|NITTEN F2 POINTS CHART PROGRESSIVE||(379kB)|
Saloon Stocks 82 cars
|2||Alan Simpson||71||Gordon Alexander||153||Graham Collins|
|3||Hugh Drummond||72||Graham Anderson||157||Sam Watt|
|5||John Morland||75||Johnny Walker||160||Martin Johnson|
|9||Jock Threadgall||80||Junior Jackson||161||Colin Birtley|
|10||Jim Nightingale||88||Jimmy Ritchie||168||Alan McHattie|
|11||Jim Honeyman||89||Brian Henderson||171||Tommy Davidson|
|12||John Hamilton||90||Gordon Leithhead||176||Alex Jones|
|13||Andy Johnston||91||Garry Nimmo||188||Ronnie Ford|
|14||Colin Noble||92||Bruce Wilson||201||Pete Hunter|
|17||William Walker||93||Gordon Anderson||206||Mike Richardson|
|18||Nigel Atkinson||101||Danny Redpath||214||Jimmy McAlpine|
|20||Keith Miller||106||Hamish Buchanan||217||Harry Denholm|
|21||Billy McNeill||107||James Skirving||218||Jimmy Duncan|
|24||Billy Gillie||108||Lawrence Johnston||219||George Forrest|
|25||Pat Goulding||109||John Bell||222||Fraser Dunlop|
|26||Tommy Millar||110||Andy Nelson||240||Jimmy Smith|
|28||Andy Young||111||Alan Bryce||241||Charlie Milne|
|29||Sid Threadgall||113||George Kerr||244||Jimmy Low|
|30||E McCabe||114||Frank Wilson||245||N/A|
|35||Colin Easton||117||N/A||246||Ronnie Angus|
|40||Jimmy Sinclair||122||George Robertson||260||Tommy Thomson|
|55||William McLay||123||Hugh Brown||270||N/A|
|56||Bill McKnight||125||Ivor Thomson||277||N/A|
|57||Rab McLintock||126||Dick Cummings||285||Rab Stewart|
|58||Andy Graham||128||Joe Moir||306||Bobby Farrer|
|63||Hugh Miller||133||Ian Hutton||333||Keith McBean|
|68||Tommy Gilchrist||140||Andy Stevens||391||William Murray|
|69||Russell Scott||152||Angel Dillon|
F2 Stock Cars 172 cars
|5||William Ewart||501||Bill Trout||694||Barry Plowman|
|6||Bob Creamer||502||Mike Potts||696||N/A|
|7||Jimmy Moodie||504||Mike Valks||698||Malcolm Locke|
|8||Mick Whittle||513||Roy Slocombe||702||Andy Graham|
|10||Alex Craig||514||Chalky White||704||Malc Everard|
|11||Steve Tagg||515||Chas Davidson||706||John Longstaff|
|13||George McGinchey||516||Norman Butcher||711||Jimmy Crockett|
|16||Jimmy Wallace?||517||Mel Million||712||Bill Paxton|
|17||Kerry Wilson||521||Allan Rowlands||716||Paul Young|
|19||Brian O'Reilly||524||Dave Lawrence||718||Athol Thompson|
|23||Smiler Hutson||526||Alan Marshall||719||John Aitcheson|
|24||Les Palmer||527||Tony Hooper||722||Paul Broatch|
|28||Graham Bunter||531||Geoff Dee||723||Alan Warriner|
|29||John Rigg||542||Ernie Reay||725||Brian Robson|
|31||Harry Sampson||544||John Eddington||728||Brian Middlemiss|
|33||Keith Stanford||546||Terry Parker||733||Gary Mitchell|
|36||Ed Pannett||555||Dave Walton||734||Ian Farrell|
|38||Ian Edmiston||556||Frank Horner||736||George Fulton|
|39||N/A||557||Andy Spence||737||Kev Duckett|
|41||Gordon McDougall||559||Ray Weldon||744||Russell Taylor|
|42||Steve Patterson||561||Nick Lawrence||747||Brian Pinkey|
|43||Billy Johnston||567||Stu Easby||748||Phil Den Herder|
|44||Alistair Forsyth||571||Paul Parker||751||Les Smart|
|45||N/A||573||Alan Madams||752||Mike Breakspear|
|46||Peter Forsyth||574||Andy Horton||753||Andy Morris|
|49||Eric Moore||581||Tom Rowlinson||756||Taffy Thomas|
|50||Ian Lish||584||Phil Hayhurst||760||N/A|
|51||Tim Lish||587||Paul Weekes||762||Phill Hiles|
|52||Martin Lamb||588||Martin Sanders||763||Ed Hiles|
|56||Len Perkins||589||Rob Lockwood||766||Pete Hobson|
|57||Paul Perkins||595||Dave Bunt||769||Ian Fugett|
|59||Jock Threadgall||600||Rod Avon||780||Gary Kent|
|60||John Horsfall||601||Ian Smart||781||Gray Thornton|
|62||Derek Donaldson||602||Mike Longstaff||782||Alan Pryde|
|68||Tommy Gilchrist||606||Steve Horton||789||Stephen King|
|69||Simon Chalky||612||Jeff Fowkes||790||Mike Taylor|
|70||John Lothian||616||Andy Thomson||800||Roy Goodman|
|77||Steve Riley||617||Mike James||801||Stuart Wilkinson|
|78||Ronnie NcVicar||621||George Beckham||804||Ian King|
|85||N/A||627||Ken Purkess||808||Tony Rawlinson|
|87||Andy Rawlinson||628||Kevin Stack||810||Ed Pannett|
|99||Noel Colgan||630||Paddy Parker||820||Mel Hutchinson|
|100||George MacMillan Jnr||633||Duncan McConnel||827||Allan Cole|
|106||Hamish Buchanan||634||Clive Hawkins||828||Jim Cunliffe|
|107||Malcolm Paterson||635||Steve Widdowson||829||Keith Watson|
|109||N/A||636||Bob Heritage||830||Trevor Whitney|
|110||Dick Pollard||639||Malc Crosby||833||Bob Kaye|
|126||Roy Goddard||642||Dave Luscombe||838||Tony Capaldi|
|141||Adam Manson||647||N/A||842||Tony Butterfield|
|144||Dave MaHoney?||651||Gary Sansom||862||Les Burrows|
|147||Paul Woods||665||William Ewart||880||Ken Ferriday|
|166||Gary Henderson||667||Bill Batten||890||Pete Rice|
|167||Eugene Carney||671||Ernie Swinburn||899||Phil Wyer|
|175||Eric Brown Jnr||673||Errol Johnston||901||Martin White|
|177||John Gilchrist||675||Colin Graham||907||John Dawe|
|188||Ronnie Ford||676||Steve Gateley||914||Iam Fernihough|
|214||Jimmy McAlpine||678||Joe Parrington||924||Paul Carter|
|228||Bil Norris||681||John Painter||925||Graham Wilson|
|236||N/A||682||Roger Powell||934||Mick McArdle|
|309||N/A||685||Des Nicholl||939||Denis Whitfield|
|318||Pete Bowden||686||Garry Hooper||943||Les Brown|
|344||Warren Taylor||688||Alan Eastment||944||Terry Weighell|
|411||N/A||689||Paul Butcher||950||John Newton|
I am not sure if No 16 is Jimmy Wallace. Jimmy does appear in the 1984 driver's list, but he may have debuted in 1983. I have no other records for a No 16 and there was the debacle in 1982 with the Bob Creamer No 6 / No 16 confusion.
If anybody can confirm Jimmy's first race date it would be much appreciated.
There are also a number of drivers I have been unable to confirm. This may be due to the number being taken down incorrectly in the programme (more than likely).
Hot Rods 30 cars
|8||Charlie Brown||102||Ronnie McKenzie|
|17||Willie Walker||127||Alex Grant|
|19||Alan Sibbald||154||Ian Headley|
|22||Colin McCabe||191||Bob Benson|
|23||Doug Farrer||207||John McWilliam|
|27||Brian Murdoch||244||Mark Horsburgh|
|31||Gary Mitchell||299||Davey Philp|
|33||Gary Mitchell||310||Steve Newfort|
|37||Ian Simpson||323||Brian Middlemiss|
Ministox 45 cars
|2||Andy Young||41||Gordon McDougall Jnr|
|3||Colin Glasgow||43||Paul Roberts|
|6||Jim Dow||46||Stephen Henderson|
|7||Peter Alexander||52||Daryn Smith|
|8||Neil Weatherley||57||Liam Murray|
|9||Scott Haig||61||Kevin McQuigan|
|11||Andrew Redpath||64||John Fortune|
|12||Billy McLeod||65||Ronald Grant|
|14||Scott Greig||66||Steven Grant|
|15||Alastair Robertson||74||Alistair King|
|16||James Docherty||77||Steven Charles|
|17||Gordon Alexander||82||Gillian Allan|
|19||John Kilpatrick||88||Alex McLaren|
|20||Andrew Young||96||William Purves|
|21||Graeme McAlpine||100||Kevin Hawker|
|23||Colin Todd||157||Lachlan Murray|
|27||Archie Murray||235||Duncan Robertson|
|28||David Allan||236||Ian Robertson|
|29||Hazel Philp||237||Mike Robertson|
|30||Jonathan Hoy||299||Gillian Philp|
|38||Gordon Ritchie||371||Ross Turner|
Superbangers 108 carss
|1||Brian Henniker||38||J Kinnaird||81||Gary Burns|
|2||John Pringle||40||Sandy Baxter||86||Bernard Hunter|
|3||James Gilmour||41||Davie Ross||87||Gerald Dignan|
|4||Peter Forsyth||42||Lawrence Hoy||88||Graham Irvine|
|5||Michael Walker||43||D Morrice||96||Stewart Hamilton|
|6||Ross Mackie||46||Hugh Allen||99||Kenny Armstrong|
|7||Alex Gilbert / I Black||47||Les Henderson||100||Harry Adams|
|8||Derek Hastings||48||William Adam||101||Ian Morris|
|9||S Carroll||49||David Dow||102||A Dunn|
|10||John Hunter||50||Allan Rae||103||Keith Forrest|
|11||K Deegan||51||Raymond Eardley||111||Alan Bryce|
|13||Andrew Wright||52||Brian Henderson||112||Ian Hadden|
|14||Alex Love||53||Bill Farrer||114||Graham Cuthill|
|15||A Gilbert||54||A Blair||141||Grant Fitzsimmons|
|16||Paul Slater||55||Alex Anderson||149||Alan Lewis|
|17||Robert Armstrong||56||Doanld McIntyre||152||Derek Orr|
|18||Colin Nicol||57||Colin Dickson||153||Derek Stevenson|
|19||Keith Brown||58||Gordon Turner||157||Sam Watt|
|20||Brian Dickson||59||Willie Thompson||158||Stu Hadden|
|21||Norman Coutts||61||Duncan McFarlane||167||Stan Matthews|
|22||Colin McCabe||62||Andy Tulloch||171||Justin Kerr|
|23||Peter Farrer||63||K Greig||175||James Watt|
|24||Brian Cameron||64||Donald Wright||177||Sam Jones|
|25||David Marshall||65||Ian Seaton||181||Andy Stoddart|
|26||Steven Glugston||66||Garry Henderson||182||John Heaphy|
|27||Richard Borthwick||67||Bryce Stewart||222||Rob Davies|
|28||Steve Wightman||68||Eddie Cunningham||368||Paul Wightman|
|29||Iain Bryce||69||Alistair Jack||371||Willie Wightman|
|30||Graeme Bryce||71||Eddie Stanley||555||Stuart Smiles|
|31||Brian Hawkins||72||John Calder||581||Ian Fraser|
|32||P Grice||73||Jim Charlestown||723||Colin Todd|
|33||John Hadden||74||Derek Charlestown||777||B Johnston|
|34||Andrew Welton||75||Norman Walker||900||Hugh Drummond|
|35||Jimmy Pryde||76||D Barker||903||Emma Hutchinson|
|36||Jim Nightingale||77||Kenny O'Brien||904||David Noble|
|37||Sam Watson||79||Alex Sheriffs||999||B Watson|
F2 Track Points Championship
|1st||175||Eric Brown Jnr||717|
|14th||100||George MacMillan Jnr||154|
I don't believe the 1983 Nitten Tack Points Championship for F2 Stock Cars was ever published by the Promotion. I have therefore calculated the points myself from my records. This can be viewed as an Excel file at the top of the page.
