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Gillian McGaw from Kilmarnock's successful race year

THIS year 16 year old, Kilmarnock, Crookedholm schoolgirl racer, Gillian McGaw, who was last years 125cc champion and lap record holder moved classes to compete in the Scottish Lightweights on her 400cc Kawasaki machines, which are prepaired by her father Mark, who himself, is a former Irish Road Racing champion.

In the 47 races that she competed in throughout the season she finished 40 and won all off them and during which she set two new lap records. These were contested at the Croft Circuit, in England and the Knockhill and East Fortune Circuits in Scotland. This performance was good enough for her to take the second place in the 2015 Scottish Auto Cycle Union Championship.

Picture: Gillian on her racing bike

Other awards that she collected from the Melville Club throughout the season were the 400cc Club and Open Champion as well as the John Muir Trophy for achievement.

The July meeting saw her performances being recognised, when she was selected from around 200 riders to win the Tom Dickie trophy, which is presented to the "Rider of the Meeting".

A great honour for any rider, but for a 16 year old girl who is competing in a male dominated sport on a 400cc bike against riders on the bigger 650cc bikes is outstanding.

To round off the year she entered the prestigious Sunflower meeting, in Northern Ireland, which is the final round of the Irish Race Calendar held at Bishops Court, near Belfast. Despite never having seen the circuit before, in her first race she came in fifth and in her second race she was leading the field when her Kawasaki developed a fuel pump fault which forced her retirement.

But despite her bad luck, her stylish and determined riding over the weekend caught the attention of the fans, who have already voiced their hopes to see her back there competing next season.

Images credit to Squinty Images


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