Skip to Content

Wheelspin January 2024

2024  Race Notes from SMRC Competition Director Steve Burns

 

2024 Membership Renewals Open

With the new year now upon us we invite members to renew their membership subscriptions.  Existing members should log in to the members area of the website to pay for their renewal;

https://www.smrc.co.uk/members/

Championship Registration / Regulations

The 2024 Championship Sporting & Regulations are currently being reviewed by Motorsport UK as part of our Championship permit application.  Draft versions are available to read on the relevant Championship pages of the website https://www.smrc.co.uk/championships/

Please also familiarise yourself with the latest Motorsport UK General Regulations (Blue Book) which are available to read here; https://motorsportuk.s3.eu-west-2.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/12/Motorsport-UK-Yearbook-2024.pdf

In particular please pay attention to Sections J, K and Q and make note of any new or revised regulations which are shown in red text.

Once the Championship Permits are issued by Motorsport UK we will be able to open registration, which is expected to be during early February.  Motorsport UK are currently in the final stages of re-writing the ‘Blue Book’ into a new ‘National Competition Rules (NCR)’ document and the final published version of our Championship Regulations will refer to the new NCR.

Scrutineering

For the last couple of years, the SMRC has taken part in the Motorsport UK ‘Future of Scrutineering’ trial system, whereby a selection of competitors cars are chosen to undergo a more thorough but less frequent pre-event safety inspection, rather than the traditional method of scrutineering all cars at every event.  This trial has now ended and following feedback from the various clubs that participated, this method of Scrutineering has now been incorporated into the 2024 Motorsport UK General Regulations Q.11.2 so we will be continuing with this system.

‘Rebuilt cars or cars not raced in 2023.

If your car has undergone a winter rebuild or did not compete during 2023 it will require an inspection
before your first race.  To facilitate this the Scrutineering team will be attending Knockhill on 28th January,
25th February and 17th March.  Please email scrutineer@smrc.co.uk to make an appointment.’

Judicial Trial

This year Motorsport UK has granted approval for us to trial a revised judicial system for investigating incidents and breaches of regulation.  The trial will make greater use of the Event Stewards and will ensure that drivers are provided with a thorough hearing, before judicial decisions are reached. This aligns with the procedures detailed in the FIA International Sporting Code and operated by most other countries around the world.  A similar trial was previously operated by Motorsport UK in short-circuit karting, where this system has now been adopted as standard practice within the General Regulations for the karting discipline.

SMRC Competitions Director& Senior Clerk of the Course, Steve Burns explains. “Under the current system the Clerk of the Course is responsible for running the event, investigating incidents, interviewing drivers and ruling on any breaches of regulation.  In effect this make them ‘Judge, Jury and Executioner’.  A typical race day at Knockhill can often include 13 or more races plus qualifying in a single day, which can make a busy day for the Clerk of the Course, of which there are generally two plus a Deputy on duty.  These time pressures on the limited Clerking team (at the time of writing there are only three fully licenced Race Clerks of the Course resident in Scotland) often mean that we are unable to spend as long we would like investigating incidents, which can sometimes make decisions feel a little rushed and our competitor customer feeling unhappy.  Of course there has always been a right to appeal the Clerk of the Course decision to the Event Stewards, but at club level motorsport such appeals are rare.  The possibility of a decision being appealed also means that under the current system Clerks of the Course are unable to consult with the Stewards before reaching a decision, for fear of prejudicing the appeal process.”

Burns continues…”Under this new system the Clerk of the Course will still review all on-track incidents. But if they suspect that a regulation may have been breached, they will now simply report the facts to the Event Stewards, who in turn will summon the competitor, hold a hearing and reach a decision.  This will benefit the competitor as drivers will receive a thorough hearing, away from the pressures of the ongoing event, and their case will be investigated and ruled on by a panel of three highly experienced officials, rather than just one Clerk of the Course.  At the initial review stage the Clerk of the Course is also now able to consult with the Event Stewards, to canvass their opinion before deciding whether to place an incident ‘Under Investigation’.”

The SMRC generally use the same pool of officials at all events, so consistency of decisions will be maintained and this system will make better use of the expertise and experience of the senior officials team.

Of course the majority of drivers enjoy a whole season of racing without ever needing to visit the Clerk’s or Steward’s office, so this trial system will mostly be taking place behind the scenes. But if you are unfortunate to be involved in an on-track incident or subject to a technical infringement, it will be the Event Stewards who will hear your case.  In the first instance though, drivers should continue to raise any concerns and protests directly with the Clerk of the Course, who will then pass this to the Stewards for investigation.  In-race penalties, such as time penalties for exceeding the track limits or in relation to Judge of Fact reports (i.e. false starts) will continue to be applied by the Clerk of the Course, as these are not subject to investigation by the Stewards.

