keith Jarman & Willie Miller picked up the heats. The Final saw another innovation tried out by the promoters. The runners would all start in "Indian File" fashion.
It certainly did add to the spectacle - it was absolute mayhem - cars piled into each other right at the start and they went everywhere. Out of the complete carnage Willie Miller emerged, Harry Burgoyne was 2nd & Allan Ross was 3rd. Only 6 cars were running at the end.
22.05.83 - 22 cars started the days proceedings. John Maxwell was victorious in the first, Bob Jones in the second. The Final turned into an epic battle between Bob Jones, Willie Miller & Jimmy Forrest. Jimmy just clinched it by the smallest of margins.
Last outing in May, Robert Bruce made a return to winning, picking up both heats, his old adversary Keith Jarman was the man capturing the Final though.
The month opened with a touch of controversy in the Saloon Stocks, Robert Bruce continued his good form in his new Escort by romping away with both heats. The Final got off to a very shaky start when there was a huge pile up before the race even started. Robert was adjudged to have been the cause of the pile up, as we would find out at the end of the race. It was a great race Robert & Bob Jones battled it out in a tremendous fight, it was almost a dead heat but Robert did pass the flag first. Brucie then got the bad news that he was being penalised for his indiscretion. Its fair to say he wasn't the happiest chappy in Cowdenbeath, but there again the drivers put out before the race even started were not happy either.
Saloon Stocks 12.06.83
Robert Bruce picked up an action packed first heat, after Dave Forrest was shipped off to hospital having been involved in a big smash in which his driver's seat was broken. More mayhem in the 2nd heat with some big hits being dished out, Bob Jones coming through for the win. It was Colin Robertson who suffered the biggest hit in the Final which took out a large section of the fence at the same time. On resumption a battle ensued between Neil Petrie, Bob Jones & Keith Jarman & that ended up the finishing order.
Saloon Stocks Armadale 18.06.83 / Cowdenbeath 19.06.83
Keith Jarman was in dominant form at Armadale with heat and Final, the latter after a last bender on Jimmy Gellan, Allan Ross picking up the other heat. Keith almost repeated the dose at Cowdenbeath the following day. Though it was a heat 2nd and Final win. The heats were won by Neil Petrie and Bob Jones.
Last meeting before the break and Keith Jarman was devastating in all races, winning both heats, he could not quite catch Jimmy Forrest in the Final. The other talking point on the day was Ernie Burgoyne, in the 2nd heat he badly damaged his car & damaged himself in a smash. Undaunted he repaired his car (at least it was still going), repaired himself (at least he was still going) and fronted up for the Final. Unfortunately Ernie ended up in the fence, as he was exiting his car, another careered straight into his car. An immediate red flag ensued, thankfully Ernie crawled out of the wrecks with just a few bruises. The state of Ernie's car was another matter!
At the Ipswich Spede Weekend during the holiday break there were quite a number of Scottish Saloon Stock drivers joining the 10 Superstox drivers. Of the 8 Saloon Stockers, those that made the biggest impression were Bob Jones & Keith Jarman taking 2nd & 3rd behind English blue top Alan Taylor in the National Championship.
At the Northern & Midland Saloon Stock Championship at Buxton it was Bob Jones who was the winner followed by Keith Jarman (the lead changing a number of times between them) followed by John Burns a Scottish clean sweep.
For the first meeting after the holiday break there was no Keith Jarman or Robert Bruce in attendance. It was Bob McKay who won the first heat in his Avenger, which was going very well recently. Jimmy Gellan won the 2nd in his Capri. Back with the Escort though for the Final with Bob Jones the winner.
Saloon Stocks 24.07.83
24th July, East of Scotland Championship & Jimmy Gellan won all the day's races, however every one of them was close, with Bob Jones in the first, Harry Burgoyne in the second and Bob Jones again in the Final.
So last weekend in July the biggest meeting of the season was upon us, the World Saloon Stock Championship the main event. It was the 3rd race on the Saturday. The grid draw came up with a very interesting mix of drivers.
Prize money 1st - £500, 2nd - £150, 3rd - £75, 4th - £40, 5th - £20, 6th - £10.
The grid was as follows:-
|33||Derk Jacobs||Belgium||238||Eddy Aldous||England|
|131||Gordon Brown||Scotland||330||Robert Bruce||Scotland|
|56||Harold Krievans||Germany||46||Keith Jarman||Scotland|
|202||Neil Petrie||Scotland||6||John Aylward||England|
|121||John Burns||Scotland||432||Noddy Robinson||England|
|114||Bob MacKay||Scotland||254||Detiev Katstein||Germany|
|8||Willie Miller||Scotland||302||Dean Wood||England|
|86||Hans Frey||Holland||16||Louis Haagen||Holland|
|7||Dennis Power||England||68||Harry Burgoyne||Scotland|
|120||James Forrest||Scotland||57||Steve Davies||England|
|229||Robert George||England||248||Allan Ross||Scotland|
|75||Horst Weidermann||Germany||151||Bob Jones||Scotland|
|21||Yuo Gysels||Belgium||197||George Chirray||Scotland|
|156||Ray Goudy||England||115||Bert Houbern||Germany|
|10||Derek Alcock||England||125||Dave Forrest||Scotland|
It's fair to say the bulk of the crowd were not to happy with Eddy Aldous being drawn on the front row. Eddy had easily been the most successful English Saloon Stock visitor to Cowdenbeath, there was rightly considerable fear that Eddy might just run away with it. Thankfully for the demeanour of the home fans Gordon Brown, Neil Petrie, Robert Bruce & Keith Jarman were also drawn near the front. From the off Eddy Aldous briefly held the lead until Robert Bruce got through. Gordon Brown spun but got going again very quickly, the order being Robert Bruce, Keith Jarman, Eddy Aldous, Gordon Brown , Neil Petrie and Allan Ross.
The race was red flagged when the fence got uprooted and only 20 runners were left at the restart. The order was now Robert Bruce, Keith Jarman, Eddy Aldous, Neil Petrie, Gordon Brown, Wille Miller.
Another stoppage this time When Louis Haagen rolled after tangling with Keith Jarman and Louis's roof got flattened. Thankfully Louis emerged with no serious injury.
Groans from sections of the crowd when Keith Jarman & Bob Jones pulled off unable to make the re-start. The order for the last 13 laps Robert Bruce, Gordon Brown, Noddy Robinson, John Burns, Harry Burgoyne. Robert Bruce started to slow and more "banger" type tactics came to the fore where competitors merely tried to take out the car nearest to them! Neil Petrie was now in front, followed by Gordon Brown & Robert Bruce. Gordon took the lead after Neil collided with another car that had rolled with only 3 to go and he didn't let go, Neil came through for 2nd, Robert recovered for 3rd after he had been spun by Eddy Aldous, John Burns 4th, Harry Burgoyne 5th & Eddy Aldous 6th, Willie Miller 7th - no other cars finished.
In the other heat race on Saturday it was another bruising affair, Keith Jarman won from Willie Miller & Harry Burgoyne, Keith spun out every single visiting driver on his way to the win, only 6 cars finished. In the Final it was a Scottish star finish, Robert Bruce, Keith Jarman, Bob Jones.5 cars completed the distance.
