THE motorcycle racing season kicks off at East Fortune this weekend when the Melville Club hosts two of the SACU Championship rounds.

The busy programme, with more than 180 entries and several full grids, features some of Scotland’s best motorbike and sidecar racers, including Haddington’s Paul McClung, who recently enjoyed a very successful Thundersport debut at Donington Park. The 20-year-old will be hoping for a repeat of last season, when he won every one of his races in Scotland.

Also taking part will be former Scottish Superbike champions Andrew Tasker and Torquil Paterson and leading girl racers Sammi Tasker and Jodie Chalk.

East Fortune welcomes the return of popular Superbike racer Bruce Birnie after an absence of four years. He’ll have a busy weekend, having entered three different classes.

It is a very much a family-orientated event, with fathers and kids racing together and in different races, and, had it not been for a change of bike, there would have been a grandfather and grandson in the same race.

With a number of Class Champions moving on to Superbikes, there will be new top-dogs in Lightweights and Pre-Injection 600s with its newly attained Scottish Championship status. Several youngsters will make their race debut, including Torquil Paterson’s youngest son, Owen, whose brother Lewis races in the Lightweights class.

County riders to look out for include Marti Brown, Barry Keith, Frankie Dignan, Martin Harrison, Kennth Thirlwell, Allister Blair and Graham Patterson.

Race classes are Scottish Superbikes, Formula Melville, Scottish Lightweights, Formula 600, Classics, Pre-Injection 600 -1200, Sidecars and Formula 125.

Keeping fans informed will be the resident commentary team of ex-sidecar racer Mose Hutchinson and Ian Robertson, who will also interview riders in between the racing action.

Bikes will be on circuit for practice and qualifying from 9am on both days. Admission for a full day’s entertainment is £10 for adults and free for accompanied under-16s, and the paddock is open for everyone.