Driving Standards Quiz

Race licence holders should have received before Christmas an email from Motorsport UK asking them to participate in an on-line Driving Standards Quiz.  If you have not already done so we would strongly urge all drivers to undertake the test, which only takes a few minutes and consists of 18 multiple choice questions.  The test is available via this link;

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/KGGH6Z8

Your answers will help Motorsport UK appreciate the level of regulatory understanding amongst licence holders and assist them with developing training, to improve driving standards across the sport.  Don’t worry, the test is anonymous.

Working with our partners at Knockhill Racing Circuit, we are considering introducing a similar test, mandatory for all competitors ahead of the season opening race meeting, to ensure that the highest standards of driving are maintained.

2024 Season preview

In case you missed it, our 2024 calendar of events is detailed below which includes an exciting mix of race meetings featuring three ‘Best of Scottish’ weekends at Knockhill where all Scottish classes will be racing, plus our annual away rounds which again takes place at Anglesey in August.  Additionally our championships (except Minis) will be visiting Croft in May supporting the Darlington & District Motor Club event, whereas the Minis will be heading to Croft in September in support of the new Mini Festival weekend.  Minis also begin their season with a trip to Kirkistown on 23rd March.



 

SMRC Dinner and awards ceremony, November 2023, Glenbervie House, Stirlingshire

A new venue and a new Chairman, with a fine gathering of drivers, supporters and club members to celebrate the 2023 season.

Club Chairman NIC BOYES started the evening:

‘Ladies, Gentlemen, Racers, Marshalls, MSA Officials, SMRC Committee Members, Sponsors, Supporters and Volunteers, it is my pleasure to welcome you to The Scottish Motor Racing Club Awards Dinner, to celebrate your success of 2023 season.

I am speaking to you as Chairman of The Scottish Motor Racing Club. Some of you may know my face from 2009-2014 SMRC paddock when I was racing my green Mini Cooper in Classic Sports and Saloons. I then went racing in the Scottish Superbikes from 2017 to 2021 and now I am back. “You reach an age when you need a cage”

I would like to take this opportunity to pay some thanks:

Our President, Hugh McCaig who cannot join us this evening due to ill health “Get well soon Hugh!”

The Community of Marshalls – without whom we cannot race.

Knockhill Racing Circuit – without whom we cannot race (legally).

MSA Clerks, Co-Ordinators & Scrutineers – without whom we cannot race (safely).

Sponsors and supporters – without whom we cannot race.

Photographers – without whom no-one would know we are racing.

The SMRC Committee – a cohort of volunteers who offer their time and enthusiasm so that Scottish Motor Racing Club events can happen.

And, finally you, the SMRC racing paddock:

Scottish Classic Sports and Saloons represented at Committee by John Kinmond.

Scottish Fiesta ST & Cup represented by Committee Representative and Co-Ordinator, Becky Smith.

Scottish Mini Cooper & R53 Mini Cooper S Cups represented at Committee by Malcolm McNab.

Scottish C1 Cup represented and led on track by James Hitchin.

The SMRC Awards Dinner is your night, when we come together as the Scottish Motor Racing Club to celebrate your achievements on the race-tracks of the UK and abroad.

Let’s celebrate the 2023 race season and I am very much looking forward to the 2024 race season.

Thank you’

 

The evening was compared by Robert Johnston the Knockhill commentator.

SMRC Awards

Scottish Fiesta ST Cup championship supported by Toyo Tyres

Champion Liam McGill, winning the Hamilton and Inches Trophy.

2nd Stephen Gray    3rd Gerry Hendry

ST Challenge Cup Lorn Murray.

Becky Smith SMRC director and Fiesta drivers representative, received the top 2 trophies on behalf of the winners and awarded the 3rd place and Challenger cup on stage.

 

Citroen C1 Cup

Champion Sam Corson, winning the Mary Armstrong Trophy

2nd Dan Martin, 3rd Ralph Sturrock

Newcomers Cup Ayden Wilson

James Hitchen, SMRC committee member and C1 drivers representative, awarded the trophies on stage.

 

Scottish Mini Cooper Cup in association with Project 21 Detailing, supported by

Yokohama tyres

Mini Cooper Cup – Champion Oliver Mortimer winning the Lombard Trophy

2nd Jack Irvine  3rd Chad Little

Mini Cooper S R53 Cup class – winning the John Nicolson Trophy, Jamie Blake

Mini Cooper Newcomer – Jack Barnett

Malcolm McNab, SMRC Committee member and Mini drivers representative came on stage to present the awards.

Oly Mortimer thanked his team and his sponsors when on stage.

 

Scottish Classic Sports and Saloons Championship in association with Edinburgh Watch Company

XR2 Championship Duncan O’Neill – Sandy Forrest trophy

Classics class A and overall Champion winning the Doune Cup,  Alastair Baptie (Fiat X1/9)

Class B Champion Charlie Cope (3rd O/A in VW Golf)

Class E Andrew Graham (2nd O/A in Triumph TR8)

XR2 Championship Duncan O’Neill

Championship sponsor Jonathan Gilbert of the Edinburgh Watch Company presented the Classics awards.