24 cars lined up for the "Solid Fuel Advisory Service" Open Scottish Championship on the Sunday Prize money 1st - £150, 2nd - £75, 3rd - £40, 4th - £20, 5th - £10, 6th - £5.
Reigning Champion Keith Jarman retained his title in fine style form his mid grid starting position. Only 6 cars running at the finish.
Keith Jarman won the heat race on the Sunday as well, Bob Jones again the runner up. The Final was another difficult event to survive, Willie Miller did that better than the rest. The rest only, consisted of only 5. Gaining the best result for England over the two days, Eddy Aldous was 2nd, Gordon Brown 3rd, Colin Robertson 4th & Noddy Robinson 5th.
Bob Jones stepped up his good form of late with a heat and Final double. Jimmy Gellan was very quick on the day winning the other heat, probably would have won the second until he hit an errant wheel. He secured 2nd in the Final.
Cleethorpes 13.08.83 / 14.08.83
British Saloon Stock Championship. I use the term "British" loosely, it was almost a return to the bad old days when the "British" Saloon Stock Championship consisted solely of "English" drivers. Spedeworth were clearly unhappy with the dominance of the Scottish Saloon Stock drivers in previous "International" confrontations and only condescended to allow THREE Scottish drivers compete with the other TWENTY SIX English drivers. The battle for the lead developed into a 4 way tie between Eddie George, Eddy Aldous, Keith Jarman & Bob Jones. Eddy A gave Eddie G an almighty fencing delaying himself in the process. Keith Jarman who was behind the former said "thankyou very much" and went on to take the lead and ultimately the victory - just - from Bob Jones. So the "plan" failed miserably. Pat McManus was 3rd and Eddy A recovered for 4th.
The second race saw Eddie G return the favour to Eddie A and belted him away, though he also did himself in the same manoeuvre. The mass mayhem in this one resulted in only 6 finishers - Dean Wood the victor.
The two races the following day were taken by Keith Jarman & Ray Goudy, the Final which was Keith Jarman & Bob Jones V the rest in a Demo Derby rendition, was won by Conrad Self (he had decided not to partake in the antics of his fellow English drivers & concentrate on winning - which he did). Keith succumbed to the battering but Bob Jones still survived for 4th - good effort.
With 3 of the top men away contesting the British at Cleethorpes there were heat wins to Jimmy Forrest & Robert Bruce. Robert was denied a Final win when Willie Miller gave him a last bender to take the win, Robert still managed 2nd, Bob MacKay brought his Avenger home for 3rd.
Saloon Stocks 28.08.83
After a particularly destructive few weeks of Saloon Stock racing there was not the greatest turn out in the Saloon Stocks for this end of Summer bash. The racing was a pleasure to watch though. Keith Jarman was in fine form, continuing on from his recent success at Cleethorpes, but then Jimmy Gellan was also going well. Still campaigning his trusty Capri, he collected both heats from Keith & Bob Jones in the next. In the Final he again opened up a commanding lead, Keith was on the march though, inexorably the gap came down and Jimmy went spinning out of the race in true Stock Car fashion.
Keith also headed down to Buxton along with Bob Jones & Willie Miller for the August Bank Holiday meeting. Bob & Willie had mechanical issues however Keith landed yet another Final win to his collection.
The opening meeting in September had the first two finishers in the World Final Gordon Brown & Neil Petrie taking the first two heats. Willie Miller took the Final, his car benefiting from a new engine. Keith Jarman driving one handed! after injuring his hand made a great effort to collect 2nd.
Saloon Stocks got an extra heat on the 11th September meeting due to the Hot Rods being dropped. It produced 4 different winners, Robert Bruce the first heat, Bob Jones the 2nd, Keith Jarman the 3rd, with Jimmy Gellan the Final. Keith Jarman top scored at the meeting by quite some margin though, 10 points ahead of Jimmy
One of the big domestic meetings of the year on 18.09.83 the Saloon Stock Scottish Championship. It seemed increasingly evident however something was up. Only 22 Saloon Stocks entered the event. In the support formula only 10 Superstox, 4 Hot Rods & 19 Stock Rods.
The main event the Scottish Championship (sponsored by J Pennington & Co) Prize money 1st - £125, 2nd - £60, 3rd - £30, 4th - £15, 5th - £8, 6th - £4. The entrants were decided through two qualifying heats. If you missed out in the heats you were "on your bike" to quote an unpopular politician of the day.
Those who missed out for one reason or another were Gordon Brown, Neil Petrie, Jimmy Gellan & Bob Jones. Robert Bruce managed to qualify but his car wasn't up to it - so he also missed out.The heat winners were Keith Jarman & Nat Hill. Keith Jarman's aspirations of winning the Championship went up in smoke when he was spun out by John Burns (something which he regularly endeavoured to do with a measure of success). Yellow grader Dennis Watson who had qualified through an excellent 4th position in the first heat, his best finishing position at Cowdenbeath for many months. He pulled out a large lead from his front row grid position. He won by a comfortable margin from Harry Burgoyne & John Burns, a quite amazing result. So Dennis could add the Scottish Saloon Stock Championship to his "Banger King" Championships from 1981 & 1982.
End of September, for the first time in a long time the Superstox outnumbered the Saloon Stocks at only 14. Gordon Brown, Keith Jarman & Bob Jones were off to Kaldenkirchen to contest the European Championship.
Nat Hill who had surprised a lot of people by winning a heat the previous week went straight through the card at this one - both heats and the Final - great effort.
19 Saloon Stock cars for first meeting in October. Jimmy Gellan was first heat winner, Neil Petrie spun Jimmy out of the lead in the 2nd to take the win. Robert Bruce then stepped up to take the Final. Amazingly with no wins Keith Jarman top scored at the meeting.
At the next meeting Jimmy Gellan took out the first heat from newly crowned Scottish Champion Dennis Eatson, the 2nd heat belonged to Bob Jones from Robert Bruce, the Final a very hard fought affair resulted in Ernie Burgoyne collecting his first Final win ahead of Robert Bruce, Bob Jones & Keith Jarman, I guess in retrospect a statement was being made.
The surprising thing was that going into the last points period of the season Bob Jones was ahead of Keith Jarman. To this point in the season Keith had won 8 Finals & 18 heats (not counting Keith's exploits away from home) against Bob's 3 Finals & 6 heats. It probably demonstrated the fundamental difference between the two. Every race Keith entered he wanted to win and would do everything necessary to make that happen. Bob on the other hand was probably the greatest reader of a Saloon Stock Car Race I have ever seen. Bob's object of course was to win every race as well, the difference was, Bob played the percentages. Better to finish 2nd with car intact than not finish at all. The other factor was Keith's apparent indifference to winning the points title, he was happy for instance to disappear on holiday at a time other than the official Spedeworth Scotland break. Nonetheless there would be no holidays for Keith or Bob to the end of the season. This was an all out points battle between the two and it was apparent in their clashes even 4 weeks out from the end of the season. As it was Bob extended his points lead from 11 points to 14 after this meeting.
As we suspected last week the battle for the points title was going to be enthralling. Keith's tactics became apparent in the first heat when he stuck to Bob's tail throughout the race waiting to land a last bend hit. As luck would have it Bob tangled with another car on the last lap, allowing Keith to slip through, but only briefly delaying Bob. Keith therefore only reducing the gap by a point. Jimmy Gellan won the race incidentally.