There was very little reference to the track points championship during the season in the "Scots Stock" publication or the programmes. This was undoubtadly due to the fact that the gradings for the F2's were executed by Brisca. The national tables were published in "Scots Stock" during the season. But of course "Scots Stock" ceased to be after the European Championship "programme" edition.
Personally I believe the track points championships are important and that fans want to know how all their favourite drivers are doing. I believe the promotion missed a trick in this event.
I have calculated the points based on the system awarded to the other formulae. That is points from 8 to 1 in the heats and double in the Final. I have also doubled the points in the Grand National for the winner of the Final. The Brisca National points I believe treated the "all in" races including the Final as heat points. Though I understand that they did start to alocate double points in the Grand National to the winner of the Final during 1983. Which I do not think had been the case previously for "all in" meetings.
So there you have it Nitten's 1983 F 2 Track Points Championship - better late than never!
Most Wins in 1983:-
|1st||175||Eric Brown Jnr||11||20||15th||722||Paul Broatch||1||0|
|2nd||41||Gordon McDougall||5||7||16th||78||Ronnie McVicor||0||3|
|3rd||177||John Gilchrist||4||7||17th=||59||Jock Threadgall||0||2|
|4th||686||Garry Hooper||3||4||17th=||70||John Lothian||0||2|
|5th||33||Keith Stanford||3||12||19th||574||Andy Horton||0||2|
|6th||100||George MacMillan Jnr||2||4||20th=||542||Ernie Reay||0||1|
|7th||830||Trevor Whitney||2||1||20th=||712||Bill Paxton||0||1|
|8th||673||Errol Johnston||1||11||20th=||671||Ernie Swinburn||0||1|
|9th||49||Eric Moore||1||5||20th=||526||Alan Marshall||0||1|
|10th=||7||Jimmy Moodie||1||3||20th=||617||Mike James||0||1|
|10th=||744||Russell Taylor||1||3||20th=||Ire 34||Jim Greenwood||0||1|
|10th=||939||Dennis Whitfield||1||3||20th=||38||Ian Edmiston||0||1|
|13th=||24||Les Palmer||1||1||20th=||515||Chas Davidson||0||1|
Most Highest Points Scores:-
|1st||175||Eric Brown Jnr||11|
|5th=||100||George MacMillan Jnr||2|
|F2 World Qualifying Round - 18th May||European Championship - 6th August|
|1st||24||Les Palmer||1st||830||Trevor Whitney|
|2nd||574||Andy Horton||2nd||617||Mike James|
|3rd||673||Errol Johnston||3rd||Ire32||Ian McKnight|
|4th||698||Malcolme Locke||4th||175||Eric Brown Jnr|
|5th||62||Derek Donaldson||5th||686||Garry Hooper|
|6th||59||Jock Threadgall||6th||Ire94||Billy Allison|
|7th||49||Eric Moore||7th||Ire34||Jim Greenwood|
|8th||939||Dennis Whitfield||8th||628||Kevin Stack|
|Scottish Championship - 7th August||British Championship - Taunton|
|1st||177||John Gilchrist||11th September|
|2nd||830||Trevor Whitney||1st||532||Ron Dyke|
|3rd||175||Eric Brown Jnr||2nd||521||Allan Rowlands|
|4th||617||Mike James||3rd||516||Norman Butcher|
|5th||698||Malcolme Locke||4th||587||Paul Weeks|
|6th||766||Pete Hobson||5th||24||Les Palmer|
|7th||744||Russell Taylor||6th||769||Ian Fuggett|
|8th||41||Gordon McDougall||7th||514||Chalky White|
|World Championship - Newton Abbot||Radio Forth Grand National - 6th November|
|18th September||1st||686||Garry Hooper|
|1st||595||Dave Bunt||2nd||41||Gordon McDougall|
|2nd||628||Kevin Stack||3rd||175||Eric Brown Jnr|
|3rd||698||Malcolm Locke||4th||24||Les Palmer|
|4th||830||Trevor Whitney||5th||7||Jimmy Moodie|
|5th||642||Dave Luscome||6th||94||Andy Rowlinson|
|6th||651||Garry Sansom||7th||70||John Lothian|
|7th||779||Steve King||8th||49||Eric Moore|
In addition to the major championship wins at Newtongrange, a number of Finals attracted additional sponsorship, the winners of these were as follows:-
"Aussie Sprint Trophy" - 13th March - Keith Stanford
"Centre Video Final" Note this was the F2 WQR Final - 8th May - Les Palmer
"Willie Hunter Memorial" - 28th May - Jimmy Moodie
"Supporters Club Trophy" - 13th August - George MacMillan Jnr
"F2 Review Shield" - 20th August - Garry Hooper
"Motorway Tyres Trophy" - 10th September - Keith Stanford
"Anglo / Scottish Trophy" - 25th September - Paul Broatch
"Newtongrange Star Trophy" - 15th October - Eric Brown Jnr
"Starting Grid Trophy" - 22nd October - Eric Brown Jnr
There was a holiday meeting on the 2nd of January and a surprise visitor was Garry Hooper making the long trek up from Devon, a brave thing to do at that time of year.
Newtongrange was a favoured track for Garry though and he highlighted this in no uncertain manner with a heat win, heat 2nd and Final win. Eric Moore also had a good meeting with a heat win and a Final 2nd.
Opening meeting proper for the 1983 season was on the 13th March.
"The Aussie Sprintcar Trophy" was up for grabs in the F2 Final. Unusual name for a trophy race for F2 Stock Cars you may think. However I had the trophy manufactured in Australia and they had little Sprintcar models which they built into trophies there - so I thought it would make an interesting change to the traditional trophies.
Keith Stanford was the winner, it was a close run thing though between Keith and (currently with a white roof) Eric Brown Jnr. Eric had been a star driver in the Scottish Superstox ranks, and had moved over to join the F2’s for the 1983 season.
Eric made a sensational start to the season in March with a 5th place in his first ever race at "Nitten" and then winning the 2nd heat and going on to a 2nd in the Final.
The following week on the 19th March, Eric won both heats, the Final and then came home 6th in the Grand National.
In an amazing coincidence, Eric completed this exact sequence of results at the last meeting in March on the 26th.
In fact was unlucky not to win the Final on his first visit to the Hartlepool Stadium on the 20th March.
2 Finals & 5 heats was his total for the 3 "Nitten" meetings – mighty impressive.
The meeting on the 19th also hosted some long distance travellers from the south west in the shape of Garry Hooper, Kevin Stack & Ken Purkiss.
Saloon Stock star men Jock Threadgall & Tommy Gilchrist decided to move into F2. Jock in fact recorded his first win, the Grand National, in this formula in only his 3rd meeting on the 26th March. All F2 races being taken by white tops at this meeting. Although giving it a go in the F2's, Jock stated that it was his intention was to carry on with the Saloon Stocks as well once the F2 was sorted.
For the first meeting in April the race wins were all spread around. Heat one to Bill Paxton, heat two to Eric Moore, Final to Keith Stanford & then the Grand National to John Lothian. This was the first meeting since the beginning of the season when Eric Brown Jnr. did not win a race.
At the 9th of April get together Eric Brown Jnr. got his act together in no uncertain terms winning both heats and Final.
John Gilchrist made his first appearance since the opening meeting of the season and put on a spirited display including a 2nd in one of the heats and a win in the “Radio Forth” Grand National. Gordon McDougall on the other hand was experiencing multiple mechanical woes and just could not get his machine to go more than a few laps.
Another 3 English regulars of seasons past were at the meeting on the 17th April, Paul Broatch, Dennis Whitfield and Frank Horner, the latter in another new car. Broatchie had the best results of the 3 with a couple of 2nds & a 3rd. It was another clean sweep for Eric Brown though, two heat wins, Final win and 7th in the “Radio Forth” Grand National.
Errol Johnston debuted a new car on the 23rd April. Garry Hooper made another of his grueling journeys and secured 3 second places in the two heats and Final. He could just not catch flying white top Eric Brown Jnr. who was at the front at the end of each race. Eric with the lap handicap in the Grand National allowed Garry to secure the deserved win. Eric did make his way up to 4th though from the handicap in the National - great effort.
On the 30th April Jock Threadgall collected his 2nd F2 race win in the first heat. Keith Stanford the "slippery" specialist! (is that why his car was banana skin yellow?) collected the 2nd heat after the track was liberally coated in oil. Eric Brown, earlier engine maladies sorted, coasted to a win in the Final.
The National produced a fair bit of controversy when winner Ernie Swinburn was docked two places for taking unfair advantage under yellow flag conditions. Eric Brown being awarded the race. Ernie however disagreed with Meeting Steward Ronnie Featch and set about changing his mind - WHICH HE DID! Had the result not been changed Eric would have completed the Final and Grand National double from the lap handicap. 2nd position though, still a commendable effort just the same.
