Bradford’s Dean Harrison won the coveted Manx Gas Solo Championship Race at the International Southern 100 Road Races becoming the 61st winner of the prestigious award since the races were first run in 1955.
Liverpudlian, Terry Shepherd was the first rider to lift the winner’s trophy completing the then 24-lap race, exactly 100 miles in 1 hour 18 minutes 11.8 seconds an average speed of 78.260mph on his 500 Manx Norton.
On the 1000cc Silicone Kawasaki Dean Harrison took just 20m 9.203s to complete the nine laps (38.25 miles) at 113.877mph to become the 35th rider to have his name inscribed on the much-prized trophy.
Winners of the Southern 100 Solo Championship have included Manx Grand Prix and TT winners, British Champions and World Champions.
Joey Dunlop heads to list of Solo Champions with six wins in total, including the first ‘hat-trick’ of wins in 1976, his debut year, 1977 and 1978. Collecting the laurel wreaths again in 1991, 1993 and 1999.
Ian Lougher is the second most successful Solo Champion with five wins in 2002, 2004, 2005, 2007 and 2008.
Five competitors have won three times, Terry Shepherd, Bill Smith, Jason Griffiths, Guy Martin and Michael Dunlop.
With six taking the Championship twice, Phil Read, David Williams, Kenny Harrison, Dave Leach, Bob Jackson and Ryan Farquhar.
Twenty riders have won the Southern 100 Championship a single time Alastair King, Ron Langston, Chris Conn, Selwyn Griffiths, Steve Jolly, Brian Steenson, Billy Guthrie, Charlie Williams, Tom Herron, Steve Tonkin, Ray McCullough, George Fogarty, David Dean, David Ashton, Con Law, Brian Reid, Dave Pither, Ian Bell, Phillip McCallen, Blair Degerholm and Cameron Donald.
Cameron Donald equalled Joey Dunlop’s feat of winning the Solo Championship at his first attempt in 2006, whilst Guy Martin also equalled Joey’s record of achieving the ‘triple’ in 2013, 2014 and 2015.
To date Selwyn and Jason Griffiths are the only father and son to win the solo championship in 1966 and 1994, with Jason adding the 1996 and 1997 championships to his racing CV.
Ian bell is so far, the only man to win both the Southern 100 Solo Championship 1987 and the Sidecar Championship in 1999. Also adding the Sidecar titles in 2000 and 2009.
Dean Harrison’s first Southern 100 Solo Championship brings a further unique piece of history to the ‘friendly races’ with his father Conrad winning the Sidecar Championship in 2014 - another father and son link!
Photographs courtesy of Tracey Killey and Shaun Lewis.