EWAN Gray has stolen the Melville F600 championship from Adam Lyon following a nip and tuck battle for points this weekend at East Fortune.
After just missing out on the Melville club’s top 600 honours last year, despite winning the Scottish Superstock 600 title, the Angus ace arrived at the East Lothian circuit still in the running for both trophies.
Gray suffered a less than perfect start from pole position in race one and relinquished the early lead to Adam Lyon with William Monie just behind, but he passed Monie just before the Suzuki rider retired on lap three then levered Lyon aside for the lead on lap six.
Not to be deterred, Lyon struck back two laps later and managed to hold on for the win 0.269 seconds ahead of Lyon, with Birnie a further seven adrift in third.
With the 16 points for his rostrum finish, Carnegie Fuels rider Birnie secured the Scottish F600 Championship.
Lyon and Gray were at it again in race two and, just like before, Gray snatched the lead from Lyon only to be pushed back to second – this time on the final lap – missing out on the win once more by just 0.166 seconds as Lyon doubled up on wins, with Steven Allison taking a lone third.
Just like each race before, Lyon nabbed the early lead in Sunday’s first race, but retired two laps in and handed the lead to Birnie. Shortly after and from a disadvantageous sixth on lap one, Gray slotted into second by lap three and moved into the lead three laps later as he extended an 11-second winning margin over Birnie, with Allison again third.
In the final Formula 600 scrap of the day and the final Scottish Championship race of the year, Lyon was back in action and back in the lead as usual. But veteran Birnie moved into the lead just two laps in, and was followed closely by Gray the very next lap.
A battle ensued for second between young protagonists Lyon and Gray, and the pair eventually managed to move through on Birnie two laps from the end, taking second and first position, respectively. Lyon had a stab at the lead on the penultimate lap, but Gray snatched it back on the final lap to bag another victory by just under a second.
The Shirlaws Kawasaki rider also took sixth overall in the Steve Hislop memorial race, finishing first of the 600s.
“I’ve had quite a challenging year but managed to win both Melville and Open championships,” Gray said. “I couldn’t do it without all the help throughout the season.”
“I would just like to say a massive thanks to my Dad and Mum, Beth and rest of the team that come and help no matter what the circumstances are. Also a big thanks to Shirlaws for another year on the 600 – bring on 2018!”
*Images: Geo Clark