Keith decided he would try a different tack in the 2nd heat and just go all out for the win - which he did, Bob also drove beautifully though and came home 2nd.The gap reduced again by just one point. In the Final, it was all happening, roll overs, restarts, Bob managed to get behind Keith and tried time and time again to spin him out, which he eventually did.
This race was won by Neil Petrie. Bob came home 3rd, Keith was able to rejoin and he finished 7th. The points margin between Bob & Keith was now 18 points.
23rd October the main event of the day the much heralded "Scottish Midland Championship". It must be said that much mileage had been made in past programmes about the "wonderful" relationship between Cowdenbeath & Buxton. Nauseatingly so in fact. It all stemmed from the fact that English Stock Car drivers were visiting the "enemy" at Newtongrange every week. Statements were made along the lines of "Visiting drivers only appeared at Cowdenbeath by invitation" Somehow this was to be proud of. This arrangement with Buxton proved that it was better this way. Well - we did not even get a list of the visiting drivers in the programme. It seems the PR of the relationship was more important than the actual racing.
The visitors were well & truly spifflicated. No 300 ? scored 3 points & Jayne Bean scored 2 points - that was it.
Big field of 29 cars though, which was good. John Burns won what was an action packed first race. Bob Jones & Keith Jarman both failed to finish, which meant Keith really had to win the next two races and Bob fail to finish, if the Points Title was to be his. Well win it he did but Bob's 5th place was enough for him to secure the title. John Burns who often goes well at major events won the title race. Bob Jones cemented his points win with a good second, as for Keith well he finished up straddling the fence!
Only 17 cars for the penultimate meeting of the season. Keith Jarman won both heats. Ernie Burgoyne picked up his 2nd Final in 4 weeks.
End of Season meeting and in the Saloon Stocks Cock O' The North 12 cars lined up for the race. Keith Jarman was drawn first on the grid, so he started a very firm favourite. So it appeared to be, right up until the last corner when a front wheel came adrift & Keith again crashed into the fence. Willie Miller gratefully excepted the gift. The heat win on the day was picked up by Bob McKay.
Keith did win the "Personality Award" for the second year in a row as voted for by the fans.
Superstox Points Table
|18th June 1983 ARMADALE||19th June 1983|
|Open Scottish Championship||British Championship|
|1st||39||Les Clark||1st||E482||Neil Bee|
|2nd||87||Robin Brown||2nd||81||Bill Pullar|
|3rd||84||Les Brown||3rd||84||Les Brown|
|4th||E206||Robin Randall||4th||94||Vic Russell|
|5th||56||Tommy Carruthers||5th||E206||Robin Randall|
|6th||E665||Brian Jones||6th||75||David Moir|
|7th||75||David Moir||7th||22||Stan Ross|
|24th July 1983||4th September 1983|
|East of Scotland Championship||Cecil Trophy|
|1st||56||Tommy Carruthers||1st||94||Vic Russell|
|2nd||94||Vic Russell||2nd||39||Les Clark|
|3rd||39||Les Clark||3rd||24||John Adam|
|4th||75||David Moir||4th||179||Derek Kilday|
|5th||214||Jimmy McAlpine||5th||48||Hamish McNab|
|6th||48||Hamish McNab||6th||75||David Moir|
|7th||87||Robin Brown||7th||164||Joseph Paterson|
|13th August 1983 Cleethorpes|
|1st||4||Anthony Van den Oetelaar|
|2nd||41||Jo Van Rengs|
|2nd October 1983||6th November 1983|
|Scottish Championship||"Cock of the North"|
|1st||39||Les Clark||1st||94||Vic Russell|
|2nd||87||Robin Brown||2nd||81||Bill Pullar|
|3rd||24||John Adam||3rd||39||Les Clark|
|4th||94||Vic Russell||4th||24||John Adam|
|5th||179||Derek Kilday||5th||84||Les Brown|
|6th||214||Jimmy McAlpine||6th||56||Tommy Carruthers|
19th consecutive season of Spedeworth Scotland promotion at Cowdenbeath. The post & wire fence had acquired an additional cable (now 5) for the 1983 campaign.
Armadale's planned opener for the 16th April was a Banger Spectacular. The intention was to include three 50 pound heats, a 75 pound ramp race, a 75 pound figure of 8 race, a 50 pound roll - over competition & a 100 pound destruction derby - so that would be fun then!
While on the Bangers topic the promoters were seeking quotations from interested parties in the preparation of 30 Bangers, prepared to Spedeworth Scotland specifications for use at the meeting at Armadale on the 10th September. I don't think it ever happened.
The qualification procedure for the 3 major World Championships, Hot Rod (3 cars), Superstox (8 cars) and Saloon Stocks (13 cars) would be the points positions of the drivers prior to the events.The promoter's were to be congratulated for this, while undoubtedly costing the promoters cash in terms of promoting opportunities, it was the fairest method.
The season got off to a bang in the Superstox on the 6th March. While the results show that it was a clean sweep for Les Clark, Les Brown looked to have the pace of the other Les but could not quite get on terms with him in the heats. The Final was a different matter though and Les B hunted down Les C who had again got through into the lead early on. With great excitement it came down to the last corner of the last lap and of course it is in these situations when
cars are on the extreme edge that incidents occur. And so it was to pass just as Les B hit the lead he collided with an abandoned car and leapt into a roll and out of the race. Les C motored on for the first Superstox Final of the season, his 1982 car doing the job well. Les had a new car almost ready for action.
Bill Pullar collected the runner up spot & David Moir collected an impressive 3rd spot. 16 cars attended the opening meeting.
There was a welcome additional two cars for the second meeting bringing 18 starters to the grid, Les Clark increased his winning run to 5, however Les Brown decided to make up for last weeks double roll just before the finishing line and got out in front early in the race so it was Les Clark doing the chasing. Les Brown held on for a deserved win.
Bill Pullar was right back in the mix at the 3rd meeting, Les Clark did finish up top man though with a heat and the "Staggers" pub sponsored Final. Les Brown won the other heat. But it was Bill Pullar who finished up 2nd top points scorer on the day with heat 2nd, heat 3rd & Final 2nd.
The list of Superstox winners in 1983 went beyond two in the final meeting in March when Bill Pullar won the first race, it then went to four in the next when Vic Russell joined in, only just holding off Bill Pullar mind you. Vic's win in the heat spurred him on to a convincing win in the Final.
For the opening meeting in April all three of the main formulae had the same result one driver winning each of the heats and another coming through to win the Final. In the Superstox Les Clark was the heats winner with Robin Brown taking his first win of the season in the Final.
The new grading period commenced on the 10th April and the numbers were up to 19 competitors for the first meeting. Points leader by a large margin Les Clark swept through the field. It must be said that Tommy Carruthers put up a big effort by holding the lead for most of the race before succumbing. So Les picked up the first traditional trophy of the season the "Stewards Cup".
It has been years since the Superstox fielded 20 Scottish cars at Cowdenbeath, the figure was reached at the meeting on the 17th April. It did not hold back Les Clark who made it 8 wins out of the last 9 races.
