Cowdenbeath 12 05 2018-2018

A triumph of matter of substance? The opening round of the Scottish Series could have been threatened with viability just days running up to the date of the meeting, but with drivers working hard and showing commitment above and beyond the level many could have expected, this Saturday night session, bathed in that unfamiliar thing – Scottish sunshine, proved to be pretty satisfying.
With Alex Wilson, Matt MacPerson, Wullie Millar, Graham McCabe and John McFarlane still chasing all manner of practical things: time, logistics, costs, to enable the completion of their Classic Hot Rod builds and rebuilds, Kenny Purdie indisposed and Graeme Callender and Mike McKain on holiday, the Scottish CHR membership available took a real hit in advance of the Cowdenbeath meeting. Norfolk’s Gavin Taber, an arch fan of racing in Scotland, had said he was really looking forward to race. Despite the desperately long journey endured, Gavin has always found the welcome in Scotland to be warm, and he really enjoys racing round the super-fast Cowdenbeath oval. However, despite a journey of 500 mile in pursuit of replacement parts to give his Pinto a fighting chance of repair after it threw a wobbler at Aldershot, Taber found that time would still defeat the opportunity to fit it all back together and test it prior to the long journey. Gavin was understandably dejected, but the plan had always been for Gavin’s father Adrian to race as well! Taber Senior has enjoyed a roller coaster ride of his first season in Classic Hot Rods and the majority of his races had seen smooth accomplished racing gently accumulate early season points. A disastrous crash at Hednesford had required many man hours of work to put right, but after a quietly successful Aldershot, the 116 Zetec powered 105E Anglia was dialled in ready. So, #TeamTaber was still up for coming to Cowdenbeath! They may have been a car down, but they were still coming! North of the Border, Trevor Forrester and Brett Sneddon responded to the call. Trevor, nominally looking to put this season more on the back burner as he concentrates on business issues and home building, loaded his car and care of a stop off to Brett Sneddon’s place, the pair made their way to Cowdenbeath for a specially commissioned practice session on Friday afternoon to see if Trevor’s engine mis-fire could be cured, and Brett could dial in his Escort of a track he rarely races at. After an hour’s practice, and even more ‘trial and error’ electrical solutions sought at Brett’s garage later in the day, Forrester’s issue was still not fully cured – but he was still coming! Sneddon prefers Lochgelly, but for this meeting, he was still coming too! Adding their support, Keith Chesher, the first to book in, in the weeks prior, was really looking forward to racing at his favourite track and really opening up his newly competitive Pinto. Marc Spence was coming too, all the way down from Inverness to race his Pinto powered Talbot Sunbeam, and Jock Campbell too, his Mk2 Escort looking resplendent, was looking for to his first meeting of the year.
So, six cars were present for the opening meeting. Two heats and a final under super springtime sunshine. The cars had been allowed to bunch perhaps a little more than they should as the CHRS settled into the rolling lap for the opening heat of the night, and when the green flag dropped it was always going to be a question of whether Sneddon caught Chesher. Keith, so long a driver beset with misfortune, mechanically or incident wise in his previous two seasons racing in Classics, now, finally, looked in his element. In other words he was flying, and in the bright evening sunshine his speed was a pleasure to watch for his great many fans who hold a strong affection for Keith having followed both his legendary late father, and then Keith himself for many years. Keith held the lead to half way, but at they point Brett caught him and through ‘Scotch Corner’ made a successful dive on the inside to cleanly take the lead. Keith was far from finished though and throughout the second half of the race tracked Brett’s every move and into the final lap made quite a stab of it to pinch the lead back! Brett was not to be denied though and the two tone blue 232 machine to its first win at Cowdenbeath.
232, 162, 26, 756, 222, 116
With the correct graded starting positions more firmly reinforced for Heat Two, Keith’s White Grade advantage was affirmed over Brett’s half lap chase from Red grade. Despite slicing through those ahead of him, including Jock Campbell, who is certainly no slouch, Sneddon found Chesher’s advantage in Heat two too great and Keith’s win was a dominant one. The post race smile on Keith’s face certainly confirmed why he is known as #TheChesherKat! Down the places, Adrian Taber was getting to grips with the peculiar racing line at the Racewall, and was pleased with his fifth place. Forrester however was indeed struggling with s misfire that was getting progressively worse with every lap.
162, 232, 26, 756, 116, 222
The Scottish Thistle was something Keith Chesher was in no way reluctant to grasp! He stole the meeting Final with another dominant display from the front! This however would be the final time that Keith would enjoy such and advantage. Next time out at a graded meeting, the 162 car will be starting in the Blue grade!
162, 232, 26, 116. NOF
In conclusion, a quiet affair true, but a triumphant night for Chesher – and for a change of fortune to be so forcibly displayed, he certainly deserved it. Stick with us Scottish fans, the numbers will be up next time out!

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