Winners

Some of the new Champions have retained their hard fought titles, which they had won last season (2022). Mini Cooper S Jamie Blake, Fiesta ST Liam McGill, Citroen C1 Sam Corson,  XR2 Duncan O’Neill. Other drivers have regained championships they won in a season prior to 2022, Oliver Mortimer Mini Cooper, Alastair Baptie Classics.

Special Awards

These awards, many of which are decades old and many have been won in the past by famous drivers or long standing club members, were presented by new chairman Nic Boyes unless noted.

Ollon Villars Quaich (Presented in memory of Mark Brennan)

Named after an international hillclimb in Switzerland and awarded for the best prepared Classic car at SMRC events.

The winner was Andrew Graham’s classic Triumph TR8 sportscar. Presented by Jonathan Gilbert. 

The following special awards were presented by Club Chairman Nic Boyes.

Duncan Fisher Award  (This trophy is given in memory of Duncan who competed at Ingliston in the 70s and 80s and is awarded to an enthusiast, who is totally committed to his favourite sport of motor racing, and invariably does most of his work behind the scenes and is seen by few but appreciated by many)

Winner Henry Williams (ex Chief Marshall) – who sent a video to thank the club for this award

Sheila Whyte Trophy (Originally supported by the Whyte and Mackay trust, awarded to the most promising up and coming driver)

Winner Arran Ward (Fiesta ST).

Edinburgh Students Charity Quaich (Top Lady Racer)

Winner Ashleigh Morris (Mini Cooper S).

Claire and Nicholas Trophy – Marshal of the Year

Winner Gordon Rankin

SMRC Special Award (Special contribution to the sport in Scotland)

Winner Gerry Hendry (Fiesta)

William Lyons Trophy (Top performance by a Scot in a Sports Car)

Winner Jonny Adam, works Aston Martin driver in international sportscars and also a front runner and race winner in British GTs in 2023 with a Mercedes sportscar.

Callands Trophy (Best International Performance by a Scot)

Winner Dean McDonald (GT World Challenge Europe Endurance Cup competitor in a McLaren, class winner at Spa 24 hour GT race)

Rothmans Trophy (Top Scottish driver in a UK Championship)

Winner Ronan Pearson (British Touring Cars).

Ecurie Ecosse Hubcap (Presented by Alasdair McCaig Ecurie Ecosse driver and son of EE patron Hugh McCaig)

Winner Sophie Kinghorn (Fiesta ST)

SMRC Driver of the Year (voted for by the Scottish Marshals)

Presented by Chief Marshall Alan Barron

Winner Oliver Mortimer (Mini Cooper Cup championship).

 

At the end of the awards all winners present were united as photographer Jim Moir recorded the moment.

PHOTO OF ALL TROPHY WINNERS ON STAGE

 

Kevin Pick

 

Review of 2023 SMRC Racing Year

All championships bar C1s raced at 6 meetings, and guests were allowed to race at 2 Knockhill events and any away rounds, but they did not score points. Their cars had to comply with our regulations. Only club members could register for championships and score points. Away round varied’ to read ‘Away rounds varied for the championships. With all championships going to Anglesey as the club ran a full meeting there, backed up by visitors from Ireland and DDMC, plus Scottish Legends Cars. Away rounds were also held at Croft in May (Minis), Kirkistown also in May (Fiesta ST), Cadwell Park in August (C1s) and Croft in September (Classis).

Scottish Citroen C1 Cup

SAM CORSON C1 champion car no. 1 & Runner Up Dan Martin no. 99

This championship for the C1 hatchback was reduced to 11 rounds, after rounds 1 & 2 were cancelled due to technical reasons. There were two away rounds at Anglesey and three at Cadwell Park, plus six races at Knockhill. The Championship was a close two way fight all season between Sam Corson and Dan Martin. Ross Dunn the 2022 champion was 3rd by round 4, but already 31 points down on Corson who was 2nd with 77, as Martin led with 86. The top 2 just pulled away from the pack. Martin led until round 9 when Corson overtook him. They had tied after 8 rounds with 156 points. They arrived at the final Knockhill in October with Corson just 4 points ahead. Then both drivers had their 2nd lowest scores at this meeting. Corson in round 10 and Martin in round 11. But Sam Corson took a strong 2nd in the final round to retain his title by 12 points.  Sam Corson had 3 wins, plus 4 seconds and 3 thirds in his results. Dan Martin had 3 wins, plus 3 seconds and 3 thirds in his results. Both the top 2 drivers were 2 of only 4 drivers to finish every race. They were in the top 3 virtually all season an impressively consistent season for these two drivers.

