A HEALTHY crowd flocked to the start of Melville Motor Club’s 2018 season at East Fortune.

The circuit played host to two rounds of the Scottish Motorcycle Championship among a busy 28-race programme.

The weekend produced some close competitive racing in all classes with dominant performances from Haddington’s Paul McClung, who this year is racing in the British Superbikes’ series.

He borrowed a bike from Mark Leonard, also Haddington, for the weekend to gain extra track time and raced in the Scottish Lightweights’ class.

McClung picked up four wins from four races on an Aprilia 450 but he was pushed all the way by Torquil Paterson and Scott Campbell, who each took two runner-up places.

In the final Lightweights’ race, it looked like Paterson was about to take the win but, in the dying seconds, McClung made a superb pass to take the chequered flag by just 0.333 seconds.

Prestonpans’ teenager Adon Davie went in the Lightweights’ class for the first time and he picked up points in all four races.

Hawick’s John Dean, the 2016 Steve Hislop Trophy winner and past Scottish champion, increased his lead in the Scottish Superbikes’ Championship with two wins and a second place.

The other two Superbike wins were taken by Callum Grigor, who also finished runner-up in two races and is 24 points adrift of Dean, the current Championship leader.

Having won the Sunday’s first race, Dean was the recipient of the Frankie Dignan Memorial Trophy – awarded for the first time this year in memory of Frankie, who died after an accident at Campbell’s Hairpin, towards the end of the Scottish Superbikes race at East Fortune last August.

Dean said he felt “very honoured” to be the first racer to win the trophy.

Lewis Paterson, the teenage son of ex-Scottish champion Torquil, now competes in the British Talent Cup series but took part in the Formula 600 class.

His father was in the same class and, as well as winning a race, Paterson Jnr beat his father twice.

He was awarded the Jim Oliver Memorial Trophy having been voted ‘Racer of the Meeting’ by the officials.

For many years, Oliver, from Denholm in the Scottish Borders, took a special interest in helping young talent and supported many Scottish racers, one of whom was multiple TT Winner and BSB Champion Steve Hislop.

Paterson said he was “thrilled” to have his name on the trophy.

The Formula 600 race wins were shared by Torquil Paterson, William Monie, Rory Skinner and Sam Munro who also gained two second place.

North Berwick’s ex-European champion Howard Selby led one of the Senior Post Classic races for several laps but had to settle for second place behind Adrian McCarthy.

A large grid of sidecars produced some superb racing with all four races won by Stephen Kershaw and passenger Stuart Clark.

Racing returns to East Fortune this weekend as the NEMCRC club from the north-east of England return north of the Border.