Race fans were entertained at East Fortune race circuit over the weekend, with plenty of thrills and spills, during the penultimate round of the Scottish Motorcycle Championship meeting that included the weekend’s special feature, the annual Steve Hislop Memorial Trophy race, won for the first time by Fife’s Greg Gilfillan, with Gifford teenager, Lewis Rollo finishing runner-up.
The Hislop Trophy was presented by ex motorcycle racer, Wully Simson who had travelled up from Denholm in the Scottish Borders. Simson became Steve Hislop’s mechanic for many years once his own race career was over.
Danderhall’s Michael Robertson, currently racing in British Superbikes, paid a welcome return to the East Lothian circuit and was looking forward to competing in the Hislop Trophy race, but unfortunately, during his first race on Saturday, he crashed and wrecked his bike and took no further part in the weekend’s racing as his bike was too badly damaged to be able to get it repaired in time.
Saturday’s wet weather contributed to a large number of crashes, especially at the chicane, so the track marshals were kept very busy rebuilding tyre walls and picking up bikes and riders! This eventually led to a set of Saturday races being postponed as time was running short for the circuit’s 6pm curfew. These races were run on Sunday afternoon with a shortened number of laps to ensure the riders were not too disappointed at losing some of their Saturday races especially as points were needed for Championship deciders.
All four 600 Superstock races were won decisively by Gifford’s Lewis Rollo, who had already secured the Scottish Championship and is the youngest ever rider to do so. Rollo also was runner-up in the 17-lap Steve Hislop Memorial Trophy race on his 600cc bike, whereas the winner and third rider home were on 1,000cc bikes!
Andrew Tasker encountered mechanical gremlins for much of the season, including having his engine blow-up after qualifying in pole position on Saturday, yet managed to secure the Scottish Superbike Championship, for the second time, by picking up the necessary final points on a fellow rider’s bike!
During the presentation of the Steve Hislop trophy, resident trackside commentator Ian ‘Mose’ Hutchison paid tribute to Hislop, reminding the gathered spectators that Hislop was an 11-times TT race winner who started his race career at East Fortune, going on to become Scottish and British champion.
Melville Motor Club would like to thank all the volunteers, marshals, officials and helpers who support the riders throughout the season. Thanks also to the resident commentary team of ‘Mose’ and Ian Robertson, who keep the spectators informed with their extensive knowledge and provide amusing banter and interviews in between races.
The next, and final, race meeting at East Fortune will be held on the weekend of October 10-11, when the NEMCRC club from the north-east of England will make a welcome return to East Lothian for their final championship races.