Sam Corson

The battle for third yoyo’d between 6 drivers. Initially Ross Dunn held 3rd chased by Henry Gillespie, then came Ralph Sturrock  in 5th and Thomas Comber . After 4 rounds Dunn was 4 points clear of Gillespie whom in turn had a 3 point gap to Sturrock and Comber.  By round 6 which saw the first away rounds at Anglesey, Sturrock was up to 3rd with 69 points and 8 points ahead of Comber, with Dunn 2 points back and only a point ahead of Ayden Wilson and Henry Gillespie, as both had 58 points. James Hitchen was slowly catching up after a low scoring start, he’d been scoring far better and was on 54 points.

Dan Martin

After the 3 rounds at Cadwell Park, with 9 rounds of the 11 then completed, the race for 3rd had changed again. Sturrock still in 3rd had 104 points, but Ayden Wilson had moved into 4th, only 5 points behind. James Hitchen had continued his good run and was now in 5th with 92 points, chased by Ross Dunn on 84. Henry Gillespie was on 72 and didn’t score any more points, while early contender Thomas Comber scored no more points after round 6. The final two rounds at Knockhill saw Sturrock hold onto 3rd finishing 8 points ahead of 4th placed James Hitchen. Ayden Wilson took 5th from Richard Dunn by 7 points. In their seasons, Sturrock won once, while Hitchen took two wins. The other race winner was Murray Scott who was 7th overall, but won race 3 at Cadwell Park.

Only four drivers scored in every round, the top 2 of Corson and Martin plus Ayden Wilson (5th) and Ross Dunn (6th). While five drivers had one no score.  Third and fourth overall Ralph Sturrock and James Hitchen each had one no score. Also with one no score was 7th placed Murray Scott, 8th placed Marc Nisbet and 9th placed Calum Conway. But Henry Gillespie was 10th despite not scoring in 3 rounds.

18 drivers registered for the championship and scored points.

Points (all 11 rounds counted):

  1. Sam Corson 206 2. Dan Martin 194 3. Ralph Sturrock 137  4. James Hitchen 131

C1 Newcomers Cup

AYDEN WILSON car no. 24

There were 6 newcomers registered and they really fought for the Cup. This was ultimately a close run competition, as every driver took at least one class win. Henry Gillespie led after 4 rounds with 82 points. He was 22 points clear of the chasing pack having won the class at the opening two rounds and taken a 2nd in round 4, while Ayden Wilson and Marc Nisbet tied in 2nd overall on 62 points.  After Anglesey and 6 rounds completed, Gillespie still led with 106 points, but his lead had been cut. Marc Nisbet had 99, Ralph Sturrock had 98 and Ayden Wilson 96 points. When the next 3 rounds at Cadwell Park had been completed, the Newcomers leader board had totally changed. Ayden Wilson led with 156 points, chased by Ralph Sturrock on 148, then Murray Scott on 141, with Marc Nisbet now 4th with 137, but James Hitchen had been playing catch up and was on 131. Early leader Gillespie had dropped to 6thwith 130. The last two rounds at Knockhill confirmed the top 2, as Wilson won the cup by just 3 points from Sturrock.  His 2nd and 5th places at that meeting were just enough. In 3rd came James Hitchen after a strong final 2 rounds, were he took a class win and a class 3rd He was 15 points back from Sturrock, but 11 clear of 4th placed Murray Scott. Marc Nisbet was 5th and Henry Gillespie 6th after he didn’t score in the final 2 rounds.

Does experience help, Ayden Wilson was 3rd in 2022 in this competition, but he had to work hard to win the Newcomers Cup. He took two class wins and three class 2nds to Ralph Sturrock’s three wins but one 2nd. James Hitchen had two class wins and two 2nds.

Points

  1. Ayden Wilson 190 Ralph Sturrock 187  3. James Hitchen 172  4. Murray Scott 161

Scottish Fiesta ST Cup supported by Toyo Tyres

LIAM MCGILL Champion car no. 62  &  Runner Up Steven Gray no. 24

It was another season of good racing in the Fiestas, with keenly contested races in a 12 round Championship, of which the top 10 scores counted towards the championship. The 2.0 litre Fiestas had competitive grids all year. There were 2 classes, the ST and the STC or Challenger car which is built to a slightly lower spec. Liam McGill was the defending champion, and just like 2022 he started the season with few scores and had to play catch up all year.

Liam McGill

After 4 rounds it was Gerry Hendry leading on 90 points with former Champion Steven Gray 2nd on 75, then Dave Colville in 3rd with 58, followed by Brody Orr on 46 points. Liam McGill wasn’t even in the top 6 and had just 25 points from his one finish when he won the first round.  The cars had been to Knockhill and then their first away rounds at Kirkistown in Northern Ireland. After 8 rounds and another Knockhill, followed by away rounds at Anglesey, it was Steven Gray leading the title race with 146 points. Gerry Hendry was 2nd with 126, but Liam McGill had been scoring well and had 120 points after a run of 3 more wins and a second. In 4th was Dave Colville with 111 points with Brody Orr very close behind on 110 points, no one else was over 100 points. There were then 4 rounds at Knockhill to end the season.