Competing in the Final on the 24th April for the "Emslie Engraving Founder's Cup", this was the trophy donated by the company that had been supplying Spedeworth Scotland with all their trophies since 1965.The trophy was in memory of Roy Cecil. The trophy was contested by a different formula each season. The prize money for the event 1st - £65, 2nd - £40, 3rd - £25, 4th - £12, 5th - £8 & 6th - £5.
Keith Jarman was the holder (Willie Miller having been disqualified in post race scrutineering the previous year).
Les Clark was the favourite and he justified this, thus extending a record breaking run of form to 11 wins out of 12 races.
The first meeting in May saw Les Clark's exceptional winning streak come to an abrupt halt. He was punted out of the first heat which was collected by Vic Russell and he could just not catch John Adam who was absolutely flying to take the next heat and the Final. Great Stuff.
Les Clark got himself into yet another winning streak in the following two meetings, only Bill Pullar stopping a clean sweep when he pipped Les in the first heat on the 8th May.
A great field of Superstox presented for the first heat on the 22nd May with 21 cars fronting up. The main event on the card being the "Cowdenbeath Cup" now in its 15th year. Prize money for the event 1st - £60, 2nd - £35, 3rd - £25, 4th - £12, 5th - £8, 6th - £5. Les Clark of course was the favourite however mechanical gremlins put paid to his first heat. The first race developed into a bit of a race of attrition, though it was the welcome sight of Jimmy McAlpine taking the flag. Only 7 cars going the distance. In the second heat Les again was in the wars when Vic Russell spun him out. Robin Brown was the man coming through in this one. Only 6 finishers this time. Les did recover to gain 4th place. The Final saw Les make a blinder of a start, he was in the lead by the second lap and simply got further and further ahead as the race went on, the Brown brothers were the ones to get closest, Les taking the runner up spot from Robin. The last meeting in May also witnessed another 3 wins to Les Clark.
At Armadale on the 4th June, Bill Pullar came back to the fore picking up a heat & Final, Les Clark the other heat.
Back to Cowdenbeath's opening meeting in June and it was good to see Tommy Carruthers having one of his successful meetings with a heat & Final win.The upsurge in performance Tommy attributed to engine work carried out by "Agra Engineering". Les Clark took out the other one. Hamish McNab had a frightener in the first heat when a jammed throttle resulted in a heavy impact with the fence.
It was also good to see Bill Pullar's continued upsurge in form. Following on from his recent Armadale Final and two 2nd places at Cowdenbeath on the 5th June, Bill picked up another Final on the 12th, this after a hotly contested last few laps with Vic Russell where the lead changed a few times.
Superstox Armadale 18.06.83 / Cowdenbeath 19.06.83. 18 cars lined up for the Open Scottish Championship. Les Clark won a great race from his 7th spot on the grid. Neil Bee looked to be the man on a mission making up many spots on his 13th grid slot including getting past Les, until he came upon Bill Pullar where his passage came to a halt and they both went out. The Brown brothers secured the next two spots at the flag, Robin who had led the race for some time, pipping Les.
Robin did go one better in his heat winning after a long battle with Tommy Carruthers, though it was Bill Pullar who came through for 2nd. It was Tommy who was rewarded in the Final, taking the flag with Bill Pullar again runner up and Neil Bee 3rd.
Lots of loot available at Cowdenbeath the following day in the "Lada Cars" sponsored British Championship, 1st - £250, 2nd - £100, 3rd - £50, 4th - £25, 5th - £12, 6th - £6. 23 cars in the line up this time. Robin Brown again securing a front row slot on the grid. Neil Bee got a favourable grid position in 6th. Robin Brown again got off to a great start and had opened up a reasonable lead. Neil then got into 2nd and the gap inexorably reduced. Robin eventually crashed out about half way through and Neil was through to the lead. He won fairly comfortably from there. Bill Pullar and Les Brown did well to collect 2nd & 3rd spots from their grid positions near the back.
For the last get together in in June the main combatants for major honours on the day were Tommy Carruthers & Vic Russell, Tommy continuing his upsurge in form since his "Agra Engineering" upgrade to his engine. Three Finals in four weeks phew! Vic picked up both the heats, one from Tommy the other from Bill Pullar. In the Final Tommy turned tables on Vic for fine win. Les Clark debuted his new car and I'm sure it will be winning shortly.
On the 17th July Mike Jack made a surprise appearance in a borrowed car from John Adam and then promptly won the race. In the 2nd race Mike again shot off into a big lead only for Mike's engine to develop maladies on the last lap, Hamish McNab who had just been lapped by Mike slipped in behind him and pushed his car round to the flag for his 2nd win of the day! Do you think the fans enjoyed that! Les Clark won his first Final with his new car.
Vic Russell looked on good form as he won both heats in the East of Scotland at the end of July, the first from "comeback kid" Mike Jack the 2nd from Robin Brown. Tommy Carruthers managed to get into the lead around the half way mark and it was up to the others to chase him down. Vic Russell & Les Clark were travelling very quickly and the gap was visibly closing - not quick enough though and Tommy got a tremendous cheer (he was a great favourite with the crowd) when he took the chequer & the East of Scotland Championship.
Superstox on Saloon World Final Weekend. Les Clark's new car didn't take too long to show it was a good un, clean sweep for Les on the Saturday night. All good things come to an end though and Les had a bit of trouble with new car teething troubles on the Sunday scoring no points whatsoever. Vic Russell made the most of this with a couple of heat wins, Bill Pullar took the Final.
Les Clark won all the races again fairly easily in a disastrous turnout of only 10 cars.
No Superstox on the bill at Cowdenbeath on the 14th or 21st August. The weekend of the 13th & 14th August three major events were taking place at Cleethorpes. The World Superstox Championship, The British Saloon Stock Championship & The European Stock Rod Championship.
Lap trials were held to establish grid positions for the World Superstox Championship. It should be noted that the Scottish & Dutch drivers were still allowed to use the Hot Rod type 1700cc Ford crossflow engines, while the English cars had changed to the 2000cc Pinto engine. Anthony Van den Oetelaar & Jo Van Rengs lap times were streets ahead of the rest and occupied the front row. Martyn Brand & Dave Turner the 2nd row. Les Clark & Robin Randall the 3rd row. Dave Pierce & Vic Russell the 4th. Anthony executed a flag to flag victory, Jo was 2nd. and Les Clark 3rd, first Pinto home - Dave Turner in 4th. Also relevant on the engine topic, it was announced pre-meeting that Neil Bee had suffered a ban due to an illegal engine. Unfortunately he therefore could not take part and endeavour to win his 3rd World Final in a row.
I believe Superstox were on the bill on the 20th August at Armadale, unfortunately I have no records for that event. The fields of Superstox were low again on the 28th June (only 12 cars) and it did have a detrimental effect on the spectacle. Les Clark continued his dominant season with 3 straightforward wins.
Opening event in September and there was heavy rain during the early part of the meeting, John Adam made a welcome return to winning taking the first heat, the second heat had Les Clark taking the flag though interestingly he was harried by Vic Russell & Vic made no mistake in the Final, refreshing to see someone other than Les winning. Car numbers were now down to 11.
Vic Russell's Final win on the 4th September coupled with the extra cash and cup available for the "Cecil Trophy", evidently spurred him on for this meeting.
He shared the heats with Les Clark, and then when he caught Les in the Final he then dumped him in the fence, before getting past Tommy Carruthers for the win.
