John Holden and Lee Cain
Blackburn’s John Holden and Manx passenger Lee Cain became the 29th Southern 100 Sidecar Champions for 2017 lifting the coveted Peel Engineering Trophy and the Oates/Molyneux Trophy at the prize presentation in Castletown Square in the unique open-air ceremony that brings the International races to a close.
John and Lee join another eighteen drivers and passengers who have over the years worn the Sidecar Champions laurel wreaths.
Charlie Freeman and Billy Nelson were the first winners in 1962 riding a Norton outfit, since then British Champions, TT winners and World Champions have lined up on the Castletown By-Pass and taken the chequered flag.
Most successful, at the time of writing is Manxman Dave Molyneux, who has won the Championship Title six times, with three passengers (not all at once), Paul Kneale in 1986; Karl Ellison 1991 & 1992 and Craig Hallam in 1998, 2002 and 2003.
Two crews have five wins each: Charlie Freeman with Billy Nelson in ‘the chair’ in 1962; 1964, 1965, 1966 and finally in 1969.
Ulsterman Lowry Burton joined Charlie Freeman with five with Marty Murphy in 1980 and 1981; Pat Cushnahan in 1983 & 1987 and Julian Tailford in 1988.
Local crew of Nick Crowe and Darren Hope took the titles back to back in 2004, 2005, 2006 and with a change of passenger, Dan Sayle in 2007.
Three ‘teams’ have achieved the coveted championship title three times, firstly Bill Davie and Neil Miller in successive years, 1993, 1994 & 1995.
Ian Bell and Neil Carpenter in 1999 and 2000, adding his third title in 2009 with son Carl in the chair.
Tim Reeves won the titles in 2013, 2015 and 2016 with three different passengers, Dan Sayle, Mark Wilkes and Patrick Farrance.
John Watson took the first of his two wins in 1972 with John Wright and again in 1976 with Brian Hoyle.
Allen Steele and Tony Barrow completed a ‘double’ in 1977 and 1978.
With Klaus Klaffenbock’s and Dan Sayle also doing back to back victories in 2010 and 2011.
The most successful ‘passenger’, to date is Billy Nelson, with five championships, followed by Dan Sayle with four and three share three-wins apiece, Neil Miller, Craig Hallam and Darren Hope.
Dave Molyneux and Dan Sayle may have been out of luck in 2017, but the Yamaha outfit looked the part!
Dave Molyneux - the most successful Southern 100 Sidecar Champion
1986, 1991, 1992, 1998, 2002, 2003.