The ever popular Southern 100 has attracted again another truly first rate, world class Supersport, Superbike entry which includes TT winners, IRRC competitors and multiple event stalwarts.
Aiming to continue the form that took him to a momentous Dunlop Senior TT victory, Ulster GP lap record holder Dean Harrison starts for many strong favourite for Superbike, Supersport honours, and also to make it a hat trick of Solo Championship titles.
Photo by Mark Corlett
One of only four racers who have lapped the fabled Mountain Course at under 17 minutes, Silicone Engineering Racing’s Harrison showcased at TT 2019 why he is firmly regarded amongst the foremost International roads competitors of his generation.
Looking at one presently with the Silicone Kawasaki steeds, it’s going to take faultless performances from his competitors to defeat him next week at Billown.
Anticipated leading challenger to Bradford’s Harrison will be none other than 19 times TT winner Michael Dunlop.
Ruled out of the recent Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, through injuries sustained following an incident at the Donegal International rally, the Ballymoney roads legend is confident of been at optimum race fitness for his latest Manx roads tenure.
Never to be underestimated, the mercurial Dunlop who’s proven on multiple occasions that the impossible is never not possible, has the obvious Billown CV, proven pace, machinery and the unquestioned star quality to go the entire 2019 Southern 100 unbeaten.
Set to pilot his own teams Carl Cox Motorsport supported CBR 600RR Honda, it’s not clear yet as to what his machine of choice will be for the 1000cc races.
Outside of Dunlop and Harrison, others extremely capable of acquiring multiple four stroke class podium finishes include PreZ Racing’s in form Jamie Coward, last year’s Corlett’s Trophies 600/1000 race winner Rob Hodson and triple Manx GP victor Michael Evans.
Photo’s by Nick Wheeler
Additional ones to watch include PRL Racing/Danny Tomlinson Racing’s Sam West, Davies Motorsport’s Dominic Herbertson, Stephen Parsons, Jonathan Perry, Rhys Hardisty.
VRS Racing’s Brad Vicars, Anthony Redmond, Spada supported Mike Norbury, Adrian Harrison, Joe Akroyd, Barry Furber and Richard Charlton.
Rising local talents entered include Chris Preston, Quayside Tyre & Service Centre backed Nathan Harrison, Dean Osborne, Matt Mylchreest, Paul Cassidy, Mike Brew, Jamie Williams, Frankie Stennett and Marc Colvin.
Further depth to the entry is provided by a mix of ambitious up coming S100 exponents, vastly experienced Billown course specialists which include Dave Moffitt, Stephen Smith, Jack Fowler, Chris Watson, David McConnachy, Alun Brooks, Colin Croft, Jack Petrie, Lee Hembury.
Don Gilbert, Steven Beale, Rad Hughes, Justin Collins, Belgium’s Jean Pierre Polet, Paul Marley, Ben Shuttlewood, Alan Johnston, Andy Castle, Dave Brook and runner up in last year’s Newcomers A Manx Grand Prix, Steven Haddow.
High profile newcomers to keep a close eye on, include fitness permitting Dafabet Devitt Racing’s Paul Jordan and leading French road racer, long term Optimark Road Racing team member Xavier Denis.
With close fought, top quality competition a certainty, all the usual contenders competing, plus next generation roads stars, the stage is set for classic Superbike, Supersport and Solo Championship encounters, at the 2019 Southern 100.
Words by Stevie Rial