The Les Clark car or "Les" did not look to be travelling as well as usual on the 18th September after the fencing last week. Not to get too carried away though he obtained a heat and Final 2nd! It's just that he had been so dominant so far this season the drop off was notecable.Vic Russell picked up one heat & Robin Brown went extremely well for a heat & Final.
At the last meeting in September though and with a few more cars out in track for this meeting (the last one prior to the Scottish Championship at 15). Les was back in form. It was a one two in each race, Les winning from Vic Russell.
The first meeting in October, 16 drivers contested the 1983 "Fixprint" Scottish Superstox Championship, Prize money 1st - £125, 2nd - £60, 3rd - £30, 4th - £15, 5th - £8, 6th - £4. Vic Russell took the first heat, and got stuck into Les again in the 2nd, spinning him out but putting himself out in the process. Bill Pullar's new car was looking good until his engine blew in the 2nd heat.
Only 11 qualifiers for the main race and the grid draw (not graded grid draw) put Les on the 2nd row, and as a spectacle that was that. Robin Brown had a good drive into 2nd.
At the meetings on the 9th & 16th October Robin Brown was in brilliant form taking three heats. Robin, Les Clark & Bill Pullar were all in close contention on the 9th. Bill was the victor in the Final though using his old reserve engine after destroying his newie the previous week. Les Brown returned after his long layoff since the Ipswich Speed Weekend when he had broken his collar bone. Robin picked up his Final win the following week. Vic Russell was the other heat winner.
At the penultimate meeting in October John Adam had a superb meeting - heat & Final win. Bill Pullar the other winner. Les Clark finished top of the Scottish National Points / Driver of the Year by a country mile.
The 2nd last meeting of the season and the Superstox were boosted by a visiting party of 7 drivers from Crimmond which was very welcome. Gordon Kelly performed the best of the visitors with a 3rd in the first heat. Vic Russell added a heat & Final win to his tally & Les Brown made a return to winning with the 2nd heat. The information on the visiting drivers was brilliant, as good as the previous weeks info on Saloon Stock visitors for the Scottish / Midland Championship was bad.
Unusual to see the Superstox outnumbering the Saloon Stocks but the combination of visiting drivers in the Superstox and the low turnout for the Saloon Stocks at 17 cars. The races though actually only had 15, 14 & 14 cars respectively.
So to the season finale on the 6th November. Seven drivers started the Cock O' The North event for the Superstox, Vic Russell took an early lead, and he never looked back, Bill Pullar slipped into 2nd & Les Clark was 3rd. There was another heat race on the day in which Victor was again the victor!
Hot Rod Points Title
** I have a few problems with the Hot Rod Points as published by Spedeworth Scotland. My points totals seem to vary quite considerably from the "Official" list. This could be due to Spedeworth Scotland going back to the traditional practice of allocating points down to 6th place. It had been amended the previous year to allocate down to 8th. Which it must be said was a bit ridiculous when only 2 cars were completing a number of races. This will be investigated further and updated where required.
***44 Billy Bonnar was omitted from the points chart despite "under the down to 8th system" accruing at least 245points. This would have put him as last red top or head of the blue tops.
I would hate to think he had been omitted from the points chart due to his appearance at Newtongrange at the end of the season! Let's say it was just an error then.
As far as white tops scoring points is concerned, I have 807 Billy Park scoring at least 17 points & 829 "'in cognito" scoring 2 points.
Highest Points Meetings:-
Most Wins in 1983:-
|12th June 1983||24th July 1983|
|Cecil Trophy||East of Scotland Championship|
|1st||140||Graham Wait||1st||134||Davey Dougan|
|2nd||64||Les Kay||2nd||171||Jack Hubbard|
|3rd||171||Jack Hubbard||3rd||57||Arthur Edmond|
|4th||134||Davey Dougan||4th||807||Billy Park|
|5th||44||Billy Bonnar||5th||800||Rod McCalman|
|21st August 1983||18th September 1983|
|Open Scottish Championship||Scottish Championship|
|1st||E242||Pete Stevens||1st||162||Malcolm Chesher|
|2nd||Ire932||Davey Evans||2nd||140||Graham Wait|
|3rd||Ire950||Norman Woolsey||3rd||9||Brian Leckie|
|4th||E7||John Carding||4th||171||Jack Hubbard|
|5th||E351||Barry Lee||5th||204||Alastair Craigs|
|6th||E247||Mick Cannon||6th||134||Davey Dougan|
|6th November 1983|
|"Cock of The North"|
"National" Hot Rod Racing at Cowdenbeath was not particularly inspiring in 1983. The average car numbers had been worse in other years, though 8 was still not enough to get excited about. The racing was totally dominated by Graham Wait, he won 50% of all Finals & 57% of all Heats. Malcolm Chesher was the next best with 19% of the Finals & 20% of the heats. You can see that it didn't leave very much for anybody else. Malcolm tended to go better in the larger fields of cars. When there was only 4 or 5 cars, Graham would be in the lead after the first lap and that was it.
So it will be difficult to come up with anything of great interest to say about this season - however he we go.
For 1983 all new drivers to Spedeworth Scotland Hot Rods would be allocated a number beteen 800 & 899. Existing drivers could retain their existing number unless they wished to change.
Graham Wait started the season with 3 wins, the Final, only after race leader Malcolm Chesher was baulked just before the line allowing Graham to scoot through. All races were trialed with a "standing" in lieu of "rolling start".
For the second meeting it was apparent that a bit of tweaking was necessary for the positioning of the cars for the standing starts. In the "Staggers" sponsored Final, Graham Wait was in the lead "inside" the first lap, making for a dreary event. Graham picked up another 3 straight wins.
On the 20th March Graham Wait and Malky Chesher completed one twos in the heats, with Graham taking the flag first in both cases. At the start of the Final however there was a clash of the titans and both were out.
Jack Hubbard went on to take the flag first (which would have been his only Final win of the season) until demoted for contact, John Ramsay being awarded the Final win (which was his only Final win of the season).
For the last meeting in March, Graham again looked to be on for 3 in a row, it was Graham himself who stopped this, when, just before the end of the race he crashed into the fence. Malcolm Chesher was there to pick up the gift.
For the sart of April there was a welcome site in the Hot Rods, the field of competitors up to double figures for the first time in a long time. Graham Wait was a double heat winner, the Final winner was Brian Leckie.
10.04.83 - Graham Wait was first past the flag in every race, however "unusually" he copped a black cross in the first heat. That race being awarded to Malcolm Chesher. No such Official decisions in the Stewards Cup race though, Graham finding his name yet again on the trophy.
In the next meeting Graham was again the dominant force in the heats, yet in the Final, Davy Dougan raced away into a lead which he did not relinquish. Boy did the crowd like that result, he got a resounding cheer as he crossed the line.
Graham Wait rounded off the month with another clean sweep of the card.
Three different winners in the Hot rods this week for a welcome change. Malky Chesher 1st heat man, Davy Dougan the 2nd heat & the Graham Wait back in his normal position taking the Final.
Only 7 cars contested the meeting, hopefully this was due to the drivers conserving their cars for the Scottish Championship the following week.
