GREG Gilfillan and Paul McClung were the big winners this weekend in the Scottish Superbike ranks, but it was John Dean who regained national title.
Along with winning the blue riband Scottish crown, Dean managed to hang on for four podiums and a fourth, enough to give him the Melville Open and Club championships.
But it was McClung, paying a visit to his local track in between National Superstock 1000 rounds, who dominated Sunday’s action with a hat-trick and the Steve Hislop Trophy win.
After qualifying second on the grid to brother Sean Gilfillan, Greg stormed off the line in race one to bag a lights-to-flag victory over five seconds clear of Dean, with Callum Grigor a similar distance back.
But Haddington’s McClung, who had run out of fuel with three laps to go in race one, was ready for action in race two and led nearly the entire scrap before Greg pipped him two laps from the end to double up and sweep Saturday’s races.
The National championship rider put paid to any doubters on Sunday, however, as he led Gilfillan over the line twice after leading from lights-to-flag before another dominant victory in what is arguably one of Scotland’s biggest races of the year: the Steve Hislop Trophy race.
After dipping under the existing lap record in the earlier Superbike scrap with a 58.001, McClung stamped his authority with a 57.616 to take the win he admitted he’d been chasing since starting out on two wheels.
But with a second, two thirds and a fourth, Dean pulled out enough to regain the Scottish title he lost two years ago, which he admits was his primary aim.
“It’s been quite a year, we’ve had highs and lows, but we kept fighting and achieving our main goal, which was to win the Scottish Superbike crown.
The year started off amazing and by the middle of the season we had a comfy lead over second place. But in practice I fell off the BMW and destroyed it. Which meant riding the old faithful K9 GSXR 1000 for some damage limitation, and that was a weekend to forget.
“Some very poor results meant we lost our comfy lead and it was neck and neck. With two race meetings to go, we lost the lead and dropped into second place, but we didn’t give up and kept fighting.
“It was taken right down to the very last race of the year, but we managed to gain enough points to win the Scottish championship.
“We have one more race this year so we’ll be off to Oulton Park in a fortnight where we can go enjoy a weekend’s racing with no pressure of championships to fight for.”
*Images: Jennifer Charlton