A PRODIGIOUS county racing talent is preparing for the 2014 season after a breakthrough rookie year which was an overriding success.

Paul McClung surpassed all expectations in his first year on the Kawasaki zx600r machine in the competitive Superstock 600 class.

The 17-year-old, from Haddington and a Knox Academy pupil, emerged victorious in the 2013 Scottish Superstock 600 championship, while he raced strongly at British level.

The season started south of Darlington at Croft Circuit, where McClung took to the 600 bike for the first time competitively and struggled to get to grips with a wet practice session, which resulted in him falling from his bike.

But after sorting some minor problems with the bike, McClung got to grips with the track, qualifying for third on the gird of 30 Superstock 600 machines. The weekend ended with McClung claiming two second places and a first, taking home his first winners’ trophy on the new bike.

The biggest success came in the Scottish Championships over eight weekends between East Fortune and Knockhill circuits. After a number of ups and down, McClung claimed the championship.

Thanks to £1,500 raised from a race night in Haddington Rugby Club, McClung, who plays for HRFC, was able to race at the Knockhill round of the British Superbike Championships.

Hoping to finish in the top 15, McClung qualified 12th out of 46 top British riders in what was only his fifth outing on the 600 bike.

With his times getting quicker throughout the year, McClung is now looking ahead to 2014’s racing with continued dedication to both racing and rugby.

He will be racing in the Scottish Championship again as he looks to defend his title, while, depending on funding, will take part in more British rounds.

Team McClung Racing are holding a pre-season fundaraising race night at Haddington Rugby Club on Saturday, March 1. There will be an auction, raffles, racing and disco, with tickets costing £5.

Team McClung Racing said: “Racing is a very expensive sport and anybody wishing to help in any way with rider equipment, tyre costs, fuel, oils etc or donating a gift for auction or raffle prize would be much appreciated.

“The whole team would like to take this opportunity to thank everybody that supports and sponsors Paul. Thanks to Signman, Ronald Graham Group, Cleen Rite 2000, Malcolm Brown Fireplaces, East Coast Autos, Mike’s Bikes, Diana Dyce, Gary T Ramsay, Linton Charitable Trust, Shirlaws of Aberdeen, the 3 Musketeers, also family and friends and Haddington Rugby Club for the use of the clubhouse. We are very grateful to everyone that helps Paul on his journey and we would love to have your continued support for the 2014 season.” To sponsor McClung, get in touch through his Facebook page or the website mcclungracing.com The team would be glad to display sponsors’ names on the bike and race truck.