It was a slightly disappointing turnout for the "West Fife Caravans" sponsored "NHRPA" Scottish Championship of 8 cars. Particularly since double figures had been reached earlier in the season. The prize money was as follows 1st - £125, 2nd - £60, 3rd - £30, 4th - £15, 5th - £8 & 6th - £4. Graham Wait streaked away with the first heat and then we thought it looked like it was going to be a walk in the park. Surprisingly then it was Jack Hubbard who won the second, the only race he was to win all season, some reward for all his hard work in repairing his car after the massive damage picked up a couple of weeks earlier. A dismal 6 cars started the race. Malky got out into an early lead and Graham could not get past, Malky thus achieving his first ever Scottish Championship. A title he thoroughly deserved.
Mid May and another couple of heat wins for Graham Wait, but it was great to see ex Saloon Stock man Alastair Craigs win his first Final. Surprise visit from E78 Mick Phillips, Mick was going extremely well in the first heat until baulked by a backmarker, allowing Graham to slip through. Despite Mick's inclusion there were still only 7 cars in attendance.
The following week the Hot Rod field shrank to 6 cars. Malcolm Chesher collected the 2 heats & Davy Dougan the Final. Graham Wait was one of the no shows after he had suffered engine trouble the day before in Ireland.
Last meeting in May the dynamic duo of Malcolm Chesher & Graham Wait shared the Hot Rod spoils again. Malky the first, Graham the second & the Final.
Malcolm Chesher was the only person to take a race from Graham Wait in the first two meetings in June. Graham collected the other 5.
The 2nd Final of which was for the Cecil Trophy, this race was started in single file instead of two abreast just to try and add a bit of interest.
19th June and both Malcolm Chesher & Graham Wait both debuted new cars to shake down prior to the coming World Final at Ipswich. It was Les Kay who was the first heat victor. In the other two races Graham's newy was very impressive . It looked visibly faster than of late, though a lot more on edge (if it was possible for Graham to be more on edge)!
Only 6 Hot Rods started the last meeting in June and of the Scottish qualifiers for the World Championship, Malcolm Chesher, Graham Wait & Davy Dougan, only Davy was absent, possibly exercising some car conservation.
Only 3 cars finished each of the heats and 4 the Final. For the record the heat winners were Les Kay and Graham Wait, Graham going on to add another Final win.
No Meetings in Scotland now until the 17th July. All roads led to Ipswich for the Hot Rod World Final.
World Hot Rod Championship - 1983 - Ipswich. Lap times were held to establish the grid. Master of Ipswich Ormond Christie took quickest time and Andy Dance 2nd. the second row was title holder Davey Evans & Stuart Jackson.
Fastest Scot was Graham Wait in 18th, then Malcolm Chesher in 22nd (using the borrowed Alan McBurney car) then Davy Dougan in 24th. The Scottish drivers received £100 start money (+ £20 if no prize money won)
The race itself was a bit processional, the final positions being Ormond Christie followed by Stuart Jackson then Davey Evans and Pete Stevens.
Back into the groove after the holiday break for Graham with 3 wins, even easier than normal with Malky Chesher not in attendance.
Graham who was not in attendance the following week as he was away at Newton Abbott competing in the British and Malky Chesher still away with car troubles, we were assured of some different winners. Billy Bonner stepped up and collected both heats, Davy Dougan won the Final which was for the East of Scotland Championship.
The Hot Rod programme on Saloon Stock World Final Weekend was restricted to the Sunday, but they did put in a effort with 11 cars taking part. The bigger field of cars seemed to hinder Graham Wait a bit. Billy Bonner won the first heat and the experienced Les Kay the other heat and Final.
August started brilliantly for Malky Chesher. It was Graham Wait who won the first heat, however Malcolm at last got his Mazda running well and he bolted away with the next heat and Final, Les Kay the only one that could get close to him. The following week a couple of heat wins to Malky, he was also in the lead in the Final until a loose bonnet slowed him up and Les Kay got the chequer.
Armadale Cowdenbeath 20.08.83 & 21.08.83, was was an ambitious endeavour of 3 meetings over one weekend, Saturday afternoon at Armadale then Saturday evening & Sunday afternoon at Cowdenbeath.
The main attraction over the weekend was The Hot Rods and there was one helluva a field of visitors. They included the following: George Polley, Davey Evans, Norman Woolsey, Pete Stevens, Mick Cannon, Neil Facey, John Carding, Colin Higman, Paul Grimer, Lelie Dallas & Barry Lee.
The UK Challenge Trophy was the first title on the agenda at Armadale. Public draw for the grid position saw Arty Edmond & John Carding on the front row. John Carding made the early running from Malky Chesher & Graham Wait. Malky got past John Carding while George Polley made big inroads through the field and he eventually got past Malky for the lead. George opened up a comfortable magin ahead. Malcolm survived considerable pressure from Norman Woolsey in the last few laps, Leslie Dallas collected 4th.
Strangely there was only one other race for the Hot Rods during the day at Armadale. This was a reverse grid of the Championship race, Barry Lee went straight into the lead and was never headed. George Polley & Pete Sevens filling the other two spots.
The 1st heat on the Saturday evening at Cowdenbeath saw John Carding yet again securing a front row spot, Davy Evans sharing the front row. Davy hit the front, just as Graham Wait ploughed into the fence, he had changed an engine since the afternoon session. George Polley was again up to 2nd. Pete Stevens was up to 3rd & Malcolm Chesher was up to 4th from his mid grid slot. The latter 3 all got past Davy & finished in that order.
Race 2 and another win for George Polley despite being held up early on, he caught and passed early leader Barry Lee towards the end, Barry just managed to hold off Malky Chesher for 2nd. Leslie Dallas unfortunately wrote off his Escort into the wall while dicing for the lead.
The previous 4 races then all counted for the grid positions in the Open Scottish Championship. The front row was occupied by George Polley & Malky Chesher, while Barry Lee & Davy Evans were on the next row. George again got into the lead however Barry got through and then so did Malcolm. Malcolm caught up with Barry and slipped through into the lead to great acclaim from the home fans. Pete Stevens then got into 2nd and closed on Malcolm. Malcolm's car started to falter and eventually forced him out. George Polley also suffered car problems and was out. Nobody got close to Pete, Davy Evans was 2nd & Norman Woolsey 3rd. Barry Lee took a fairly comfortable win in the next heat. In the Final though Malky Chesher, car repaired was really flying again and he took a meritotius win from Barry Lee & Pete Stevens.
At the end of August Graham Wait & Malcolm Chesher were both absent at the Irish Open joining 8 English competitors to battle the cream of Hot Rod racing. The Irish were hard enough to beat on the UK mainland, on home turf a very daunting prospect. Pete Stevens performed the best of the visitors although Chris Griggs also did well in the heats, in fact good enough to secure a front row slot in the Championship race. The home drivers did a very good job though. Pole sitter Ormond Christie was the victor, Pete Stevens got a deserved 2nd, he was followed home by Norman Woolsey & Davy Evans.
On the same day then at Cowdenbeath that made for some fresh winners. In the end there was only one, Billy Bonnar with a clean sweep.
The Hot Rods were battling for the Multi-Formula "Champagne Stakes" at September's opener. The first round having been won by Keith Jarman earlier in the season. These races were run the opposite way round to give drivers experience for racing in continental Europe. This event timed for the week before the "European Hot Rod Championship". The "Champagne Stakes" trophy was sponsored by Jake Hubbard's "Woodyard Car Sales".