Steven Gray

After round 10, Steven Gray still led with 178 points to Liam McGill’s 170. Gerry Hendry  and Brody Orr tied on 150 in 3rd. Dave Colville still had 111 with Arran Ward now 6th on 92. So the final two rounds started with Gray ahead, but he didn’t score well. He retired at a wet round 11 while McGill went on to win the race, but was then disqualified. Gerry Hendry was promoted to 1st having snatched 2nd on the road on the last lap from Brody Orr. This left Gray on 178, McGill on 170 with Hendry 174 and Orr 170. The final round saw both Gray and McGill start down at the back of the 13 car grid. Gray shot up to 7th on lap 1 with McGill 10th on a damp track. By lap 3 McGill was up to 7th with Gray making no progress and dropping to 8th. Meanwhile Broddy Orr led the race by around 3 seconds from Arran Ward. McGill continued to go up the leader board, 4th on lap 5, he passed top Challenger spec car of Lorn Murray for 3rd on lap 6.  He was 2nd on lap 7 and then set about closing the 3 seconds lead Broddy Orr had. He got within a second by the flag, in a race shortened to 10 laps due to the weather having effected the meeting and its running time, with no qualifying due to low mist and a late start. Steven Gray saw the title slip away as he was down in 9th, the car must have had a problem as his normal pace wasn’t there. Brody Orr took the race win from McGill with Arran Ward in 3rd.

When the top 10 scoring rounds were calculated, several drivers had to drop a few scores. Liam McGill didn’t loose any points and retained his title with 190 points.  He had 6 wins, and 2 seconds, only scoring in 8 races, but he showed consistent speed and the ability to win. Steven Gray took the runner up spot for the second year in a row, with 178 points. He had two wins and one second plus five thirds in his scores. He had dropped 7 points. Third was a tie but went to Gerry Hendry on a count back of race wins. He had 171 points, and 3 wins. He had dropped 13 points. While Brody Orr was 4th, having one win, but he out scored everyone over 12 rounds, then had to drop 24 points.   In 5th overall was Arran Ward with 116 having dropped 6 points, then Dave Colville on 111 as he didn’t drop any points due to having 4 no scores . John Sheridan took 7th with 100 ahead of the top Challenger car of Lorn Murray who was 8th with 99 points.  Andrew Mackie finally finished 9th with 89, then Challenger class racer Kieren Preedy rounded out the top 10 on 80 points.

There were 16 registered drivers who scored points, and only Hendry and Mackie scored in every one of the 12 rounds. While three drivers, Gray, Orr and Ward all scored in 11 rounds. There were 5 Challenger spec cars competing, with Lorn Murray and Kieran Preedy both getting on the podium in 3rd with their Challenger cars during the year.

 

Points (10 top scores from 12 rounds count)

  1. Liam McGill 190 2. Steven Gray 178   3. Gerry Hendry 171   4. Brody Orr 171

Challenger Class winner Lorn Murray

 

Scottish Mini Cooper Cup supported by Project 21 and Yokohama Tyres

Oliver Mortimer Champion car no. 70  & Runner Up Jack Irvine no. 65

Scottish Mini Cooper Cup races have always delivered close racing and lots of action. In 2023 we saw lots more good racing. The cars did 3 races at each Knockhill meeting, the first two with the more powerful Cooper S cars, but their third race of the day was only for Cooper cars. This also featured a reversed grid for the top 5 to 8 finishers in the previous race. The number of cars in this format was decided after the second race at each event, and drawn at random. This varied between the top 5 and top 8 cars classified as finishing race two. If 6 was drawn then the winner starts 6th and the 6th placed finisher starts from pole and so on. There were two away meetings where the cars completed two rounds. These circuits were Croft in May and Anglesey in August.

Oly Mortimer

Oliver Mortimer returned to Minis, were he’d previously won the Cooper Cup and Cooper S R53 Cup and led the title chase all season, before winning the Championship. He was never headed despite being chased hard by Jack Irvine and Chad Little. He got off to a flying start winning 2 of the first 3 rounds, and led by 5 points from Little after 3 rounds. He extended this to a 30 points lead over Little after 5 rounds when the cars went to Croft. Then Irvine moved into 2nd as he closed the gap to 18 points after the 2nd Knockhill. So by round 8 Oliver had 165 points to Irvine’s 147. But Oliver stretched his lead after the next two away rounds at Anglesey.  He was 25 clear of Irvine as Little closed up in 3rd to be 12 points back on Irvine. In 4th was Ian Munro a place he’d held from round 6 but now 40 points back on Little. The final two Knockhill’s saw Oliver keep his lead and finish 43 points clear. But 2 dropped scores meant he was Champion by 35 points. It had been really good season for Mortimer, he’s both consistent and a regular winner. Jack Irvine held off Chad Little for 2nd overall, as Little kept off a late charge from Robbie Dalgleish. He took 4th overall, with a strong end of season performance at both Knockhill’s, winning 3 of the last 6 rounds, having missed scoring in 5 rounds mid season.

