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These are the impressive records and stats that have been set over the past 60 years at the Southern 100 road race.
The first Southern 100 road races took place in 1955 with the race winners being Terry Shepherd (500cc), Derek Ennett (350cc) and Dave Chadwick (250cc) and it was Shepherd who took the fastest lap of the meeting at 80.95mph, a time of 3m9s.
Exactly 20 years later, the first ever 90mph lap of the 4.25-mile course was recorded and it was Ulster legend Ray McCullough that put his name in the record books forever, achieving the mark in the 350cc race, the first event of race week.
We didn’t have to wait anywhere near as long for the first ever 100mph lap of the Billown Course and it came just eight years later. Again it was an Ulsterman, on this occasion Brian Reid and in 1983 he lapped in a time of 2m33.0s on his RG500 Suzuki to give a speed of exactly 100mph. A total of 189 riders have now achieved the feat with the first 110mph lap being set by Ian Lougher in 2005.
Dean Harrison is the current outright lap record holder, his speed of 114.601mph being set in the 2014 Solo Championship race. Eighteen riders have now broken the 110mph barrier with Jamie Coward, Elliott and Ryan Kneen the latest three to achieve the feat in 2016.
|1.||Dean Harrison||1000 Kawasaki||2014||2m13.507s||114.601mph|
|2.||Guy Martin||1000 Suzuki||2014||2m13.667s||114.464mph|
|3.||Michael Dunlop||1000 Honda||2016||2m14.094s||114.099mph|
|4.||Daniel Kneen||1000 Suzuki||2014||2m15.346s||113.044mph|
|5.||Conor Cummins||1000 Suzuki||2012||2m16.295s||112.257mph|
|6.||Ryan Farquhar||1000 Kawasaki||2011||2m16.365s||112.199mph|
|7.||William Dunlop||1000 Honda||2011||2m16.441s||112.136mph|
|8.||Ivan Lintin||1000 Kawasaki||2016||2m16.632s||111.980mph|
|9.||Ian Lougher||1000 Honda||2005||2m16.750s||111.883mph|
|10.||Cameron Donald||1000 Honda||2006||2m17.510s||111.265mph|
|11.||Jamie Coward||1000 Kawasaki||2016||2m17.829s||111.007mph|
|12.||James Cowton||1000 Honda||2014||2m18.142s||110.756mph|
|13.||Jamie Hamilton||1000 Kawasaki||2013||2m18.446s||110.512mph|
|14.||Seamus Elliot||1000 Kawasaki||2016||2m18.458s||110.503mph|
|15.||Jason Griffiths||1000 Yamaha||2005||2m18.739s||110.279mph|
|16.||Russ Mountford||1000 Kawasaki||2015||2m18.739s||110.236mph|
|17.||Ryan Kneen||1000 Kawasaki||2016||2m19.003s||110.070mph|
|18.||Lee Vernon||1000 BMW||2012||2m19.045s||110.036mph|
|19.||Michael Pearson||1000 BMW||2013||2m19.339s||109.804mph|
|20.||Daniel Hegarty||1000 Kawasaki||2016||2m19.633s||109.573mph|
|21.||Davy Morgan||1000 Suzuki||2013||2m19.664s||109.549mph|
|22.||Steve Mercer||1000 BMW||2011||2m19.828s||109.420mph|
|23.||Martin Finnegan||1000 Honda||2007||2m19.961s||109.316mph|
|24.||Alan Bonner||1000 Kawasaki||2016||2m20.169s||109.154mph|
|25.||Darran Lindsay||1000 Suzuki||2005||2m20.213s||109.119mph|
It wasn’t until 1962 that the first Sidecar race took place at the Southern 100 and it was Charlie Freeman who took the honours with victory over Fred Wallis. Indeed, Freeman took four wins in five years before the 70s saw a lot more varied drivers take the victories.