The first meeting in May and main event of the day's proceedings was the F2 World Qualifying round. Les Palmer collected the lion’s share of the points from his blue grade starting position, picking up a win in the consolation & the Final. Gordon McDougall executed a neat roll over in the Final after picking up a good 2nd in his heat. Keith Stanford & Andy Horton won the other qualifying heats. Gordon bashed his car & himself back into shape for the Grand National and looked to have it in the bag until crashing into Eugene Carney's abandoned car. Andy Horton swept through to collect his 2nd win of the day.
On to the 14th May and Eric Brown Jnr. demonstrated that his upgrade from White top to Superstar was not going to be a barrier to his success. He won the first heat by half a lap! In the 2nd heat he pinched 3rd from Keith Stanford, whom he spun out (and who recovered for 4th), incidentally a race almost won by George MacMillan Jnr. until again robbed by mechanical maladies on the last lap. In fact George was regularly being described now as George (with the funny sounding engine) MacMillan! In the Final Eric just caught Errol Johnston at the line for the win. An oil soaked track curtailed Eric’s' progress in the Grand National, though he still collected 7th. The fast improving Errol Johnston was the winner just holding off Gordon McDougall.
Errol kept up this form for the following meeting on the 22nd, but what a meeting for him winning both heats from Gordon McDougall, then 2nd to Gordon in Final & to cap things off going on to win the Grand National. You could say Errol had arrived.
The final meeting of the month on the 28th May was the "Willie Hunter" tribute meeting. It was amazing this meeting took place at all, the rain that fell made this the wettest meeting ever to take place at Newtongrange & there have been some VERY wet meetings. Asphalt was simply not visible on most of the track. This was not a meeting that was going to be canceled though. Track staff performed super human efforts with the aid of mechanical pumps to move massive quantities of water.
So despite the rain still tumbling down the meeting started.
Ronnie McVicar actually demonstrated that he enjoyed the conditions by taking both heats, the first after punting Errol Johnston wide after Errol had got past him. Jimmy Moodie won the Final holding off persistent attempts by Russell Taylor. The drookit fans gave Jimmy a big round of applause for his stoic efforts. The "Radio Forth" Grand National was amazing, the weather managed to reduce the number of finishers to TWO and both of them juniors. Eric Brown the win & George MacMillan in 2nd.
Programme contributor "JD" made a humorous comment in the following week's programme when he stated that with all the water getting into the engines & making them misfire, it made them all sound like George MacMillan's.
For the new gradings in June the National F2 Points Chart showed Eric Brown Jnr. way out in front. Keith Stanford was in 5th place still in the Superstar grade. In the red grade Gordon McDougall occupied 9th place, other Scottish drivers in a prominent position were Jake Lothian in 17th & Errol Johnston in 18th.
Most impressive performance at the first meeting in June was Gordon McDougall’s heat win, heat 2nd, Final win and Grand National win from his lap handicap. As well as fantastic skills you generally do need a bit of luck though to execute these Final / Grand National doubles. Gordon's luck came by way of early leader Kevin Stack inexplicably finding himself in the fence having opened up a huge lead. The pack of cars following then all tangled leaving a surprised but grateful Gordon to take the win.
On the 12th June George Macmillan Jnr's luck looked to have turned when he sped off to a dominating win in the 2nd heat - alas alack - a fence post "destroyation" job in the Final saw George knocked out and also with a substantial amount of car damage. Errol Johnston continued his rapid improvement winning a very high attrition Final which only had 5 finishers. Gordon "the boss" won the other heat & Eric Brown Jnr. the “Radio Forth” Grand National.
A couple of heat wins followed on from the previous weeks Final for Errol Johnston. John Gilchrist won his first Final of the season from Gordon McDougall with Gordon going on for a “Radio Forth” Grand National win.
The last meeting in June before the holiday break, the F2 races were shared around; heat wins to George Macmillan Jnr. & Ronnie McVicar, Final to Gordon McDougall & Grand National to Keith Stanford.
Fully refreshed Gordon McDougall was on fire for this meeting to kick off the 2nd half of the season, taking both heats, Final and 4th in the Grand National. But hold on - no "the boss" got docked two places by the Steward for passing under yellows – now there’s a brave chap. Eric Brown Jnr. went on to win yet another “Radio Forth” Grand National.
24th July and in the F2 ranks a new title was up for grabs, the “North East Challenge Trophy”, the format being, one round at Hartlepool, Aycliffe & Newtongrange. The first round had been held at Hartlepool the previous Sunday. This meeting was the Newtongrange round. The Final for the 25 top qualifiers was programmed for the 25th September at Newtongrange. It was a clean sweep of wins for the Scottish contingent, Gordon McDougall heat & Final. Errol Johnston heat & Grand National, and a good 2nd in the the latter race for ex Saloon Stocker Jock Threadgall.
Last meeting in July on the 30th & John Gilchrist put up a masterful display collecting both heats, Final win & 5th in the Grand National. Gordon McDougall & Eric Brown Jnr. chased John down in the heats, however they got tied up in a massive pile up caused when Phil Hiles deposited his oil all around the track (again). It was Dennis Whitfield who collected 2nd, demonstrating a fine turn of speed. In fact Dennis then went on to collect the Grand National honours.
Following the “sabotage” of the Saloon Stock extravaganza (see Saloon Stock summary), this then was GMP's big weekend for the season on the 6th & 7th of August.
The F2 European Championship was scheduled to take place on the Saturday Night.
Time trials for grid positions starting at 1.30pm. This saw Trevor Whitney on pole with Malcolm Locke alongside on the front row, 2nd row was Mike James & Ian McKnight, 3rd row Eric Brown Jnr. & Pete Hobson, 4th row John Gilchrist & Garry Hooper, 5th row David Lawrence & Errol Johnston. The winner should surely come from this group.
There was also a qualifying race for the Championship, the first 8 of which would line up at the back of the “timed” qualifiers. David Lawrence won this race.
38 cars lined up for the Championship. On the rolling lap however Ian McKnight passed the two front row drivers just before the green flag.
Surely the start should have been aborted but unfortunately it wasn't. Ian McKnight drove a brilliant race to hold off all challenges to cross the line first. The crowd of course were not happy that such a blatant maneuver should have been allowed to profit & in fact it wasn't. I believe the Steward for this meeting was experienced official Pete Hearn (I could be wrong on this score), he relegated Ian by two positions for the jumped start.
On the announcement of the result over the PA some disgraceful scenes erupted, the McKnight crew lost the plot and a punch up ensued on the track. The chief steward immediately banned the entire crew for the rest of the meeting. Although Ian had not been involved in the fisty cuffs he refused to accept the 3rd placed trophy (I wonder where that is now) and loaded up. Ian would not comment to the press at the time, but it would seem the starting procedure adopted at his home tracks in Northern Ireland differed from that employed for this Championship race.
There is no doubt that Ian could well have won this race fair and square, he showed a tremendous turn of speed, scything through the back markers to maintain his lead throughout the race.
As a final comment on the incident Gordon McDougall in the following week's programme, stated that the decision was justified and followed the rule book to the letter. He favoured the adoption of a black cross board for F2 Racing, to inform a driver that he had been seen to transgress & therefore it would not be a total surprise at the end of the race when all his hard work goes unrewarded.
I would have preferred to see the race re-started, if the perpetrator transgressed again on the re-start - then you should be relegated to the back of the grid. Gordon also stated that Ian had in fact been banned from the rest of the meeting due to the actions of his crew & not as was previously thought just the crew being banned.
Trevor Whitney was awarded the win and justice seemed to have prevailed in the circumstances. The crowd gave Trevor a standing ovation when he was presented with the trophy. Mike James collected 2nd spot, Eric Brown Jnr. finished 4th behind the demoted Ian McKnight. This was a fantastic result for Eric as he had managed to spin out during the race but still recover to come home 4th - but for that spin?
Irish promoter Martin Greenwood graciously made a public apology for the scenes that had occurred over the PA.
The F2 Scottish Championship was programmed for the Sunday afternoon. George MacMillan Jnr. looked to be on for a successful defense of his title when he passed leader John Gilchrist around the half way mark only to get tangled up with a back marker a few laps later. John Gilchrist thus regained the lead, however Trevor Whitney and Eric Brown Jnr. were closing him down when the race was stopped to allow Alan Rowlands to be freed from his crashed car. Despite the fact there were 4 laps to run the race was declared, so John Gilchrist became the 1983 Scottish Champion.
Other race wins over the weekend were as follows:- "Snap On Tools Grand Prix"- Trevor Whitney, Heat wins to Mike James, John Gilchrist, Trevor Whitney & The "Radio Forth" Grand National heat to Jim Greenwood.
Supporters Club Trophies were up for grabs on the 13th August. George (funny sounding engine) MacMillan made sure he didn't tangle up with any back markers this week when getting to the front in heat & Final, he thus retained his title by a huge margin. George also captured 4th in the Grand National from his lap handicap.
The other heat winner was Dennis Whitfield, with Errol Johnston the “Radio Forth” Grand National winner.
"F2 Review Shield" on the 20th August. Garry Hooper made the long trip up from the South West worthwhile by winning both heats & the Final, disposing of his fellow South Easterner Kevin Stack in a big way in the first heat. His main opposition in this race and indeed as it turned out for the entire meeting was Jimmy Moodie, which was a bit of a surprise as had been quieter than usual of late. Jimmy was 2nd man home in both heats, took a Final 3rd & then won the “Radio Forth” Grand National from Keith Stanford going well in a new car for this meeting. Still painted in “creepy” yellow!
On to the last meeting in August, star of the show was undoubtedly John Gilchrist, his last meeting as a blue roof, gaining promotion to red for the following points period. John was simply uncatchable. Eric Brown Jnr. was the one who made the best fist of it with three 2nd places and he was particularly pleased with John's lap handicap in the “Radio Forth” Grand National - as it allowed Eric to win a race!
The F2's were down in numbers for the first meeting in September the 4th due to the World Semi-Final at Northampton. In the first heat Russell Taylor spun out long time leading white top John Aitchison to take the win. Jimmy Moodie picked up another heat win. This continued a welcome upturn in form leading up to his defense of the "Motorway Tyres Trophy" coming up the next week. Dennis Whitfield an English attendee of many races at Nitten won an excellent Final - I believe in fact his first Final win, with another two English visitors in the shape of Ed Pannett & Russell Taylor filling the other spots. Novice John Aitchison made up for first heat disappointment by collecting 2nd in the “Radio Forth” Grand National, (it must be said he did collect 4th in the Final). Again holding off the leaders until the last lap, it was Jimmy Moodie who was the victor.
