It’s time to remind back to July of 2019, when Dean Harrison started for many favourite to claim a hat-trick of Southern 100 Solo Championship crowns.
My report on last year’s showpiece nine lap race stint around the much loved Billown course, reads as follows:
(Article originally published 11th July 2019)
Excellent conditions around Billown greeted competitors for the showpiece, Hunts Motorcycles Southern 100 Solo Championship race, which got underway just before 4:00 PM.
Pole sitter, pre race favourite Dean Harrison got the hole shot, quickly moving into a solid advantage out front.
Come the completion of lap 1, Harrison’s race lead stood at almost two seconds over Rob Hodson, Ryan Kneen occupied third only 0.116 behind Hodson.
Dominic Herbertson was fourth, Sam West held fifth as PreZ Racing’s Jamie Coward completed the top six.
Surging further clear, Harrison further cemented his grip on the race on lap two, upping his lead to 5.31 seconds over Hodson, with popular local racer Kneen maintaining third, but was now only 0.060 of a second behind former Twins Manx GP winner Hodson.
Dominic Herbertson dropped out of contention, as Sam West, Michael Evans, PreZ Racing’s finalised the top six.
Harrison’s lead extended to in excess of 10 seconds on lap three, with his race lead standing officially at 10.443 seconds clear of newly second placed Ryan Kneen.
Rob Hodson now occupied third, Sam West remained fourth, Jamie Coward moved up to fifth, Michael Evans dropped back to sixth, whilst Joe Akroyd, Richard Charlton and Rhys Hardisty were all impressing in holding top ten positions.
Harrison’s prodigious race stint continued to get more and more productive on lap four, taking the race lead to a now quite incredible 13.7 seconds.
Photo by Mark Corlett
Kneen remained second, Hodson remained third, West remained in fourth place, with Coward still occupying fifth.
As race commentator Tim Glover stated, no one else in sight, as Dean Harrison powered through the start finish line at the completion of lap five.
Harrison’s race lead went up to 15.46 seconds, yes you read that right, a plus 15 second advantage over the evenly matched chasing pack led by Charmer Builders supported Kneen.
17.35 seconds clear, there was no stopping Silicone Engineering Racing’s Harrison on lap six, as he continued his faultless all round performance.
The battle for second between Kneen, Hodson and West was closing up, with just over 0.8 of a second covering the respective second, third, fourth placed competitors.
There was no change within the top five on lap seven, as Harrison continued his relentless charge to a third Southern 100 Solo Championship crown.
The story of lap eight, was pretty much the same as lap seven, with Harrison’s race lead maintaining over the 18 second mark.
Kneen was keeping his cool in the battle for second, as Hodson, West, Coward remained respectively third, fourth and fifth.
Backing off his pace, but only marginally, Dean Harrison did everything he had to do to wrap up the Southern 100 Solo Championship title for 2019.
Victorious by 14.832 seconds, Harrison who’s acquired this week at Billown six race wins from six race starts, is just the third racer after Joey Dunlop and Guy Martin to win three successive Solo Championship races.
Runner up behind the now 24 times Southern 100 race winner was Ryan Kneen, as Rob Hodson rounded out the podium finishers, finishing just 0.387 behind popular second place finisher Kneen.
PRL Racing’s Sam West placed fourth, PreZ Racing’s Jamie Coward was fifth as Michael Sweeney concluded the first ten finishers.
Joe Akroyd secured a very respectable seventh place finish as Richard Charlton, Rhys Hardisty and Jonathan Perry rounded out the top ten finishers.
Southern 100: Hunts Motorcycles Solo Championship race result, is as follows:
1 Dean Harrison
2 Ryan Kneen
3 Rob Hodson
4 Sam West
5 Jamie Coward
6 Michael Sweeney
7 Joe Akroyd
8 Richard Charlton
9 Rhys Hardisty
10 Jonathan Perry
11 Mark Parrett
12 Nathan Harrison
13 Brad Vicars
14 Stephen McKnight
15 David Brook
16 Alun Brooks
17 Alan Connor
18 Mike Norbury
19 Stephen Smith
20 Sam Mousley
Words by Stevie Rial