However, it was in 1981 when history was made with the Irish pairing of Lowry Burton/Martin Murphy setting the first ever 90mph lap of the Billown Course. They knocked over three seconds off their existing lap record and recorded a lap of 2m47.6s, 91.28mph.
Unlike the solos, speeds didn’t increase as rapidly for the three-wheelers (although the removal of the Open class played a significant part) but Nick/Crowe/Daniel Sayle came oh so close to setting the first ever 100mph lap in 2007. Their lap of 99.778mph came under serious threat from Tim Reeves, Ian Bell and John Holden in 2015 but we only had to wait one more year before the magical 100mph barrier – and Crowe’s nine-year old lap record – was finally broken.
In a thrilling Championship race in 2016, Reeves, Holden and Ben Birchall all lapped at more than 100mph on the sixth lap with Reeves, and passenger Patrick Farrance, eventually claiming a new outright lap record at 100.749mph.
|1.||Tim Reeves/ Patrick Farrance||600 Honda||2016||2m31.862s||100.749mph|
|2.||Ben Birchall/ Tom Birchall||600 Honda||2016||2m31.964s||100.682mph|
|3.||John Holden/ Andy Winkle||600 Honda||2016||2m32.726s||100.179mph|
|4.||Nick Crowe/ Dan Sayle||600 Honda||2007||2m33.341s||99.778mph|
|5.||Ian Bell/ Carl Bell||600 Yamaha||2015||2m33.605s||99.606mph|
|6.||Conrad Harrison/ Mike Aylott||600 Honda||2015||2m34.143s||99.258mph|
|7.||Dave Molyneux/ Benjamin Binns||600 Kawasaki||2014||2m34.449s||99.062mph|
|8.||Klaus Klaffenbock/ Dan Sayle||600 Honda||2011||2m34.821s||98.824mph|
|9.||Simon Neary/ Jason Crowe||600 Honda||2011||2m34.836s||98.814mph|
|10.||Karl Bennett/ Lee Cain||600 Suzuki||2016||2m36.746s||97.610mph|
|11.||Gary Bryan/ Jamie Winn||600 Honda||2013||2m36.847s||97.547mph|
|12.||Wayne Lockey/ Mark Sayers||600 Honda||2016||2m36.921s||97.501mph|
|13.||Greg Lambert/ Kenny Cole||600 Honda||2013||2m37.446s||97.176mph|
|14.||Steve Coombes/ Paul Knapton||600 Honda||2009||2m38.553s||96.498mph|
|15.||Glyn Jones/ Richard Murphy||600 Suzuki||2011||2m38.575s||96.484mph|
|16.||Dean Lindley/ Dean Kilkenny||600 Suzuki||2014||2m38.619s||96.458mph|
|17.||Roy Hanks/ Dave Wells||600 Yamaha||2002||2m38.80s||96.347mph|
|18.||Vic Jefford/ Peter Hill||700 Yamaha||1990||2m40.40s||95.386mph|
|19.||Dwight Beare/ Noel Beare||600 Suzuki||2014||2m40.438s||95.364mph|
|20.||Geoff Bell/ Craig Hallam||600 Yamaha||2000||2m40.70s||95.208mph|
|=||Phil Dongworth/ John Luebke||600 Kawasaki||2002||2m40.70s||95.208mph|
|22.||Nigel Connole/ Jamie Winn||600 Honda||2007||2m40.834s||95.129mph|
|23.||Steve Ramsden/ Matty Ramsden||600 Honda||2016||2m41.164s||94.934mph|
|24.||Kenny Howles/ Doug Jewell||600 Yamaha||2003||2m41.20s||94.913mph|
|25.||Darren Hope/ Paul Bumfrey||600 Kawasaki||2014||2m41.351s||98.824mph|
Having made his debut in 1956, Cheshire’s Bill Smith had become the most successful rider ever at Billown by the 1970s with 13 wins to his credit including the Solo Championship of 1971.
However, it’s Welshman Ian Lougher who now holds the record with 32 wins between 1987 and 2013. He made his S100 debut in 1983 with his first win coming four years later in the 350cc race. He finally became the most successful rider in 2013, his final year in racing.