Jack Irvine

Only the top 3 drivers completed every round. Champion Oliver Mortimer had 8 wins, 6 thirds, a 4th and a 5th. Runner up Jack Irvine had 3 firsts, 5 seconds, 3 thirds and 1 fourth amongst his 16 scores. Third overall Chad Little had one first, 5 seconds and 1 third, 4 fourths in his 16 scores. In 4th Robbie Dalgleish completed 11 rounds and had 3 firsts, 3 seconds, 1 third and 1 fourth in his scores. In 5th overall Ian Munro  finished 14 of 15 races started, with 1 second, 1 third, and 5 fourths in his scores. Finn Mache was 6th overall, with 1 second, 1 third and 1 fourth in his 13 scoring rounds, plus 3 dnfs. Jason Ballantyne took 7th overall, he did 10 rounds, took 1 first, 1 second, and 1 4th but also had a dnf.  In 8th place, the outgoing champion who had been double back to back title holder Michael Weddell, had a year to forget. He did 10 rounds, with two thirds and a fourth his top scores, plus two dnfs. Barry Holmes took 9th with a consistent run finishing all 14 rounds he started, and was only one point behind Weddell at the end of the year. The top 10 was completed by Morgan Wroot,  racing in 10 rounds and with two fifths the top scores.

There were 17 drivers registered in the championship and everyone scored points.

Mini Cooper Cup Points (Top 14 scores from 16 count)

  1. Oliver Mortimer 301   Jack Irvine 266   3. Chad Little 234   4. Robbie Dalgleish 197

Mini Cooper Newcomers Cup

Jack Barnet

There were 3 drivers in 2023 who qualified as novices and competed for this prestigious cup. It was close all year. Martin Wijetunga led by 5 points after 3 rounds, from Jack Barnett. He extended this to 10 points following the away rounds at Croft. Next Knockhill he was 34 points ahead of Ross Foster who had been 3rd as Barnett didn’t score at all. The away rounds at Anglesey saw Wijetunga with 188 points to Fosters 133 and Barnett’s 126. The following Knockhill Wijetunga was still well clear with 218, but had a no score in the final race that day. But Foster with 189 was just 2 points ahead of Barnett. Then at the final Knockhill Wijetunga didn’t enter, so just the 2 cars completed in this class. Barnett in car no.19 won all three rounds and took the title.  Foster only finished two of the 3 races so was 3rd overall behind Wijetunga, who led for most of the season.

 

Points (All 16 rounds count)

  1. Jack Barnett 247  Martin Wijetunga 238   3. Ross Foster 221

 

Scottish Mini Cooper Cup – Knockhill Cup (Only races at Knockhill count)

New for 2023 a competition run over 9 races held at Knockhill In April, September and October. Oliver Mortimer took the Cup with 5 wins, and 4 thirds. Runner up was Jack Irvine, one win, three seconds and two thirds were amongst his scores. In 3rd overall was Robbie Dalgleish, thee wins and a second were his top scores.  But he finished just one point behind Irvine. Chad Little was 4th overall with four seconds his top scores. Once again 17 drivers scored points in this cup.

 

  1. Oliver Mortimer 192 Jack Irvine 157   3. Robbie Dalgleish 156   4. Chad Little 136

 

Mini Cooper S R53 Cup

JAMIE BLAKE no. 97, winner COOPER S R53 Cup

Jamie Blake

Mini Cooper S cars, these are the most powerful cars in Scottish one make racing. They also run on slick racing tyres. They have 1.6 litre supercharged engines and adjustable suspension.  They had 12 rounds with the top 10 scores counting. Three drivers registered and three contested most of the rounds. They started ahead of the Cooper cars twice at each meeting, and eased away from that class in the races. There may not have been many cars but they competed well.

Jamie Blake took the title again, scoring in all 12 rounds, he had 7 wins, 5 seconds but dropped two scores. Runner up was his brother Craig Blake who scored in 8 rounds, had dnfs and a dns while taking 4 wins and 4 seconds.  Rich Flett was 3rd overall scoring in all 12 rounds with 1 win, 3 seconds and 8 thirds But he dropped points scores so finished behind Craig .

Ashleigh Morris made a return to the track as a guest in the Cooper S class, driving well in the October Knockhill meeting. She pitted in race 1, but rejoined and ran with the front runners, all be it a lap down. Then in race 2 she won both the class and the race on the road, from Jamie Blake. These cars are quick, and give drivers really good experience, maybe more will race in 2024.