"The Motorway Tyres Trophy" for F2's was the main event on the 10th September. Jimmy Moodie put up a valiant attempt to retain the trophy, indeed he held up eventual winner Keith Stanford for quite a few laps before Keith forced his way past. Keith was really flying though with his new car, having earlier picking up both heats.
It should also be said that it was issing down, & Keith has always excelled in the wet.
Eric Moore picked up his first win for a long time in the “Radio Forth” Grand National.
After a weeks break for the F2 World Final at Newton Abbot, the big trophy up for grabs was the Final of the "Anglo - Scottish Trophy". 3 Qualifying Rounds had taken place at Newtongrange, Hartlepool & Aycliffe.
A huge pile up in the first heat eliminated a large number of the field leaving Eric Brown Jnr. to take a comfortable win. In fact Eric also had a fairly easy win in the 2nd heat. It was Paul Broatch though who acquired the "Anglo-Scottish Trophy" after Eric's car started to sound rather rough in the Championship race. In fact Paul's car also sounded pretty gruesome - just not as gruesome as Eric's! Russell Taylor & Ernie Reay collected 2nd & 3rd making it a clean sweep for the "enemy".
Ian Edmiston made one of his rare appearances on the track this week and quickly got into the groove by going into a lead in the “Radio Forth” Grand National, overtaking Paul Broatch (from his 1 lap handicap) in the process. Paul tried very hard to make sure Ian did not win the race despite now being a lap down of course - but it was all to no avail.
For the first meeting in October we had another invasion from the South West, Kevin Stack, Les Palmer, Garry Hooper & Ken Purkiss. So it looked as though we were in for some fast racing. So it proved to be, Kevin Stack scorched off to win the first heat. The interesting thing here was Ian Edmiston in 2nd. He must have caught the racing bug after his appearance the previous week to race two weeks in a row! Eric Brown put on the best display in the 2nd heat holding off Les Palmer and Kevin Stack. The Final was another victory for Kevin with Les & Eric Brown Jnr. in close attendance. Eric Moore won his 2nd “Radio Forth” Grand National in 3 weeks.
9th October and the meeting which had started damp, got very very wet before then reaching flood levels. Keith Stanford of course was our wet weather expert, and duly won the first heat. As it got wetter Eric Moore came to the fore and collected the 2nd heat. In the floods though there was only one person in the contest and that was Russell Taylor he won the Final by the proverbial mile from Jimmy Moodie & John Lothian. He then went on to emphasise his superiority by winning the “Radio Forth” Grand National from his lap handicap. Making it now 3 drivers who had achieved this feat since Newtongrange had opened. Bill Batten, Gordon McDougall & now Russell.
"Newtongrange Star" Trophies for all the Finals on the 15th October . Another downpour greeted all attendees at "Nitten". Most entertainment on the night most surely came from Russell Taylor, who having demonstrated the previous week that he was the master of "the great flood", romped home in both heats fairly easily. However the eagle eye of the steward noted Russell taking a bit of a flyer in the 2nd heat. So Russell was duly docked two places. Russell & brother Warren were decidedly unhappy about this circumstance and made their feelings known to all that would listen & all that would not!
In the Final things took a bit of a turn for the worse, when, Russell's motor went a bit off song (you know sounding a bit like George Mac’s) & Paul Broatch piled into the back of him eliminating himself from the proceedings. Russell continued on at an even slower pace now due to the acquisition of some damage. The preceding events had brought the red mist down, so Russell reckoned his best chance of a win (of which there was none) was to eliminate anyone who drove past him. (It's always fun when this happens isn't it). The other competitors of course were not going to be part of this cunning plan if they could help it. Basically they lined up astern of Russell and gave him a whack in turn so that they could get past in one piece. It was Eric Brown Jnr. who triumphed among all this entertainment.
Only 5 cars managed to finish the race and amazingly Russell was credited with 5th.
Much cheering from the crowd when Keith Stanford went on to just pip “new villain” Russell into 2nd in the “Radio Forth” Grand National.
Another F2 Trophy event up for grabs on the 22nd “The Starting Grid Trophy”. Keith Stanford was the holder of the trophy and he made a sterling effort to hold on to it, Eric Brown however gave him the classic last bend hit to send him just wide enough for him to slip through and capture the title. The winners of the other three races were all different. Gordon McDougall the first, Errol Johnston the 2nd & finally some solace for Keith when he picked up the “Radio Forth” Grand National.
Penultimate meeting for 1983 then and proceedings got off to a colourful start in the first F2 heat when the agro actually started before the green flag.
You know one of these instances when one party feels the other party in front of them is not going quite quickly enough on the rolling lap. In this case it was Jimmy Moodie giving Jock Threadgall the "hurry up". Unfortunately Jock then got caught up in a tangle on the first bend which put him out, so you can see why he would feel somewhat aggrieved. What should happen shortly thereafter then was that Jimmy had to pull off, luckily though at the other end of the track from where Jock was stationed. Well maybe not so lucky after all - "Look Out" - Jock ran the full length of the track to discuss the merits of the earlier happenings. Thankfully a heated discussion is where it ended, with just two Mr Grumpies.
Jimmy Moodie’s ex mechanic Chick Davidson picked up his first win in this race. The 2nd heat was a victory for George (now normal sounding engine) MacMillan, with Chick again traveling well for 2nd posi.
The Final Ho! Ho! if we thought the first heat had some interesting side shows the Final excelled. George MacMillan was well on the way to a Final victory when he came up to lap Ernie Swinburn. For some reason unknown to all and sundry Ernie decided he didn't want George to win - so set about blocking his passage (so to speak). Somewhat delayed George did make it through but in the meantime Eric Moore had smoothly raced past to pick up the chequer. George did collect 2nd. Anyway George was a bit fired up for the “Radio Forth” Grand National and secured a fine win from Eric Brown. Ernie however had made an official protest that George had been racing under an incorrect roof colour (although starting from the correct grid position). So there obviously was some bad blood going on there, which was a bit of a mystery.
The end of season spectacular "The Radio Forth Grand National" arrived. The meeting started with the "Carnival Parade" where the cars are decorated in a "float" theme. An idea borrowed from Spedeworth who had there Carnival Meeting each year at Wimbledon. I'm a "stick in the mud" when it comes to these things. I go to stock car meetings to watch the racing, not events such as this or even worse, clowns in go karts or "Mr Blobby"! However if it pleases families / kids & this brings them back to the racing - good and well.
30 cars lined up on the grid, with the drivers at the front as follows:- 1st Eric Brown Jnr., 2nd Keith Stanford, 3rd Errol Johnston, 4th Gordon McDougall, 5th John Lothian, 6th Eric Moore, 7th Jimmy Moodie & 8th John Gilchrist. The green flag dropped and first out of the race went holder Keith Stanford on the pits bend, yellow flag ensued while Keith extricated himself from his car (quite a lengthy process for someone who is 8ft 6inches). Gordon McDougall made up ground and slipped past Eric for the lead. It stayed that way for a few laps, But ominously for Gordon, Garry Hopper was closing up fast from his 14th posi starting spot.
Garry swept through around the halfway mark, he then held on fairly easily to the end. Gordon picked up 2nd & Eric 3rd. Garry’s new car was best described as being “of the very light construction variety” so Garry was fortunate today as it was not very windy at Newtongrange, and his new car did not get blown away! Significantly Garry did not take part in the rest of the meeting, so he possibly did suffer some damage. There were a couple of moths spied on the back straight so maybe he hit one of them!
Only one other race on the day for the F2's (a very long trip for many competitors for only two races). The race was for the "Calderwood Cup" put up by Stock Car scribe Kenny Calderwood. The two cars that lined up at the very back of the 25 car grid were Eric Brown Jnr. & Les Palmer and it was to be them that would star in the race. They battled through the other competitors until they were through to the lead with 5 laps to go. Les held the advantage until the last bend when Eric executed a "You Beauty" and went through for the win. Did the crowd like that? You bet they did & Eric received a massive ovation for his efforts. .A fitting end to a brilliant season for Eric at "Nitten"
The F2 Stock Cars went from strength to strength from a Scottish perspective. The number of cars competing from England dropped off a bit, however the numbers of Scottish regulars increased. Some of the quality demonstrated by the rookies was great to see, Errol Johnston, John Lothian & Ronnie McVicor looked the business. One man stood head and shoulders above all though in 1983 and that was Eric Brown Jnr. He finished well ahead of Keith Stanford in the track championship and collecting 11 Finals and 20 Heats in the process.
The final Hartlepool meeting still had to take place at the end of the "Nitten" season and Eric was lying 1 point behind Gordon McDougall in the track points championship there. Ernie Swinburn was sitting only a further 8 points behind Eric.
I don't know how all this finally ended up - so anybody that does please drop me a line.
Saloon Stock Cars
1983 Points Table
|1st||168||Alan McHattie||477||18th=||128||Joe Moir||48|
|2nd||14||Colin Noble||448||20th||12||John Hamilton||47|
|3rd||171||Tommy Davidson||362||21st||35||Colin Easton||44|
|4th||260||Tommy Thomson||319||22nd=||10||Jim Nightingale||41|
|5th||109||John Bell||310||22nd=||157||Sam Watt||41|
|6th||241||Charlie Milne||309||24th||101||Danny Redpath||26|
|7th||106||Hamish Buchanan||308||25th||201||Pete Hunter||25|
|8th||91||Garry Nimmo||293||26th||122||George Robertson||20|
|9th||160||Martin Johnson||270||27th||71||Gordon Alexander||19|
|10th||306||Bobby Farrer||247||28th||11||Jim Honeyman||18|
|11th||69||Russell Scott||117||29th||26||Tommy Millar||13|
|12th||217||Harry Denholm||115||30th=||40||Jimmy Sinclair||8|
|13th=||2||Alan Simpson||112||30th=||218||Jimmy Duncan||8|
|13th=||75||Johnny Walker||112||32nd=||55||William McLay||7|
|15th||123||Hugh Brown||90||32nd=||333||Keith McBean||7|
|16th||113||George Kerr||58||34th||206||Mike Richardson||6|
|17th||29||Sid Threadgall||53||35th||3||High Drummond||5|
|18th=||161||Colin Birtley||48||36th||126||Dick Cummings||4|
**** Drivers listed in black denotes white roofs
Most Wins in 1983:-
Most highest points scores:-
Scottish Championship - 24th July Champion of Champions - 6th November
|1st||171||Tommy Davidson||1st||106||Hamish Buchanan|
|2nd||14||Colin Noble||2nd||14||Colin Noble|
|3rd||260||Tommy Thomson||3rd||91||Garry Nimmo|
In addition to the major championship wins at Newtongrange, a number of Finals attracted additional sponsorship, the winners of these were as follows:-
"Polton Garage Trophy" - 13th March - Hamish Buchanan
"Willie Hunter Memorial" - 28th May - John Bell
"Davidson Plant Hire" - 4th June - John Bell
"Bayview Hotel Trophy" - 12th June - Alan McHattie
"Gordon McDonald Trophy" - 25th June - Garry Nimmo
"Supporters Club Trophy" - 13th August - Hamish Buchanan
"Newtongrange Star Trophy" - 15th October - Sam Watt
The holiday meeting in January was dominated by Alan McHattie with a heat win & Hamish Buchanan a heat & Final win. These two taking the lion’s share of the points Hamish with 31 points & Alan with 26 points. Sid Threadgall had a good meeting with a 2nd & a 3rd and looked as though he would certainly improve on his 30 points accrued from last season. However it turned out that Sid’s appearances would be a bit sporadic during the season. He did total 53 points though and reached blue grade.