His win in that year’s Junior Solo Founders race saw him edge out Joey Dunlop whose 31 wins had long seen him out front. Making his debut in 1976, Joey was immediately successful winning that year’s Solo Championship and with his sixth win in the same race coming in 1999, some 23 years later, that total remains the best.
Local rider Kenny Harrison was incredibly successful throughout the 1980s, throughout the classes, whilst he added more wins in the 1990s with the introduction of the Classic race. Dave Leach was another rider to enjoy success during this period especially in 1989 and 1990.
Alongside Leach comes Ryan Farquhar who looks like he won’t add to his tally of 17 wins whilst he was joined on that figure by Michael Dunlop in 2016 after the Ulsterman won all four Superbike races on his BMW.
The recently retired Chris Palmer whose first win at the Southern, surprisingly didn’t come until 2005 behind them on 14 with the enigmatic. Guy Martin one place further back on 13. Meanwhile, current stars Dean Harrison (10) and William Dunlop (9) sure to increase their tally in the forthcoming years.
|1.||Ian Lougher||32 (1987 – 2013)|
|2.||Joey Dunlop||21 (1976 – 1999)|
|3.||Kenny Harrison||19 (1983 – 1994)|
|4.||Dave Leach||17 (1988 – 1995)|
|=||Ryan Farquhar||17 (2003 – 2012)|
|=||Michael Dunlop||17 (2010 – 2016)|
|7.||Chris Palmer||14 (2005 – 2012)|
|8.||Bill Smith||13 (1956 – 1976)|
|=||Guy Martin||13 (2004 – 2015)|
|10.||Bob Jackson||12 (1977 – 1998)|
|=||Jason Griffiths||12 (1993 – 2002)|
|=||David Madsen- Mygdal||12 (1997 – 2005)|
|13.||Derek Whalley||11 (1989 – 2000)|
|14.||Robert Dunlop||10 (1997 – 2006)|
|=||Barry Wood||10 (1991 – 2003)|
|=||Dean Harrison||10 (2013 – 2016)|
Some of motorcycling’s greatest names have won the feature Southern 100 Solo Championship including Phil Read, Charlie Williams, Ray McCullough, Tom Herron, Brian Reid and Phillip McCallen but it’s perhaps not surprising to see Joey Dunlop have the greatest tally with the Ballymoney legend winning the title on no less than six times.
He won at his very first attempt in 1976 and promptly won three years in a row and although he missed the meeting for much of the 1980’s, he was back in the 90’s where he added three more titles to his collection.
Regular rival Ian Lougher is next up on 5 titles and that places him one ahead of Guy Martin, who makes no secret of the fact the Southern 100 is his favourite meeting.
They’re the only riders to have won four Championships or more but there are four riders who have been victorious on three occasions including the winner of the very first race in 1955, Liverpudlian Terry Shepherd. Bill Smith’s titles spanned twelve years whilst Jason Griffiths was one of the most successful riders at the meeting during the 1990s. Michael Dunlop’s third Championship win in 2016 saw him draw alongside Shepherd, Smith and Griffiths.
|Joey Dunlop||6||1976, 1977, 1978, 1991, 1993 and 1999|
|Ian Lougher||5||2002, 2004, 2005, 2007 and 2008|
|Guy Martin||4||2009, 2013, 2014 and 2015|
|Terry Shepherd||3||1955, 1956 and 1958|
|Bill Smith||3||1959, 1967 and 1971|
|Jason Griffiths||3||1994, 1996 and 1997|
|Michael Dunlop||3||2011, 2012 and 2016|
With the Sidecar class joining the Southern 100 programme in 1962, the first dominant force was Charlie Freeman who took six wins between 1962 and 1969 although it was Ken Allen who claimed the first Championship race in 1968.
In the 1970s, it was the likes of John Watson and Allan Steele who were very much the drivers to beat, the duo both taking two Championships each.