Points: (Top 10 scores from 12 rounds count)

  1. Jamie Blake 220 Craig Blake 180   3. Rich Flett 169

 

Scottish Classic Sports and Saloons Championship

Classics new champion Alastair Baptie Fiat X1/9 car no. 13 & Runner up Andrew Graham (TR8) car no. 78

Alastair Baptie
Alastair Baptie

There are several classes available, were Saloons and Sportscars race against each other. Cars that were manufactured before 31st December 1989 are eligible, and must remain predominantly in period specification. Class A up to 1500cc engines.   Class B 1501cc to 2500cc engines.  Class C Period cars not complying fully with these technical regulations and race by invitation of the Organisers. Class D 2501cc to 3600cc engines. Class E Sports and Saloon Cars over 3601cc engines, and any period homologated race car. Class G Limited Production Cars, sports or saloons, specials, kit cars and recreation cars, 2 wheel drive only, maximum 2 valves per cylinder engines.

Competitors are racing against each other, but scoring only against drivers in their own class. Their scores are then put into the overall points table, to find the champion. There were 22 registered competitors. Class racers needed 3 drivers to start in order to score full points, if 2 or fewer started then points were reduced. There were 12 rounds, with away rounds at Anglesey in August and Croft in September.

The overall winner  for a third time is new Champion is Alastair Baptie, in his trusty Fiat X1/9 sportscar, which he also used to win this title back in 2017 & 2018. He returned to class A, having raced in class E last season with his MGBGT V8. Alastair took class wins at every one of the 12 rounds, and all scores count in Classics. He was a top 6 finisher all year on the road and recorded 8 top three outright placings. These were two good thirds, five impressive seconds, including the one in October on a wet slippery track at Knockhill. Alastair also took a very fine outright win at Croft, the first ever by a class A car in the Championship. He had led the title race all season, but it was often close between him and runner up Andrew Graham and 3rd placed Charlie Cope especially in the first half of the season.  After 4 rounds Baptie had 101 points, Graham and Cope both 90. After round 6 Baptie had 141, Cope 140 and Graham 135. After round 8 Baptie was on 192 with Graham 186, and Cope 156 after a no score in round 8 the second race at Anglesey. Baptie kept winning the class and after round 10 had 243, Graham was on 231 and Cope 207 points.  The top two won again at the final 2 rounds but Cope missed the meeting, though held on to 3rd overall by 3 points from the consistent Barry Eastaugh who raced in class E with his MGB GT V8.

Andrew Graham finished runner up in his green Triumph TR8 sportscar. He had 11 class E wins and one class 2nd when John Kinmond the 2021 champion, came back briefly to class E and beat him at Croft in round 9. Although Andrew returned the favour in round 10 at the same circuit, later that same day. Andrew was also an outright Race winner, like the two dominant wins at a wet Knockhill in October. Andrew finished 12 points down on Alastair.

Runner Up – Car No.78 Andrew Graham

Third overall was 2022 champion Charlie Cope in his VW Golf. He had 6 class B wins, two 2nds and a 3rd, but no score at three rounds. Fourth overall Barry Eastaugh had 6 class E 2nds, four 3rds and two 4ths as he did 12 rounds. There 3 of the top 4 drivers completed every round.

Fifth place was close run as Ewan Anderson racing in class B had 137 points just one more than Paul Bowers in class A. Anderson in a BMW 2002Ti had one class B win, five 2nds and a 3rd in 7 rounds he scored in. While Bowers in his Fiat 128 coupe racing in class A had 8 scores, with three 2nds, three 3rds and two 4ths. Seventh overall was Ian Morton in a classic Austin A40 saloon from the 60s. This was one of the older cars racing, and was in class A. He did 10 rounds of the 12 and scored in all of these. One 3rd and three 4ths being his highest finishes. His total was 128 points. Eighth place was shared by three drivers.  Mario Ferrari with his Alfa Romeo coupe, who scored in 6 rounds in class A and he took five 2nds and one 3rd scoring 108 points. Another class A driver, Iain Mitchell in a Vauxhall Nova, scoring three 2nds and three thirds had 108 points as well. While Adam Kinmond in the big Rover SD1 saloon. Racing in class E. He also took the 2nds and three 3rds. He sometimes had the big car well on opposite lock, like at the final Knockhill when a damp track and V8 power occasionally sent the car sliding.

Of all the other drivers racing, these included John Kinmond out in something different, a class A Mini at two meetings. With Jimmy Crow not in an Escort but in a Class D Scimitar GT at 5 rounds, and Niki Dixon did 4 rounds with the class B, Mk1 Lotus Cortina.

