Returning Champions Galore!
Thursday 11th July 2019 was a day to remember for Pete Founds and Jevan Walmsley as they took the final chequered flag at the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company Southern 100 Races as they claimed the Daryl Blake Construction Sidecar Championship Race for the first time.
Three years on, the Northwich/Grimsby duo return to attempt to retain the coveted title at the prestigious Southern 100 Road Races carrying the Number 1 plate.
However, they are not the only Sidecars Champions waiting to line up on the Start-Line on Castletown By-Pass, as no less than four previous holders of the title return to add extra spice to the Sidecar races this year.
2014 Champion Conrad Harrison with passenger Andrew Winkle on their Bellas Honda carries the No.3 plate, with six times champion Dave Molyneux on his KTM displaying No.4.
1997 Champion Greg Lambert on his LCR Honda will have the number 69, as four times holder of the title Tim Reeves will have his usual number 77.
The two drivers with ten Championships between share a unique distinction this year, both their passengers are newcomers to the Billown Course. Manxman Dave Molyneux has Beverley’s Daryl Gibson by his side (some of the time), whilst Tim Reeves has Frenchman Kevin Rousseau keeping the sidecar wheel on the ground (some of the time!).
Not content with five Sidecar Champions, the entry includes the sons of triple winner in 2004, 2005 and 2006 Nick Crowe, as Ryan and Callum Crowe bring their 675 LCR Triumph to join the party, having made their debut last time out in 2019 and taking the top step on the podium in the Sidecar Consolation race. They carry the No.7 plate.
Nick Crowe’s Sidecar winning passenger Darren Hope, also makes a welcome return once again as a driver with Lenny Bumfrey as ‘ballast.’
Add to the mix Southern 100 regulars Wayne Lockey and Matthew Rostron, Lee Crawford and Scott Hardie and the scene is set for some close-up and exciting racing, certainly not for the feint-hearted, around the Colas Billown Course on Wednesday evening and Championship Day Thursday afternoon.
The action commences on Monday evening 11th July between 6.05pm and 9.40pm with practice and continues on Tuesday with final practice, plus two races commencing at 8.00pm. Wednesday has four races, whilst Thursday, Championship Day the morning session between 9.30am and 12.45pm four races are to be run and finally between 1.30pm and 4.45pm four races including the two feature races, the Solo and Sidecar Championships.
The Southern 100 concludes with an Open-Air Prize Presentation in the Market Square from 8.30pm.
Further information can be found on the official website: www.southern100.com
Photo courtesy of Philip McCammon shows close action from the 2019 Southern 100 Road Races