The season got off to a great start for Alan McHattie with a heat & Final double. Hamish Buchanan was the other heat winner. Each race was sponsored by the “Polton Garage” courtesy of Hamish Buchanan. Top points scorer of the first meeting of the season also won the “Anniversary Trophy” donated by Lorraine (lap scorer) & Derek Donaldson (ex Saloon Stock now F2 driver). Derek & Lorraine were married the day before Newtongrange opened two years ago.
The top points scorer for the meeting was Alan McHattie.
Charlie Milne converted his two heat 2nds. from the opening meeting to two heat wins in the next meeting on the 19th March. He had built himself a new Fiat Saloon Stock and it was already going very well. Dougie Farrer’s son Bobby looked to be an excellent prospect with a heat 3rd & then winning the Final.
Colin Noble debuted a very tidy Talbot Sunbeam Saloon Stock Car. A move which many would copy in the future.
Willie Walker moved from Saloon Stocks to Hot Rods. (Willie was the sponsor of temporarily retired Hot Rod driver Allan Sibbald)
Hamish managed to win a heat on the 26th March with his Fiat, in the 2nd heat the car started to run rough and so he ended up deferring to Alan McHattie in this one.
In the Final out came the trusty Cortina and Hamish went on to score a sensational victory, punting leader Colin Noble wide on the last lap. Bobby Farrer after such a good showing the previous week, managed to roll his car at this meeting.
First meeting in April 3 contenders were battling it out for the honours Tommy Davidson, Hamish Buchanan & Charlie Milne, in fact their points accrued in order was 29, 26 & 25. Charlie didn’t manage a win two 3rds & a 2nd. Tommy took won heat & Hamish the Final. There was one intruder to the part Colin Noble winning the first heat.
Alan McHattie & Hamish clashed in the Final on the 10th April the result of which was a severely damaged Alan McHattie & a hospitalised Hamish Buchanan with a cracked sternum!
23rd April - 23 cars in first Saloon Stock heat. The heats went to John Bell & Martin Johnston. John benefitted from a big pile up on the home straight which removed a lot of the field. White top Martin Johnston managed to hold off Tommy Davidson & Charlie Milne in the 2nd heat.
Charlie Milne won the Final disposing of Martin Johnston into the fence and a few others along the way; he went through to take the lead on the last lap.
Tommy Thomson had his engine stripped after the meeting on the 17th April and it was found to be illegal. The case was to be put forward to the next drivers committee meeting.
Charlie Milne mastered the wet conditions on the 30th April to take his 2nd Final in a row, John Bell was the principal recipient of the Charlie treatment in this one.
8th May. It was formally announced in the programme of this date, that the big Championship weekend meeting planned for the Saloon Stocks had been forced to be cancelled.
Two of the principal suppliers of visiting drivers for the weekend had pulled out. Buxton & PRI. Spedeworth Scotland had successfully lobbied the two organisations to persuade them not to participate. It would seem that Spedeworth Scotland were still hopeful of Newtongrange "ceasing to be"!
Star of the Saloon Stock racing on the day was No 260 Tommy Thomson. As previously mentioned Tommy had his engine stripped at his first meeting on the 23rd April. The cylinder head was found to be illegal and at the subsequent driver's committee meeting Tommy received a 15.00 pound fine for his trouble & had to forfeit all his prize money. Now Tommy though a novice driver had been mechanic to successful Saloon Stock / Hot Rod driver Fraser Dunlop & he knew a thing or to about setting up & tuning a Stock Car. He demonstrated this in no uncertain fashion by winning every race at this meeting beating Alan McHattie twice into 2nd & Charlie Milne in the other race.
In the Saloon Stocks on the 14th May, Charlie Milne's current running feud was with "Slammer" John Bell, it continued at this meeting and John came off better in all the contests, finishing one spot ahead in both heats with two third places. He also collected 3rd in the Final where Charlie failed to finish.
You would think Charlie would have concentrated on a big points haul after his closest challenger for the points title Alan McHattie's car suffered huge damage in the first heat. However Charlie decided he was more interested in entertaining the fans & that is exactly what he did.
It was the "Tommys" that did the winning, Tommy Thompson the first heat (he may have won the 2nd as well until a lap down Charlie decided Tommy had done enough winning recently!), Tommy Davidson went on to win the 2nd heat after Tommy T's demise, and he also picked up the Final, Colin Noble in his Sunbeam took an impressive 2nd.
Garry Nimmo who had been travelling well of late picked up a welcome win in the 1st heat on the 22nd May. It was newcomer sensation Tommy Thompson again who picked up the other heat & the Final.
John Bell was the Saloon Stock victor in the "Willie Hunter" trophy. Tommy Thomson after winning both heats looked on his way to the trophy however the rain put paid to his efforts & in the end he stuttered his way to 8th.
For the beginning of the new gradings in June, Saloon Stock driver Tommy Thompson having only started in April & then having all his points docked from his first meeting & then into the bargain becoming a "Charlie" target still achieved Blue grade - brilliant achievement. Colin Noble move into the red grade, definitely raising the interest in Colin's mode of transport.
First meeting in June, Tommy Davidson sponsored the Saloon Stock Final through the “Davidson Plant Hire” Trophy. Tommy D won the 2nd heat, Garry Nimmo won the first heat, John Slammer Bell the big race, making it 2 Finals in a row.
Unfortunately Charlie Milne and crew got involved in an altercation in the pits during the meeting.
The result of this was a two week ban for Charlie and yes Charlie was in the lead of the points championship at the time - oh dear!
12th June the major trophy up for grabs was the "Bayview Hotel Trophy" sponsored by Alan McHattie. Alan was actually the holder of the trophy from the previous year.
Hamish Buchanan on his first race back after his long absence through injury, collided with John Bell in the first race which resulted in both drivers being quite shaken up. Alan McHattie won this heat, was 2nd to Bobby Farrer in the next & went on to retain his title in the Final. He did have a scare in the Final though when he clashed with Tommy Davidson & Russell Scott, Russell came off very badly and was trapped in his car, the track staff freed him quickly & he was rushed to hospital with fairly severe foot injuries. In fact it was more than two weeks before he was to be released from hospital.
On the 18th June, Alan McHattie consolidated his lead in the points chart while Charlie Milne & Hamish Buchanan were out of action by capturing another Final. He also garnered a couple of 2nds in the heats behind a couple of the up and comers Colin Easton & Bobby Farrer.
25th June & half of the season was now over.
The Saloon Final was the sponsored event "Gordon Buchanan Butchers". Hamish Buchanan was the holder (no relation I believe), I don't think Hamish took part in the meeting. He had been involved in a nasty crash the previous week having just returned from his lengthy absence through injury.
Charlie Milne however definitely did make his return after his "enforced" sabbatical. It was the new kids on the block however who starred in the meeting, Bobby Farrer in particular picking up both heats & 2nd in the Final to Garry Nimmo who was the trophy winner.
On to the 2nd half of the season and the opening meeting on the 16th July.
The extra 3 weeks holiday obviously did the world of good for Hamish Buchanan, as he made yet another comeback after sustaining his cracked breast bone injury, (you've got to be keen don't you).
Hamish started quietly, for him, with a heat 3rd, but then went on for a heat win and also the Final.
This was a warm up for the Scottish Championship which was to take place the following week. Tommy Davidson also made an appearance at this meeting, he had decided to retire a few weeks ago but was tempted back to make an attempt at holding on to his Scottish Championship title. On his display at this meeting he was also going to be a major contender taking 2nd places in each race.
Of course there was also a “side show” going on and that was the “Charlie Milne feud” which had now moved on to Alan McHattie.
Charlie dealt telling blows to Alan in both the heats, which had half of the crowd cheering in delight. In the Final the other half of the crowd got the chance to display their joy when Alan fixed up Charlie.
It wasn't as straight forward as that of course. Initially Alan spun Charlie out on to the tyres & it looked as though he was out of the shooin, however with a bit of determination he managed to get back on to the track - amazingly just as Alan was blasting past - now there's a surprise!. Alan just avoided the planned visit to the fence and sped off. Charlie though was not giving up that easily, so he crept around waiting for Alan to come round again. Alan must have been a witness to a similar altercation which had taken place between Charlie and Keith Jarman a few years before at Cowdenbeath. On that occasion Keith did not attempt to go past but "fixed up" Charlie when he reached him, well Alan did the same and Charlie found himself perched on the fence.
Charlie feuds - love em.
24th July Scottish Saloon Stock day (Newtongrange version), always a big day in the Stock Car racing calendar. This meeting was greatly anticipated, Hamish Buchanan proved he had made a full recovery from his injuries with his dominating display the previous week. Championship holder Tommy Davidson also demonstrated he
was going to be a threat with his display at the last meeting. The "Dynamic Duo" or should that be "Dueling Duo" Alan McHattie & Charlie Milne could easily win, provided that's what they tried to do! John Bell, Bobby Farrer, Garry Nimmo, Colin Easton, Tommy Thomson, Colin Noble, were all also recent race winners.
