Saloon drivers set for cracking season

Stuart Drobinski (Tranent) in action in the saloon races
Stuart Drobinski (Tranent) in action in the saloon races

It looks as if the national 2 litre saloon drivers are in for another hard but exciting season’s racing with the announcement of where the championship events will be held.

The World Final is being held on the shale at Mildenhall in September and the defending champion David Aldous (Diss) will already be installed as the favourite to retain the title he won at King’s Lynn.

The European Championship is at the Racewall where Aldous will defend whilst the British is at Taunton where Stuart Shevill Jnr (Motherwell) will be hoping to retain his title. The Scottish is at the Racewall in October with Shevill Jnr hoping to make it five in a row with the Scottish season ending at the end of October with the Superbowl with Shevill Jnr again the defending champion..

The introduction of the Zetec engine could well attract quite a few drivers to this formula where a trip to a scrappie could well see a driver start racing with an engine costing just over £150!

One new face in the saloons in 2015 will be ex-Ministox driver Craig Murray (Moffat) who has brought one of the ex-Triggs cars and he should have the car ready for action in March.

Ian McLaughlin (Auchterarder) should have his new chassis ready for the start to the season having missed all of the 2014 season as he took his time building the car. Mike McCombie (Alford) was posted missing mid season but the news is that he should be ready to rumble when the season starts. Another who should be ready is Stevie Honeyman (Stenhousemuir) who missed the 2014 season although he did have an outing in his brother Paul’s car. Marc Honeyman (Stenhousemuir) had a good first season getting used to the formula and with some good results moved to the yellow grade. Paul Honeyman (Stenhousemuir) had a good start to the season moving up to the red grade and even from there he proved hard to beat. So if all goes to plan there will be three Honeyman drivers in action along with Luke Grief (Stenhousemuir) who was the first Englishman in recent years to qualify to race in the Scottish Championship.

However Shevill Jnr will be hoping to maintain his 2014 form as he looks to get his hands on the European Championship, a title he has as yet to win. The last home driver to have won that title was Kenny Purdie (Carluke) and that was back in 2005. Purdie has since retired from the saloons but did have a run in the car of Graeme Shevill (Motherwell) last year.

We can expect a good turn out of drivers for the European when it is held in May with Aldous determined to keep the trophy in his possession. Aldous is at home on both racing surfaces, shale and tarmac, and has won a couple of major titles at the Racewall.

However Shevill Jnr will be buoyed by his domination of the Superbowl where he left Aldous trailing in his wake.

As records go Shevill Jnr had equaled that of the late Tommy Davidson who had recorded a hat-trick of title wins and then beat it in an exciting race this year when he had to catch then get ahead of Stuart Drobinski (Tranent). However despite having got into the lead Drobinski fought back but his last bend challenge wasn’t successful and Shevill Jnr hung on to win.

G Shevill had an interesting season and but for a couple of mechanical problems could well have been in contention for the Scottish but a blown head gasket saw him have to retire from the fray.

The Fife drivers had a mixed time of it with Alex Cunningham (Leven) showing well in flashes and after a decent start to the season got up to the yellow grade where he remained from the rest of the season.

Ross Watters (Leven) made a decent start to the season from the yellow grade, winning the first four races of the year and then went on to win heat and final down at Northampton. Not only that he ended up winning the track points title there. Watters then moved to the red grade where he continued to show well and he will be looking to get amongst the results when the new season starts. Watters will be using a new car and will be more than keen to get the car set up quickly as he sets his eyes on the European Championship weekend at the Racewall.

Kyle Irvine (Glenrothes) was in as good form this year but an injury saw him having to spectate for a good part of the second half of the season although he should be fit for the start in March. Irvine is a strong driver and one that doesn’t give up his piece of the track to anyone and should he get a good start to the year then watch him challenge for the honours.

The other Fifer Kyle Hegg (Leslie) didn’t have too good a season, getting himself injured and once he returned encountered a series of mechanical problems which kept him out of the results.

Barry Glen (Inchture) who has his car in bits at present will be hoping to get as good a start to the season as he had last year whilst Addison Weir (Dundee) and Ryan Muirhead (Perth) will be hoping that their cars are running trouble free and as a result they get a few good results behind them and move up the grades.

It has all the makings of another cracking saloon season in 2015 and hopefully the saloon numbers will be on the increase again.