The prize money was as follows 1st - £100, 2nd - £50, 3rd - £30, 4th - £20, 5th - £10 & 6th - £5. I'm sure Jake was hopeful of keeping his own cash. It was probably the most disappointing meeting for Hot Rods all season. Only 4 cars turned up. There was undoubtedly issues with mechanical problems for some drivers. Malcolm Chesher for example was still waiting on parts following damage picked up in Ireland, it seems a combination of that - the weather - and racing the "wrong" way round produced this poor result. It must have been very disheartening for Jake Hubbard in particular - he also finished last in each race - at least it was still 4th! Graham Wait won all the races.
On the 18th September Malky Chesher won the three Hot Rod races, there were only 4 cars in attendance.
Another novel event took place at the end of September, dreamed up by Nigel in an effort to add more interest to the Hot Rods.A couple of Hot Rod heats, one going to Les Kay the other Graham Wait. There was then a Hot Rod / Stock Rod challenge, where the Hot Rods had to complete two more laps than the Stock Rods. Malcolm Chesher won this followed by Graham Wait and then the first Stock Rod Fraser Greenwood.
The first couple of meetings in October, Malcolm & Graham shared all the wins. Malcolm took a heat win at the first & the Final at the second. The Final win only came the way of Malcolm though when Graham got penalised for contact.
For the remaining Hot Rod meetings of the season all the Finals were won by Graham, he also collected the Hot Rod version of the Cock O' the North though again there were only 4 competitors. The only other race winners were Malcolm Chesher with one heat and Brian Leckie with a couple of heat wins.
At the start of this Hot Rod narrative I stated that the Hot Rod racing this season was a bit uninspiring. It does not help any spectacle if the same person is winning all the time. That is true of any sport. Graham Wait and Malcolm Chesher supported the formula with true dedication in 1983 for this they should be congratulated. It certainly wasn't their fault that there was not more competition for them. You could certainly argue it was the NHRPA's fault!.
It is rare that one person can dominate a season as much as Graham Wait did in 1983. Yet he fell short at the Major events. The Scottish Championship going the way of Malcolm Chesher and particularly at the big 3 meeting weekend in August.
Nigel Cecil applied his promotional skills to try and add a bit more interest to the Hot Rod racing. Not always successful but at least innovative. The 3 meeting weekend was by far the highlight of the Hot Rod season. The appearance of so many top Hot Rod drivers for the meetings was a credit to Nigel and must have cost a fortune. Did the crowds turn up in sufficient numbers to justify it? I think they must have because a number of similar formats were tried in future years.
Stock Rods Points Table
|13th||126||Robert Gold ****||122|
*** For some reason "Goldie" omitted for official Spedeworth Scotland chart
|1st May 1983||18th June 1983|
|Scottish Championship||British Championship|
|1st||45||Gordon Campbell||1st||208||Ian Bell|
|2nd||182||Fraser Greenwood||2nd||E70||Dave Thompson|
|3rd||66||Allan Allison||3rd||E303||Jeff Simpson|
|4th||136||David McInnes||4th||E451||Dave Storey|
|5th||161||Bill Shortreed||5th||45||Gordon Campbell|
|6th||76||Lyle McMorland||6th||201||Ricky Whitehead|
|24th July 1983||14th August 1983 Cleethorpes|
|East of Scotland Championship||European Championship|
|1st||126||Robert Gold||1st||208||Ian Bell|
|2nd||161||Bill Shortreed||2nd||586||Dave Braggins|
|3rd||92||Lawrence Ross||3rd||565||Brian Smith|
|4th||34||Gary Mercer||4th||451||Dave Storey|
|5th||130||Keith England||5th||304||Dave Simpson|
|6th||215||David Law||6th||223||Steve Hanson|
|7th||59||Jock Rice||7th||580||Van Kaiser|
|8th||208||Ian Bell||8th||924||Melvyn Cooke|
|7th August 1983||6th November 1983|
|Cecil Trophy||"Cock of The North"|
|1st||34||Gary Mercer||1st||208||Ian Bell|
|2nd||143||David Carstairs||2nd||201||Ricky Whitehead|
|3rd||182||Fraser Greenwood||3rd||182||Fraser Greenwood|
|4th||201||Ricky Whitehead||4th||139||James Valentine|
|5th||59||Jock Rice||5th||92||Lawrence Ross|
|6th||128||Brian Tindall||6th||128||Brian Tindell|
|7th||76||Lyle McMorland||7th||59||Jock Rice|
|8th||78||Mark Doherty||8th||161||Bill Shortreed|
Most Wins in 1983:-
Highest Points Meetings:-
There was a good field of Stock Rods in attendance at the opening meeting on the 6th March. Escorts were the car of choice for the heat winners, Steve McColl, Gordon Campbell & Lyle McMorland, only for Toyota Corollas to take the first two places in the Final, Allan Allison the winner, David Carstairs the runner up.
Numerous penalties were handed out during the day due to contact, which made it a wee bit difficult to determine just who was where!
The 2nd meeting of the season at Cowdenbeath was Stock Rod free, resulting in only two more visits in March. Both meetings again were well supported by the drivers averaging 30 cars. In fact the promoters even split the cars into three heats. The racing was good clean and fast.
This event saw two heat wins for Gordon Campbell, one to Davie Duncan & the Final along with the top points score from the meeting to David Carstairs.
The third meeting had four different winners, Steven Glover, Lyle McMorland, Allan Allison and master of the big races Ian Bell with the Final, this being sponsored by "Staggers" pub.
The first meeting in April for Stock rods was not until the 10th, another large field of cars for this, the "Stewards Cup" at 33, so of course we were back to only two heats! Track commentator John Kelly had mused in his programme article of the previous week how "illegal" driving tactics maybe becoming a thing of the past ....undoubtedly limiting the number of cars by splitting them into three heats has helped".
So for the biggest field of cars for the season we were back to two heats! So how did that go? Well two Stock Rods rolled and many others ended up damaged and destroyed - not very well then. Three different winners, Fraser Greenwood after Lawrence Ross received a penalty in the first race. Ricky Whitehead the 2nd and Lawrence Ross making good for his earlier indiscretion by picking up the "Stewards Cup".
17.04.83. Another 33 car field of Stock Rods and another 2 heats and Final. It had been said that the officials had been shaking their heads the previous week at the mayhem that had ensued. Well presumably they did the same again after this weeks meeting. In fact a headline in a local newspaper read "Stock Rods Give An Acrobatic Display". John MacAulay performed a double pike with a twist!
Lawrence Ross got involved in a huge pile up which overturned his car which then caught fire. Mike Mlotkiewiez parked his car on top of another. A few drivers received minor injuries. However it must be said it was a spectacle!
Ricky Whitehead was the best "racing" performer on the day with a heat win, heat 3rd and the Final win after a very close race long duel with Willie Bauld. Ian Bell won the other heat.
The "Watering Hole" sponsored Scottish Championship was the aim of the drivers at this the first meeting in May. Unfortunately car numbers were down in this one despite the importance of the event. It looks as though the previous day's meeting at Armadale was seemingly partly to blame as the Saloon Stocks also suffered a depleted field. The carnage of the previous two weeks of Stock Rod "racing" was also a factor. Still 28 cars was not the end of the world.