24 cars lined up for the event and Tommy Davidson drove a masterly race, dealing with his main adversaries in the correct manner “if you want to be a winner”, by spinning them out. Firstly it was Hamish Buchanan who was sent on his way, then after making his way up to 2nd he only had Alan McHattie ahead & then Alan was sent on his way across the tyres. A brilliant drive. Colin Noble a "noble" 2nd, and Tommy Thomson 3rd, great achievement for these two first season combatants.
Hamish dominated the Saloon Stock heat & Final, winning both & demoting Tommy Davidson to 2nd in the process.
30th July, one of the highlights in the Saloon Stocks was - Charlie Milne. This week he was a highlight not for the usual reasons though, you see Charlie managed to break his foot in a few places during the Scottish Championship the previous week. "Armed" so to speak then, with a complete leg "stookie" Charlie, with the aid of crutches to get around outside of the car, fronted up for the first heat & duly went on to pick up a 5th position. Tommy Thomson won this race and Hamish Buchanan went on to win the next and the Final.
The F2 Speed Weekend on the 6th & 7th August, in the Saloon Stocks Hamish Buchanan was the most prolific winner over the two days with both heats on the Saturday and the Final on the Sunday.
Other victors were the Final win on Saturday to Colin Noble plus a heat on Sunday, together with a Final 2nd. The other winner was Garry Nimmo with a heat.
On the 13th August a close battle in the first Saloon Stock race, Garry Nimmo spun out leader Bobby Farrer on the last lap to pick up the first win. The other heat & Final looked to be easy wins for Hamish Buchanan.
The following week Garry Nimmo top scored with heat win, heat 2nd & Final win, Colin Noble won the other heat. The meeting was noteworthy for Hamish Buchanan for failing to score a point, not very often that happens unless Hamish is sporting various broken bones at the time!
Last meeting in August, Colin Noble and his Sunbeam Saloon Stock were in the best of form with two heat wins & a 2nd in the Final. Thankfully Hamish Buchanan's points drought from the previous week was not through old age settling in & he was Colin's biggest threat in one of the heats and the Final. Hamish coming out on top in the latter.
4th September and another two wins this week to Colin Noble, heat & Final. Hamish the other heat and a 2nd in the Final. Charlie Milne got involved in an unfortunate fence collision, remember Charlie was already racing with a "stookie", it was his other foot he injured this time - so off he went on his now familiar route to hospital. Sadly the additional injuries were to force Charlie out for the rest of the season.
Son Bobby looked to be trying to emulate dad Dougs’ display in the Hot Rods on the 10th September by taking a 2nd in the first Saloon Stock heat - but no, he went one better by winning the 2nd heat and then also going on to win the Final. John "Slammer" Bell won the other heat.
A race stoppage on the 25th September in the first race when Hamish Buchanan found himself "dazed & confused" after a fence visit. A large pile up then ensued which blocked the track. The race was declared with Alan McHattie taking the honours. John Bell was the other heat winner & Colin Noble the Final winner.
At the first meeting in October a top scoring meeting for Colin Noble with two heat 2nds and a Final win. Tommy Davidson was the first heat victor. Pleasing to see hard grafter Joe Moir win the 2nd. Tommy Davidson & Alan McHattie chased Colin home in the Final.
9th October John Bell won heat & Final in the Saloon Stocks and another hard grafter won the other heat in the shape of Shuggy Brown.
A downpour on the 15th October presented some queer results in the Saloon Stocks. Novice Sam Watt all the way from Aberdeen had switched from the Superbangers & stunned the regulars with a heat win, heat 2nd & Final win. To further please the fans Shuggy Brown won the other heat and came home 2nd in the other races – brilliant.
22nd October Slammer Bell took the first heat in the Saloon Stocks. Hamish Buchanan arrived at the meeting late and missed out on the first heat, he made up for this by taking the 2nd by 3/4 of a lap! The Final was another cracker, the heat winners were the main protagonists, and it looked as though John might have it in the bag, Hamish wore him down and caught him on the home straight, he tagged him at the back and John visited the infield tyres which sent him into a roll. The car landed back on its wheels, so John selected first and rejoined the fray. However he then smacked the back straight fence, undeterred off he went again and managed to finish
the race - albeit in last position. Hamish collected himself yet another Final.
The Saloon Stocks were far more subdued in comparison to the other formulae on the 30th October. You could not though argue with the masterful display from Colin Noble, winning all three races.
The Saloon Stock “Champion of Champions” event had 10 qualifiers. Only Charlie Milne failed to take part (due to his various broken bones). Only 3 cars survived the event. Tommy Davidson looked to be the man to collect the award when his wheel fell off with only a few laps to go. Hamish Buchanan was "Johnny On The Spot" to win the spoils. So that was three “Champion of Champion” events to Hamish in a row. The other place went to Colin Noble in 2nd & Garry Nimmo in 3rd.
A Consolation heat was run for the non-qualifiers, this was won by Jim Nightingale from Harry Denholm & Jimmy Redpath. The Final brought another win for ex Superbanger Aberdonian Sam Watt followed home by Hamish & Tommy.
The week following the end of season swaree at Nitten, Hartlepool hosted the British Open Saloon Stock Championship, the winner was none other than Charlie Milne. Charlie had hobbled along to the last meeting at Nitten & decided his injuries had healed sufficiently for him to give this big meeting at Hartlepool a go. A well deserved title to the best entertainer on the track.
The Saloon Stocks in 1983 were a strange mixture of domination by one driver (when he was able to race), the emergence of new superstars, and the rewards when a steady cool head is employed.
The domination by one driver is of course that of Hamish Buchanan. Hamish demonstrated pure class by winning 12 Finals and 13 heats during the season despite missing huge chunks with injuries.
When I finally get to the point of totaling race wins, I know that Hamish will have well in excess of 100 Finals & 200 heat wins in his career. I believe this will put him in contention for the driver with the most wins in Scotland - ever. I don't think Malcolm Paterson's total will reach the 100 Finals mark, (though it will get close).
Gordon Moodie of course already has a higher total, reaching the truly amazing total of 350 in June 2014. You should just take a moment to absorb that - 350 Finals. You can never say never, but I suspect it will be a long time before any other driver Scottish or otherwise gets near that..................and he's not near finished................amazing.
Anyway back to the plot. Closest to Hamish was surprisingly, newcomer Colin Noble with 5, and then it was John Bell, Tommy Davidson & Charlie Milne with 3. Charlie's 3 coming in a row - when he wasn't too distracted with other goings on!
Then we had more "rookie" successes with Tommy Thomson, Bobby Farrer & Garry Nimmo all garnering a couple of Finals.
It was Alan McHattie that proved it was consistency that paid off, by winning the points title by the not unsubstantial margin of 29 points from Colin Noble.
Tommy Davidson should also be singled out for his brilliant display in retaining the Scottish Saloon Stock Championship.
1983 Points Table
|1st||299||Davey Philp||692||11th||17||Willie Walker||122|
|2nd||66||Ian Dickie||549||12th||244||Mark Horsburgh||111|
|3rd||127||Alex Grant||403||13th||27||Brian Murdoch||45|
|4th||112||Greg Cocker||391||14th||181||Dave McLaren||25|
|5th||23||Dougie Farrer||373||15th||33||Garry Mitchell||12|
|6th||154||Ian Headley||335||16th||50||Richard Denholm||9|
|8th||37||Ian Simpson||261||17th=||19||Alan Sibbald||8|
|9th||4||Ronnie McLaren||250||19th||44||Billy Bonnar||7|
|10th||323||Brian Middlemiss||155||20th||191||Bob Benson||1|
Yet another Points Table that for some reason did not make it to publication (as far as I'm aware). Last published in the August "Scots Stock" which I believe took us to the 2nd last meeting in July. I have calculated the points from that date to the end of the season from my own records. The roof colours are of course unknown as well. I have allocated the colours based on the demarcation used in the last published Points Chart ie 3 Red Tops, 5 Blue Tops & 3 YellowTops.
Most wins:- Most highest points scores:-
|1st||299||Davey Philp||14||27||1st||299||Davey Philp||14|
|2nd||23||Doug Farrer||7||8||2nd||23||Doug Farrer||5|
|3rd||127||Alex Grant||5||3||3rd||112||Greg Cocker||4|
|4th||112||Greg Cocker||4||10||4th||4||Ronnie McLaren||3|
|5th||154||Ian Headley||2||5||5th=||66||Ian Dickie||2|
|6th||4||Ronnie McLaren||1||4||5th=||127||Alex Grant||2|
|7th||208||Graham Cotterrell||1||2||5th=||208||Graham Cotterrell||2|
|8th=||37||Ian Simpson||1||1||8th=||154||Ian Headley||1|
|8th=||181||Dave McLaren||1||1||8th=||323||Brian Middlemiss||1|
|Scottish Championship - 25th September||Champion of Champions - 4th November|
|1st||127||Alex Grant||1st||299||Davey Philp|
|2nd||112||Greg Cocker||2nd||112||Greg Cocker|
|3rd||299||Davey Philp||3rd||127||Alex Grant|
|4th||17||Willie Walker||4th||66||Ian Dickie|
|5th||208||Graham Cotterrell||5th||154||Ian Headley|
In addition to the major championship wins at Newtongrange, a number of Finals attracted additional sponsorship, the winners of these were as follows:-
"Brian Henniker Trophy" - 13th March - Davey Philp
"Willie Hunter Memorial" - 28th May - Davey Philp
"Supporters Club Trophy" - 13th August - Ronnie McLaren
"Newtongrange Star" - 15th October - Graham Cotterrell
"Gordon Campbell Butchers" - 30th October - Davey Philp
The holiday meeting at the start of the year saw a surprise visit from Dave McLaren and he showed he had lost none of his liking for the “Nitten”track by winning the Final. The heats went to Davy Philp & Ian Headley.
Points earning started on the 13th March and 3 different winners again. Ian Headley, Graham Cotterrell & then Davy Philp winning the “Brian Henniker Trophy” Final.
20th March and Davy Philp completed the first of his many clean sweeps of the season with both heats & Final. The racing was very good until Davy got through to the front and then he just sailed away – he was the class of the field.
Ronnie McLaren wrote off his Escort after tangling with Graham Cotterill on the 26th March. Again another 3 wins in a row to Davy Philp and again there was some decent Hot Rod action on show with fine drives from Dougie Farrer & Ronnie McLaren.
On the 3rd April, Alex Grant & Ian Headley put paid to Davy extending his winning run beyond 7, Ian by demoting Davy to 2nd in the first heat , Davy then won the 2nd heat & Alex Grant won his first Final since July last year, Davy again was 2nd.
