Dean wins Scottish title during annual Hislop tribute weekend

John Dean with Steve Hislop's mum, Margaret.
John Dean with Steve Hislop's mum, Margaret.

Hawick racer John Dean is the 2018 Scottish Superbike Champion, regaining the national title after a superb weekend of racing.

Several lap records were broken during the final 2018 Scottish Motorcycle Championship meeting at East Fortune Race Circuit, when spectators were thoroughly entertained with a full programme of 29 races.

Some of Saturday’s races were held over until Sunday because of red flags following several race incidents and, with Sunday’s good weather, there were no delays.

Saturday’s two Superbike races were won by Greg Gilfillan.

In the first, he was able to snatch the lead from Paul McClung after he suffered some bad luck while leading, having made a mistake that caused him to run out of fuel with three laps to go.

McClung was leading Saturday’s second Superbike race until he was passed on the last lap by Gilfillan, who had a slender lead of 0.239 seconds. Third home was John Dean.

The season’s finale was the annual Steve Hislop Memorial Trophy race for Saturday’s fastest riders, won for the first time by McClung.

The prestigious trophy was presented by Steve Hislop’s mum, Margaret, who had travelled up from Denholm especially for the presentation.

Resident trackside commentator Ian ‘Mose’ Hutchinson paid tribute to Hawick-born Hislop during the presentation of the trophy and accompanying prize money.

He reminded the gathering of spectators that ‘Hizzy’ was an 11-times Isle of Man TT race winner who started his race career at East Fortune, before going on to become Scottish and British Champion.

In the race, McClung had a good start from sixth on the grid and was leading the way after the second turn.

He held this position for all 17 laps, pulling a gap of 6.2 seconds on Greg Gilfillan to be first past the chequered flag.

McClung beat his own lap record, set earlier in the day, with a speed of 57.616 secs / 97.473 mph. He had always wanted to get his hands on this trophy ever since he started to race – and he achieved that in style at the weekend.

As well as winning the Steve Hislop Trophy, McClung picked up two of the weekend’s Superbike race wins, and the other two were won by Fife’s Greg Gilfillan, who was runner-up in the 17-lap Hislop Trophy race.

Hawick’s John Dean was third in the Hislop race and had been recipient of the much-coveted trophy in 2016.

The Melville Motor Club has extended its thanks to all volunteers, marshals, officials and helpers who support the riders during the race season and help at work parties throughout the year.

The final race meeting at East Fortune will be held over the weekend of October 6-7, when the NEMCRC club from the north-east of England returns to East Lothian for its final Championship races.