The record number of Newcomers that were accepted for the 2017 Isle of Man Steam Packet Southern 100 International Road Races have been eclipsed by the entries this year.
Last year thirty solo riders and four sidecar crews made their debut on the Colas Billown Course – 2018 sees the total rise to 36 solo competitors and no less than 10 Sidecar crews, including two all-female teams who will experience the joys and tribulations of the 4.25-mile Course during the four-day meeting which takes place on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday 9th, 10th, 11th & 12th July.
To help cope the race organisers cope with this record influx local multi-type vehicle hire specialist 4 Hire are kindly providing one of their Mini-Buses to enable the Club’s Riders Liaison Officer, Chris Palmer to show the debutants around the course.
4 Hire have been involved with the Southern 100 for several year’s proving vehicles to help on setting up and dismantling the course and to supplying ‘Race Recovery’ vehicles for use during Practice and Racing, as well as sponsoring, through their parent company Ocean Motor Village the 650cc/250cc race on Championship Day.
Chris Palmer said: ‘Part of Newcomers introduction to racing on the Colas Billown Course s that they are taken on a ‘conducted’ lap and the use of a large mini-bus is the ideal vehicle to shown them the way round.
‘The club and myself are very grateful to both 4 Hire & Ocean Motor Village in their generosity in providing this Mini-Bus, which has made the process so much easier.’
Headliners in the solos include, Davey Todd from Saltburn and Waterford’s Brian McCormack, along with Skerries man Michael Sweeney.
However, it is the quality of the newcomers in the Sidecars, with three of the crews taking top six placing in last months Isle of Man TT Races and a fourth taking a top ten finish.
Alan Founds and Jake Lowther achieved a fifth and fourth, whilst Peter Founds with Jevan Walmsley gained a fourth in the first race.
Blackburn’s Lewis Blackstock and Patrick Rosney claimed fifth in the second Sidecar TT.
The all-female team from France, Estelle LeBlond and Melanie Farnier finished ninth in the second Sidecar race.
They are joined by an English all female crew of Maria Costello and Sarah Stokoe.
Lee Crawford and Scott Hardie, regular podium men at Oliver’s Mount join the fray, as does John and Nigel Lowther who didn’t have the best of TT’s this year.
Completing the newcomers list are Pail Riley and Andrew Haynes and Gendrutis Zakarauskas and Ben McBride.
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.’