A record number of Newcomers have been accepted for this year’s Isle of Man Steam Packet Southern 100 International Road Races.
Thirty solo riders and four sidecar crews will experience the joys and tribulations of the 4.25-mile Billown Course during the four-day meeting which takes place on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday 10th, 11th, 12th & 13th July.
Most of the newcomers will be arriving from the adjacent island of England, with equal numbers from Northern Ireland and Eire, with a lone competitor from Wales.
Mullingar’s Derek McGee is no stranger to the ‘Irish’ road race fans with some outstanding results in past seasons makes his debut with a variety of machines from the beautifully livered ‘Joey’s Bar’ 125cc Honda to a 1000 Superbike.
2017 so far has seen Derek take a race victory at the Tandragee 100 and followed that with five second places at the Cookstown 100.
Yorkshire’s Joe Thompson has enjoyed a stellar-season so far, with no less than six race wins at Oliver’s Mount - the most recent at the Cock o’the North Road Races.
The Selby teenager is mentored and entered by Team ILR, run by a previous Master of Billown, with some 32 wins at the Southern 100, Ian Lougher.
Wilmslow rider Sam West brings a 1000 BMW and a 600 Kawasaki at his debut meeting, having taken a fine 10th place at this year’s North West 200 in May, following that with two top-15 positions at the TT in the Superbike and Superstock races.
In numerical order, the four Sidecar team debutantes are Andy Wilby and Paul Lowther, who hail from Huddersfield and Scunthorpe; Dan Knight and Matthew Rostron from Macclesfield and Formby and Mark Saunders and Karl Schofield from Grantham and Knaresborough.
The fourth of the Sidecar newcomers are Maria Costello from Spratton with Justin sharp from North Clifton in the chair - Maria is well known for her Mountain Course exploits on two wheels and has this year taken up the challenge of Sidecar racing.
Lee Hembury, Mike Norbury, Paul Williams, Shaun Wynne, Daniel Capper, Paul Marley, Denzyl Weavill, Stephen Smith, James Field, Mark Pattinson, James Buchanan, Bob Masters, Neil Lloyd, Ben Shuttlewood, Nigel McAuley, Steven Gormley, Ben Heaton, Stephen Parsons, Jack Fowler, Jack Haverkamp, Owen Graves, Andy McAllister, Alan Connor, David Howard, Tommy Henry, Peter Fletcher and Enda Trearty complete the list of Solo Newcomers.
Southern 100 Racing hope they all enjoy their first ‘Southern 100’ and have a safe and successful event, and like many others before them become regulars at ‘the friendly races’.
(Photo courtesy of Peter Farthing depicts Joe Thompson at the recent Cock o'the North Road Races at Oliver's Mount)