Lawrence Ross in his new Fiat 128 (following last weeks write off), looked a class apart in the first heat. He seemed to be preserving the car in the 2nd heat which Brian Tindall picked up. In the Final Lawrence took off again only for mechanical maladies to intervene. Gordon Campbell was the man who came to the fore becoming the 1983 Scottish Champion, only 6 cars finished however!
14th May and more Stock Rod fractious driving with penalties being liberally dished out. It must be said that the conditions were not best suited to disciplined behaviour with "tropical" downpours regularly flooding the track. Three different winners were "adjudged" Bill Shortreed, Lawrence Ross and new Scottish Champion Gordon Campbell the Final. It is worth noting what John Kelly said in the following weeks programme "the only drivers not pushing were those who had already been nudged into the fence".
The following meeting produced much damage including a couple of roll overs, despite car numbers being down to 25 cars. Gwen Cecil had remarked in one of the programmes that she had met Charlie Milne on the terracing and that Charlie had said that he had surprisingly found the Stock Rods quite enjoyable! I'll bet he did as the Stock rods continued on their Saloon Stockin' ways!
Another double heat winner on the day Mike Mlotkiewiez. Brian Tindell the Final winner.
May rounded off with the attendance up again at 31 cars. George Logan heat 1 winner & Lawrence Ross the 2nd and the Final. It was confirmed by the promoters that the race formats in future will be two heats and Final. The expectation being around 30 cars per race. The plan was that this was for the drivers benefit as the fields of cars in Internationals would be at least that number. Of course it was always one less race you have to provide prize money for. It was also confirmed that no new drivers would be registered for this formula, only returning drivers.
At Armadale on the 4th June, Lawrence Ross was in top form with a heat & Final, James Valentine was the other heat winner. While at Cowdenbeath's June opener the following day heat winners were Mike Mlotkiewiez and Brian Tindell. Lawrence was again the victor in the Final.
In the programme for the 12.06.83 Gwen announced that Nigel planned to introduce another new formula. The idea was for a cheaper Saloon Stock formula. With the decision to not issue any more Stock Rod licenses. I believe the hope was that the prospective Stock Rodders would build the new Stock Cars, which were essentially ironed up Stock Rods. There was some sound reasoning, the Stock Rods were driving like Saloon Stocks anyway. However another new formula when the numbers in the other classes could do with an influx was a flaw. Easy to say in
retrospect - but I think if there was to be a restriction in Stock Rod numbers - leave things as they are and hopefully the frustrated prospective Stock Rod drivers would take up one of the existing formulae.
12th June Ian Bell completed best preparation for the upcoming defence of his British Championship by capturing the Final, Victor Knox & Eddie Bryce were the heat winners.
So to the big Stock Rod weekend Armadale 18.06.83 / Cowdenbeath 19.06.83, Ian Bell was imperious in the main race and made it two British Championships in a row. His display at Armadale was masterful. A 30 car line up, Ian started from 20th slot. He made steady progress through the field, getting into the top 10 after the half way mark. It was not until the 2nd last lap that he made it through to 1st, Englishman Dave Thompson putting up some stern opposition. The next spots also went to England with Jeff Simpson in 3rd & Dave Storey in 4th. The heat went to English driver Bryan Smith and the Final James Valentine. Sunday's events at Cowdenbeath went to Scotland, heat wins for Mike Mlotkiewiez, & Gary Mercer, Final to Brian Tindell.
Last Stock Rod get together before the holiday break commenced with a white and yellow grade race, held to give the novice drivers a taste of winning. Rab Clark was the victor. He enjoyed it so much he then went on to win the first proper heat. Victor Knox the next & Eddie Bryce the Final.
Only one Stock rod session in July and it resulted in another very acceptable field of cars for the "East of Scotland Championship". All the wins went the way of Ford Escorts, Bill Shortreed in the 1st, Vic Knox in the 2nd & Robert Gold went on to win his first major title in the Championship race itself.
At August's opener "The Cecil Trophy" was the main event for the Stock Rods, Robert Gold was very impressive in the heats with two very skillful drives, in fact he looked a good possibility in the Final until all the leading contenders took themselves out in one big fracas. Gary Mercer just won the championship race by millimetres from David Carstairs.
On the weekend of the 13th & 14th August three major events were taking place at Cleethorpes. The World Superstox Championship, The British Saloon Stock Championship. & The European Stock Rod Championship.
The European Championship had Jeff Simpson & Ian Bell qualifying on the front row. Though the qualifying heats had been taken by Miles Askew (is that right?!!), Steve Hanson & Jeff Foster. Jeff Simpson & Ian Bell's cumulative scoring delivered their front row slots. Ian was completely untroubled in the race from his front row starting spot, winning from Dave Braggins, Brian Smith, Dave Storey & Dave Simpson.
28th August Keith England captured heat & Final. Gary Mercer the other heat, his ride along the track on his roof put paid to any other results on the day.
Novice driver Mark Doherty drove skillfully in trying conditions to pick up heat and Final. Keith England continued his recent good form by taking out the other heat, then unfortunately got black flagged in the Final along with Gordon Campbell after they both got involved in a bout of mutual destruction.
On the 11th September the Stock Rods acquired 3 heats due to the absence of Hot Rods. It was a bit silly though as only 18 cars were in attendance, especially silly when you consider registrations for this formula had been suspended! Certainly a lot less rule infringements ensued.
Heat winners were Ian Bell, Mike Mlotkiewiez & Allan Allison. In the Final though a collision resulted in Allan & Brian Tindell producing some synchronised rolling quite a sight! The race was called: the win going to Jock Rice.
The last September Stock rod outing Jim Paterson won heat & Final, Brian Tindell the other heat. This was the start of a particularly successful run of form for Jim
Sizeable field of cars up to the 29 mark for the first meeting of the month. It was unfortunately a bit of a return to a bit of biff and bash.
Most of the cars in the 2nd heat being eliminated in a huge pile up necessitating a stoppage. Heat wins to Jim Paterson & David Carstsairs with the Final to Lawrence Ross, his first at Cowdenbeath for quite some time.
For the October 9th meeting the wet weather did not help the drivers adhere to the no-contact rule and infringement penalties were handed out willy nilly. So many in fact you wonder whether the drivers were actually bothered by this form of discipline.
Jim Paterson had a brilliant meeting, heat win & heat 2nd & Final win. He continued this form for the next two meetings, on the 16th he collected another heat & Final. Lawrence Ross the other victor this time. On the 23rd it was two heat wins.
Robert Gold came to the fore in the Final, but only after all the penalties were distributed to the various participants. Ian Bell received the "Driver of the Year" award as top points scorer.
Very healthy field of cars in the Stock Rod Cock O' The North race at 17 cars. Demonstrating just how competitive this formula was at this time.
Another race where the formula's seemingly most dominant driver was drawn on the front row Ian Bell. (Keith Jarman was drawn on the front row in the Saloon Stocks & Graham Wait in the Hot Rods, mind you there was only two rows in the latter). Surely far better if the combatants lined up in points order.
In this case though Ricky Whitehead was also on the first row, no mean competitor. Ricky shot into the lead which he held until just before the end of the race when Ian nipped through.
Blue top Nigel Calvin won the other heat. Also of note was the great number Stock Rod drivers who supported the event at 33 cars.