A LARGE crowd of spectators were entertained with plenty of thrills and spills at the Scottish Superbike Championships at East Fortune race circuit at the weekend.

The Scottish Superbike Championship title was won by Bruce Birnie, while the weekend's action culminated in Roy Houston, from Kirkcaldy, walking off with the annual Steve Hislop Memorial Trophy.

Bike fans were also treated to a spectauclar fly-past, complete with smoke trails, by the Red Arrows who were heading south following an appearance at Leuchars earlier in the day.

David Paton Jnr, British Superbike racer, paid a welcome return to the East Lothian circuit by winning two races, while the other two races were won by Perth's Torquil Paterson.

Unlucky Andrew Tasker twice crashed out of the championship race as did Paterson, leaving Birnie to eventually lift the trophy.

Paul McClung, Haddington's Mini-Twins champion for 2012, had another successful weekend, picking up three wins from three starts, while Duncan Baillie was runner-up for the three races. McClung was the youngest competitor in the Steve Hislop race, but unfortunately crashed out after having completed eight laps.

Gifford's talented young racer Lewis Rollo won two of his three races aboard his GP125 bike.

Haddington sidecar race team of David Wrinn and passenger Riki Sandie, aboard their Reywood Yamaha outfit, qualified in second place on Saturday, but sadly suffered from mechanical problems all weekend. The sidecar race wins were shared by Scott Lawrie, Bill Davie and Gordon Shand.

East Linton's Marti Brown won the Superbike Cup and the Melville Championship, while Martin Harrison, of North Berwick, gained three race wins in the Senior Post Classics class.

Husband-and-wife Kaye and Mark Hewins regularly compete against each other, and the weekend's racing saw both record their fastest lap times ever.

The special feature and final race of the weekend was the Steve Hislop Memorial Trophy race which was won for the first time by Kirkcaldy's Houston.

As soon as the lights went out, Birnie, lucky enough to have been placed on the second row, soon powered to the front and created a good gap between himself and the following Houston.

Birnie led the race from the lights until the dying seconds of the final lap when Houston came from nowhere to snatch the lead from him, and the eventual win.

Tranent's Bryan Campbell, in third position for most of the Hislop race, enjoyed a good battle with Houston and at one time was in second place until crashing out on the 13th lap of the 17-lap race. The first 600 bike home was ridden by Bryan Duncanson, who also ended the season as 600 Superstock champion.

During the presentation of the Steve Hislop trophy, resident trackside commentator Ian 'Mose' Hutchison paid tribute to Hislop, reminding the gathered spectators that Hislop was an 11-times TT race winner who started his race career at East Fortune before going on to become Scottish and British champion.

The next race meeting at East Fortune will be held on October 13/14 when the NEMCRC club from the north-east of England will make a welcome return to East Lothian for their final championship races.