Points ( 12 rounds )

Alastair Baptie  293  2. Andrew Graham 281  3. Charles Cope 207  4. Barry Eastaugh 204

Scottish XR2 Championship

DUNCAN O’NEILL Fiesta XR2 Car no. 66

Duncan O’Neill

These hot hatches race with classics, but have separate regulations. Some years ago we had full grids of XR2s, and in the 90s had to run qualifying races. This season 3 cars were registered and Duncan O’Neill won the Championship again so retaining his title. He took four class wins and two class 2nds out of 6 starts at Knockhill, which were in the first 6 rounds. Second overall, Paul Green had five class wins from his 5 starts, including one score at Croft.  While Fraser Turnbull had four class 2nds from his starts, which were in the first 4 rounds. Green beat O’Neill in rounds 5 & 6 at Knockhill, but didn’t score again until round 10.

  1. Duncan O’Neill 112  Paul Green 88  3. Fraser Turnbull 64

 

Kevin Pick

 

Henry Williams Retiring Chief Marshal

After 47 years of marshalling, our good friend Henry Williams has taken the decision to take a step back from his roles with the SMRC and as Chief Marshal.
Henry has been a long-standing supporter of the Scottish Motor Racing Club and his passion for marshalling started on track at Ingliston in 1976. He later moved into the Pits and eventually became Chief Pits Marshall. Over the following years he has also carried out the roles of both Deputy and Chief Marshal, and in 2022 qualified as a licensed Motorsport UK Trainer. Henry has marshalled at many events and circuits out with Scotland including Grand Prix at Silverstone and events at Le Mans.

For many years now, he has looked after our marshalling database and all the admin for the SMRC Marshals team, and was an administrator on the marshals Facebook page.

Henry’s dedication to marshalling is shown by the fact that he has marshalled for the SMRC at Knockhill for 27 years, without missing a single event, which not many people can rival. Henry has told us that he will be maintaining his marshals and trainers’ licenses and as such we truly hope to see him come amongst us, to continue to pass on his wealth of knowledge and experience.
In recognition of Henry’s dedication to the SMRC the club presented him with the Duncan Fisher Memorial Trophy in 2023, which is awarded to someone working behind the scenes of Motorsport in Scotland and is generally seen by few but appreciated by many.

Please join with everyone at the SMRC in wishing Henry the very best for the future.

Alan Barron, Chief Marshal

Henry Williamas

Alan Barron, New Chief Marshal

Following Henry’s decision to take a step back from the role of Chief Marshal and having worked as Henry’s deputy, I have had the great honour of being invited to take on the position of Chief Marshal for the club’s volunteer marshal force.

I first became involved with the SMRC when I started competing in the clubs Classic Sports & Saloon championship about 13 years ago. This nurtured my respect for the orange army and I was keen to give back to the volunteer force, who selflessly give their time to support motorsport around the world. In 2013 I volunteered to help the club by driving Safety Car, a role which I still enjoy to this day. This started me on my journey with the marshals team, and my involvement has steadily grown over the years and has ultimately led to the role of Chief Marshal.

Volunteer marshals are the beating heart of UK motorsport. Proudly standing out in their orange overalls. The team look after the safety of the competitors and spectators and facilitate the smooth running of all aspects of a race meeting. For anyone who is passionate about motorsport but does not necessarily want to get behind the wheel, becoming a marshal is a great way to get close to the action.

Marshalling is for anybody, you don’t need any special skills or qualifications to start, just common sense. It’s a great way to be part of the action rather than watching it. There are roles to suit everyone whether it’s trackside or in assembly, pits, start line or grid, we can find a role that is suited to you.

If marshalling is something you are interested in drop an email to :- marshal@smrc.co.uk and our recruitment team will get back to you and invite you along to an event to experience it for yourself.

Alan Barron New Chief Marshal

 

Willie Struth

Club racer and all round enthusiast Willie Struth recently passed away. His family had a butchers business in Edinburgh. Willie worked there, then he branched out. He ran a garage in West Lothian and liked to wheel and deal. He became the No Wet Waterless Car Cleaning and valet services agent and ran this business from premises in Edinburgh, opposite the zoo. He had raced at Ingliston in the mid/late 70s in Production Saloons in a Vauxhall Coupe.. Later on he owned a Jensen Healey race car. But he was best known for his track racing in the Scottish Mini Cooper Cup along with son Gavin, as they had a two car team sponsored by Waterless. They raced in the early days of the Scottish Mini Coopers in 2008. Willie was enthusiastic about everything and prior to Mini racing one of his interests was speed water-skiing. He was always ready to chat but worked hard, sometimes with son Gavin. He is remembered as a lively outgoing man, and a clean but brave driver. Son Gavin runs the Project 21 Car Detailing company in Edinburgh, who are sponsors for the Scottish Mini Cooper Cup.

Willie Struth Racing with son Gavin

 

Wheelspin Editor Kevin Pick
Photographs Jim Moir

JOIN SMRC

Reap the benefits of an SMRC Membership
FIND OUT MORE

ABOUT SMRC

Discover the amazing history of the SMRC
Read Now

SHOP SMRC

Get your SMRC branded gear here
Shop Now

WATCH SMRC

Check out the SMRC YouTube Channel
Watch Now