Davy Philp managed to get into the lead in the Hot Rod Final on the 9th April, only to retire with an electrical fault. Galling as he also unluckily just missed out on starting the 2nd heat while changing the diff on the car. He had to make do with his win in the first heat.
The others first past the chequer on the day were Graham Cotterrell in the 2nd heat & Ian Headley in the Final.
30th April. Alex Grant & Davy Philp put up a brilliant display in the Hot Rods with nothing between them (except Dougie Farrer in the first heat, who having gained a well earned 2nd place in that race unfortunately retired with engine trouble for the rest of the meeting). Davy won that first race but it was the 2nd heat where Alex & Davy went around the track glued together for 8 laps, with Alex getting the win (by a “few thou” according to the Promoter). Davy then picked up the Final.
May's Hot Rod Finals were dominated by Alex Grant continuing his form from the end of April - taking 3 of them and making it Four Finals in a row. Davy Philp won the other. Dougie Farrer was still having mechanical issues, though he still managed a couple of heat wins.
22nd May In the Hot Rods Ian Dickie also had one of his best ever meetings with a heat win & two 2nds, behind Alex Grant in the Final & Dougie Farrer in the first heat. New tyres were said to be the reason for Ian's new found form. I understand he acquired a new nickname at this point "Sticky Dickie".
Last get together for May, “Willie Hunter Trophy” for the Hot Rods. The general consensus was that this was the wettest ever meeting (so far) at Newtongrange. There was much trepidation with regard to the Hot Rod racing. Thankfully the combatants treaded carefully and avoided the fence & each other. Well treaded carefully with the exception of Davy Philp, he flamboyantly took advantage of the conditions, opposite locking around the outside of the track millimetres from the fence, to grab heat & Final. Novice Willie Walker picked up the other heat win.
New Gradings in June and in the Hot Rods, Ian Dickie achieved red roof status for the first time. Alex Grant who had such a successful May was also back up to red.
Davy Philp was awarded the first black flag of the season on the 12th June when the steward adjudged that he was applying a bit too much pressure on Dougie Farrer in the Final. Ian Headley collected a well deserved Final win, a good number of rods started the meeting - 13 cars.
Very disappointing then, that the NHRPA again refused Gordon entry to the organisation. In fact the Secretary of the NHRPA stated that Gordon was "banging his head against a brick wall".
On the 18th June Greg Cocker's new Mk 11 Escort was starting to perform very well, when he held off challenges from Dougie Farrer, Alex Grant & Davy Philp to win the Final. Davy & Doug shared the heat victories.
The good form continued to the 25th June Greg Cocker again put on a great show with heat win, heat 2nd & A Final win. Ian Headley the other race winner.
16th July was a meeting where "disputes" arose in a number of the formulae. In the Hot Rods there was also had an altercation or two.
Davy Philp & Greg Cocker picked up the heats, but in the Final after Greg Cocker had made his way through into the lead, Davy closed up fast. Greg continually moved over to block Davy as he tried to get past. This went on until the last bend when Davy obviously said "Stuff it" or in this case "Stuff him" and Greg duly found himself spun out, unfortunately for Davy he also went out! Dougie Farrer picked up the win.
Davy Philp completed another treble in the Hot Rods on the 24th July, fairly easily it must be said, a number of late comers meant only 4 cars made it to the first race.
30th July & Davy Philp gathered another trifecta in the Hot Rods.
The Hot Rods on the 6th & 7th August were completely dominated by Davy Philp 4 heat wins and a Final, the other Final went to Dougie Farrer on the Saturday
13th August Ronnie McLaren halted the recent total domination of Davy Philp by driving to well earned heat & Final victories. Davy did collect the other heat though.
The Hot Rod racing on the 20th August was novel in that they were racing the wrong way round in preparation for the Long Track World Championships taking place in Holland the following Sunday. Did not seem to make much difference to Davy Philp though, taking heat win, heat 2nd & Final win. The second place in the 2nd heat, strangely, probably his best race as he had been spun out early in the race accidently by Brian Middlemiss, yet he scythed back through the field, just running out of laps at the end.
27th August The Hot Rods were not expected to shine with three of the top drivers off competing in Holland in the Long Track World Championship. This was not what transpired though, in the event 10 cars appeared & Ronnie McLaren who it must be said had been travelling pretty well of late, stormed through to two heat wins.
He had to settle for 2nd in the Final when Greg Cocker made it past with a few laps to go.
On the 4th September the Hot Rods were brilliant, 15 cars on view. Dougie Farrer with his new Toyota Starlet, having put up a superlative display in Holland the previous weekend winning the Final there. He continued this form to this weekend and it really should have been 3 in a row, however pressure from Greg Cocker told in the first heat & Greg was able to slip past.
10th September Dougie Farrer again shone with two heat 2nds & a Final win. Greg Cocker that other man in form at present, the winner of the heats.
A week’s break from racing at Newtongrange due to the F2 World Final taking place in Devon.
The main event at the resumption on the 25th September was the Scottish Hot Rod Championship.
Alex Grant became the champ despite not crossing the line first. That honour went to Davy Philp. Davey however incurred the wrath of the meeting steward who docked Davy two places for an indiscretion at the restart of the race after a collision with Greg Cocker.
Alex was the surprised and delighted recipient of the title. Greg Cocker recovered form his earlier altercation with Davy to collect 2nd spot. One of the pre race favourites Dougie Farrer was unfortunately forced out with a puncture. Greg won the heat and Dougie Farrer the "King of Nitten" Final from Greg and Alex Grant in a very "forceful" race.
Davy unfortunately could not take part in the Final due to engine issues.
The Hot Rod races at the first meeting in October were fiercely contested between Greg Cocker, Davy Philp & Dougie Farrer, with little but a coat of paint between them, and less than that on occasion! Greg held off Davy & Doug in the first. Dougie nipped through after a momentary slip up by Greg in the 2nd with Davy in 3rd. In the Final Greg & Dougie were neck and neck when Greg went slightly off line and they both ended up in the fence with regrettably, considerable damage to both.
Great to see Dave McLaren back at "Nitten", this time peddling A Ford Anglia! What is going on there? Maybe something to do with George Polley being Dave's hero? – No - it was even better than that, it was George’s actual car!
For the 9th October meeting there had been a decision (presumably made over a few beers). That some of the drivers should try there hand in other formulae. So Gordon McDougall had a go in the Saloon Stocks and was crap! Dougie Farrer also had a go in the Saloon Stocks and despite being an absolute champion in the formula's formative years was also --- crap! Hamish Buchanan took part in the F2's and was - well - crap. Alan McHattie was an addition to the Hot Rods and was --- brilliant!
Alan looked like this was where he was always meant to be (it should be noted that Alan was driving the Dougie Farrer car). Anyway Alan finished a spirited 3rd in the Final behind Greg Cocker & Davy Philp. The later two also shared the heats
The Hot Rods also put on a great show on the 15th October despite the weather. Greg Cocker picked up both heats. It was Graham Cotterrell though who came to the fore in the Final. He had won a couple of races at the beginning of the season, but there had been a drought (metaphorically obviously) since then. He had though suffered some expensive mechanical maladies and expensive accidents.
He kept on coming back for more though and it is always great to this kind of perseverance repaid.
22nd October and some more spectacular Hot Rod racing. It was the battles between Dougie Farrer & Davy Philp that really caught the eye. The first heat went to Davy, the 2nd heat was a doozy, Dougie left it till that last lap to slip through in a peach of a manoeuver. Dougie got the better of Davy again in the Final.
Unfortunately at the following days meeting at Hartlepool, Dougie severely damaged his car in a collision with the fence.
For the penultimate meeting of the season the Hot Rods had a couple of extra drivers in the ranks with Billy Bonnar & Dave McLaren in attendance. Unfortunately Dougie Farrer was not participating, the damage from last weeks Hartlepool still not repaired. Davy Philp won the first race. In the 2nd race Dave McLaren put on a great display in his ex George Polley Anglia to collect a win. Davy Philp restored season's order by winning the Final.
The Hot Rod "Champion of Champions" listed 8 qualifiers with only Doug Farrer missing, presumably due to his car not being fully glued back together. Dave McLaren lined up as well but did not start the race, this may be because his Final win at the 2nd January meeting was not considered as part of the "Official" season. Willie Walker on the other hand also lined up and was allowed to start.
I thought Willie only secured a heat win during the season, so I'm not sure how that came about. (Could it be Dougie Farrer was using Willie Walker’s car?) Davy Philp was the master class in the event and he collected his 2nd “Champion of Champions” trophy at Nitten.
The Newtongrange Hot Rods put up a fine display in 1983. Certainly at least equal to that on display at Cowdenbeath. Admission to the NHRPA should have been granted.
It is poigniant that we come to the most successful driver out of all formulae at Newtongrange in 1983, Davy Philp. When news arrives of his sudden death as I put this summary together. He had a brilliant season, with 14 Finals & 27 heat wins. The Scottish Championship could well have been added to that but for the controvertial decision to penalise him two positions for the coming together with Willie Walker.
Dougie Farrer in contrast didn’t fire up as he had in 1982. He didn’t win a race until May & a Final until June. For someone who had collected 11 Finals & 23 heats in 1982 it wasn’t so good. Doug was beset with car issues and just could not get the handling and mechanical aspects sorted. This all changed when Doug’s new Toyota Starlet appeared. It was a beauty to look at and a beauty in performance. Doug then started winning & winning well.
Alex Grant was the Scottish Championship winner, though I’m sure he could have done without the controversy attached to it. He won a total of 5 feature race during the season. The story was similar to Dougie Farrer in that he had a lot of early season car issues. This all came good and Alex was in contention for wins for a good part of the season until he sufferred an engine “destroyation”. This sidelined Alex for quite some time.
There were a number of other winners during the season Greg Cocker, Ian Headley, Ronnie McLaren, Graham Cotterrell, Ian Simpson, Dave McLaren & Ian Dickie.
1984 looks as though it would shape up well. All that was needed was this NHRPA sanction.
Ministox 1983 Points Table
|1||46||Stephen Henderson||318||8||299||Gillian Philp||136|
|2||39||Mike Robertson||236||9||64||John Fortune||129|
|3||12||Billy McLeod||210||10||38||Gordon Ritchie||105|
|4||57||Liam Murray||206||11||16||James Docherty||104|
|5||74||Alistair King||188||12||28||David Allan||101|
|6||236||Ian Robertson||158||13||2||Andy Young||86|
|7||235||Duncan Robertson||148||14||65||Ronnie Grant||66|
|Most Wins||Most Highest Points|
|46||Stephen Henderson||2||15||46||Stephen Henderson||10|
|39||Mike Robertson||2||5||39||Mike Robertson||4|
|12||Billy McLeod||2||4||74||Ali King||4|
|16||Jim Docherty||0||9||12||Billy McLeod||3|
|74||Ali King||0||5||16||Jim Docherty||3|
|299||Gillian Philp||0||4||57||Liam Murray||3|
|38||Gordon Ritchie||0||3||38||Gordon Ritchie||2|
|64||John Fortune||0||3||64||John Fortune||2|
|235||Duncan Robertson||0||3||236||Ian Robertson||2|
|2||Andy Young||0||2||299||Gillian Philp||2|
|57||Liam Murray||0||2||2||Andy Young||1|
|236||Ian Robertson||0||2||28||David Allan||1|
The Ministox format of races took the form of two heats.
In addition to the "Open Scottish Championship" a number of meetings during the season carried sponsorship for one of the heats. I have classified each of these particular races in addition to the "Open Scottish Championship" as a "Final".
These races were won by the following:-
"Brian Henniker Trophy" - 13th March - Billy McLeod
"Pentland Breakers Trophy" - 17th April - Mike Robertson
"Scots Stock Trophy" - 25th June - Stephen Henderson
"Newtongrange Star Trophy" - 15th October - Billy McLeod
|20th August 1983||9th October 1983|
|Open Scottish Championship||Scottish Championship|
|1st||46||Stephen Henderson||1st||39||Mike Robertson|
|2nd||235||Duncan Robertson||2nd||38||Gordon Ritchie|
|3rd||39||Mike Robertson||3rd||29||Hazel Philp|
|4th||12||Billy McLeod||4th||16||James Docherty|
|5th||38||Gordon Ritchie||5th||57||Liam Murray|
|6th||64||John Fortune||6th||299||Gillian Philp|
|7th||74||Ali King||7th||66||Steven Grant|
|8th||57||Liam Murray||8th||74||Ali King|
Stephen Henderson won the points title by quite a way. Mike Robertson was the runner up and may have given Stephen a closer battle had his normally very consistent form not deserted him for a spell during the season.
Stephen achieved the points championship by being an out & out winner. In fact he won 25% of all races in 1983. While Mike’s impressive points total came through consistency (aside from the bad spell previously mentioned).
The first major Ministox race at Newtongrange in 1983 was the Scottish Championship. Jimmy Docherty had sped off into quite a substantial lead until a stoppage due to Steven Grant executing a double roll which then set his Mini on fire. Thankfully Steven was uninjured. The stoppage however caused Jimmy’s car to overheat & he was soon out on the re-start. Steven Henderson was travelling extremely well as usual and he swept past defending champ Duncan Robertson into the lead. Mike Robertson then battled it out with Duncan for the 2ndposition with Duncan holding on.
For the first meeting in September the Ministox had another victor on show in the shape of Stephen Henderson, the new UK Championship holder. Scottish youngsters were also to the fore in the places at Northampton, Gillian Philp was 3rd & Ali King was 4th. Drivers to look out for in the future maybe? Liam Murray also took in a meeting at Crew and came away with three wins.
The other major at Newtongrange the Open Scottish Championship in October only had three additions from down south to the usual Scottish contenders. Mike Robertson made up for his runner up position in the points title by being victorious in the Scottish Championship.
Mike mastered the tricky track conditions to hold it together and make his way through to the lead when other favourites crashed out. Gordon Ritchie however was also going very well and he managed to get past Mike, only for Mike to re-take the lead on the 2ndlast lap and he held on for a great win. David Allen picked up the third position.
It was announced that a new formula "Superbangers” was to be introduced. The Gordon McDougall vision for the formula - was a type of Saloon Stock car without the added armour and with an unlimited engine capacity. The contenders would earn points and they would be graded accordingly.
The hope was that more "racing" as opposed to "destruction" would take place. This in an effort to ensure that cars would last more than just one meeting!
This in fact did come to pass reasonably quickly and of course the formula morphing into the Prostox we enjoy today.
It is remarkable that much more armouring has not been allowed to be introduced over the years. When the Saloon Stocks were first introduced it was only a matter of weeks before front and rear bumper armour appeared and the cars continually got stronger.
The Prostox have rather gone for even more reduction in contact as a way of preserving the car. Personally I would like a bit more contact and a bit more armour!
On the 19th March the Superbangers did not get off to a very auspicious start with only 7 cars present. In fact some commentators were heard to say they saw more action on the drive home from work! Stanley Matthews (not the Sir English Football Player) had the honour of that first Superbanger win.
The following week Sandy Baxter was the winner.
The first meeting in April two Superbanger races were held Sandy Baxter won the first & Alex Gilbert the second.
The other four meetings in April both had dual winners. The first two going to Graham Irvine & the second two to Donald Wright.
On the 17th April the Superbangers played a significant part in the meeting.
The "Nitten" fence suffered damage on a number of occasions during the night necessitating some lengthy repairs.
There were probably a few additional collisions with the fence due to the hailstones, rain & snow. Then to cap it all during the Minstox race the pit gate was destroyed. The pit gate mechanism at "Nitten" was a fairly intricate mechanical contraption, designed to be able to be opened and shut quickly. There was just not the time to repair it - so a couple of Superbangers were duly crammed into the opening!
8th May Graham Irvine & Garry Henderson were the winners.
They were a couple of noteworthy races. The first race was awarded to Donald Wright then there was a change of mind with the win then going to Graeme Irving. This was one of these instances where a race had been stopped & we had a count back situation to find the winner rather than who had finished first! Often a recipe for dispute!
The second "race" wasn't really - as the "Thompson Clan" Rovers set about making it a Demolition Derby. The Thompsons had probably the greatest supporters of Banger Racing in Scotland since its inception and I don't think they were adjusting to the new concept of the Superbangers easily. Garry Henderson managed to avoid annihilation (just) to win through.
14th May was significant in more than just Superbanger terms, because Paul Wightman won his first Superbanger race, we would hear far more from this guy in the coming years. He then went on to win every other race in May, two on the 22nd May. The first of these being the “Joys Antiques” Trophy.
4th June, A surprising turn of events had developed in the Superbangers where Scottish Champion Paul Wightman managed to increase his winning streak to 5 races in a row. A very impressive display in a formula which thrives on attrition.
Just to prove that there were other drivers out there Grant Fitzsimmons won the two races on the 12th June.
There were drivers who travelled to Newtongrange from all parts of Scotland. None further than Ian Watt from Aberdeen who was a Superbanger regular. So it was very pleasing to see Ian picking up a race win on the 18th.
Another “Joys Antiques Trophy “was held on the 25th June and was a victory for Colin McCabe.
After the holiday break on the 16th July Colin McCabe was the winner.
Two races for the Superbangers on the 24th July and first past the post was Jim Charlestown in the first heat and Stu Hadden in the 2nd.
Three of the regular Superbanger competitors figured in their race on the 30th July with Sandy Baxter getting the flag from Willie Thompson & Willie Wightman.
Donald Wright took the first Superbanger race on the Saturday during the F2 Speed Weekend on the 6th & 7th August, and Lawrence Hoy the winner on the Sunday.
13th August winner Harry Adams.
Paul Wightman demonstrated yet again that he is the master of this formula by surviving all sort of mayhem to win a 27 car Superbanger Race on the 20th August. Only 5 cars finished.
The Superbangers were also expected to be a little tame on the 27th August with the Scottish Championship coming up the following week - not so. A good field of 23 cars started and it finished with a novice clean sweep. Gordon turner followed by Brian Henderson & Brian Watson.
Superbanger Scottish Championship day on the 4th September. A number of restrictions were in place for this meeting, only “GMP” licensed drivers could take part in the meeting.
No licenses would be issued on the day. Licensed drivers from other formulae would only be allowed to compete if they had entered a Superbanger race during the season. Extremely close inspection would be made of all cars to make sure no additional reinforcing bars had been sneakily added.
This was all good news for this fun formula. It wouldn't be right for some "Johnny Come Lately" to come along a pinch all the dosh on offer.
Paul Wightman demonstrated that he was imperious in this formula. How someone can dominate a formula like this is still a mystery to me. Paul was certainly a special talent. 35 cars started the race & one and a half finished. Paul being the one and Les Henderson the half. They did say that Les's car was moving at the end!
The other Superbanger race on the day was also an example of mayhem when the race was declared after the track got completely blocked.
Grant Fitzsimons was announced as the winner. This certainly upset somebody somewhat as he jumped the fence and laid into Grant. Grant was also declared the winner of the bout.
10th September winner Rob Davies.
25th September winner Andy Tulloch.
The first two meetings in October were won by Colin McCabe.
15th October winner Sandy Baxter.
On the 15th October a lot of shenanigans had taken place during this meeting in the other formulae and this looked to have had an effect on the Superbangers when it "appeared” that dad Wightman singled out Colin McCabe for a demolition job. You see Colin was son Paul's biggest challenge for the track championship and Colin had been starring of late picking up the last two race wins.
This dastardly deed occurred on the 6th lap and the race was stopped to rescue Colin from his wreck. However the race was then declared and Sandy Baxter was awarded the win. The decision was then made to award Colin with 2nd place. The spot he was in at the time of the "accident".
There was a funny comment in the following weeks programme relating to the incident where it was noted "that crime does not pay"!
22nd October rounding off a meeting where an amazing number of races in all formulae had been decided with last bend heroes, was continued in the Superbangers when Sandy Baxter just pipped Rob Davies.
29th September and the penultimate meeting of the season and two Superbanger races were put on this week. Points and Scottish Champion Paul Wightman was taking part in a sponsorship enterprise to raise money for Ward 28 of Bangour Village Hospital.
It was apparent early on that father Willie was riding shotgun and trying to protect the young Paul from untoward attacks.
This operation was not entirely successful although Paul did manage to finish in 7th position and in so doing raised in the order of 600 pounds for the hospital.
Jimmy Pryde & Sandy Baxter were the winners of the two races.
Final day of the season 6th November and the Superbangers completed two events the first the "Duckhams Oil" Trophy was a win for Barry Watson from Neil Adams & Paul Wightman.
The last event was a Destruction Derby and well there is only one person and one car that excel in these events and that is Willie Thompson and the almost indestructible Rover P5.
The Newtongrange Fan Club had organised "Personality of the Year" awards, the winners were:-
F2 Stock Cars - John Aitchison
Ministox - Stephen Henderson
Saloon Stocks - Tommy Davidson
Super Bangers - Willie Thompson
Hot Rods - Dougie Farrer