However, by the 1980s, there was a new driver on the block and it was Lowry Burton who became the most successful driver in the Southern’s history, a title he held for 15 years. Partnered firstly by Martin Murphy and then Pat Cushnahan, the Ulsterman won five Championships between 1980 and 1988.
2000 Sidecar Races…
The next two decades saw Dave Molyneux, Geoff Bell and Ian Bell all win numerous Championships although Scots ace Bill Davie took three in a row between 1993 and 1995. When the F2 class became the sole class on the schedule though, Molyneux took over and he finally battered Burton’s long-standing total of 12 wins. He currently has 15 althogh, somewhat surprisingly, his last one was as far back as 2003.
Ian Bell created history in 1999 when he became the first, and only, man to win both Sidecar and Solo Championships, the latter having been won in 1987. Indeed, the Bedlington motor cycle dealer took seven wins on two wheels to add to his six in the sidecar class. Meanwhile, Nick Crowe took seven wins between 2004 and 2007 and would surely have won more had he not has his career-ending accident at the TT in 2009. He was joined on this total by Tim Reeves after the 2016 meeting after the five-time World Champion added another brace to his tally.
|1.||Dave Molyneux||15 (1985 – 2003)|
|2.||Lowry Burton||12 (1980 – 1988)|
|3.||Geoff Bell||9 (1989 – 1996)|
|4.||Nick Crowe||7 (2004 – 2007)|
|=||Tim Reeves||7 (2013 – 2016)|
|6.||Charlie Freeman||6 (1962 – 1969)|
|=||Ian Bell||6 (1999 – 2014)|
|8.||Allan Steele||5 (1977 – 1979)|
|=||John Watson||5 (1972 – 1978)|
In a career that started over thirty years, not only does Dave Molyneux have the most individual race wins around Billown, he’s also won the most Sidecar championships with six coming his way between 1986 and 2003 – it’s hard to believe it’s been 13 years since he last won the Championship although he hasn’t been ever present since then.
Charlie Freeman was the first three-wheel king at the S100 as he took five titles between 1962 and 1969, a total that was matched by Northern Ireland great Lowry Burton in the 1980s.
Nick Crowe took four Championship wins in four years in the 2000s, a figure that surely would have been higher had it not been for his career-ending crash at the TT in 2009. Meanwhile, two drivers have a total of three Championships to their name, the late Ian Bell and Tim Reeves who moved onto this figure after another win in 2016.
|Dave Molyneux||6||1986, 1991, 1992, 1998, 2002 and 2003|
|Charlie Freeman||5||1962, 1964, 1965, 1966 and 1969|
|Lowry Burton||5||1980, 1981, 1983, 1987 and 1988|
|Nick Crowe||4||2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007|
|Ian Bell||3||1999, 2000 and 2009|
|Tim Reeves||4||2013, 2015 and 20156|
These are the current lap records set at the Southern 100.
|Superbike/Outright||Dean Harrison (1000 Kawasaki)||2m13.507s||114.601mph||2014|
|Supersport 600||Dean Harrison (600 Yamaha)||110.431mph||2014|
|Supertwins||Dean Harrison (650 Kawasaki)||2m27.494s||103.733mph||2013|
|250cc||Ian Lougher (250 Honda)||2m28.000s||103.378mph||2002|
|125cc||William Dunlop (125 Jonda)||2m37.107s||97.386mph||2009|
|Supersport 400cc||Roy Richardson (400 Yamaha)||2m36.224s||97.936mph||2009|
|Sidecar||Tim Reeves/ Patrick Farrance||2m31.862s||100.749mph||2016|
|Classic 1000||Kenny Harrison||2m43.0s||93.865mph||1995|
|Classic 500||Alan Oversby||2m45.552s||94.418mph||2005|
|Classic 350||Paul Coward||2m52.54s||88.675mph||2004|
These are the current race records set at the Southern 100.
|Superbike||Michael Dunlop (1000 Honda)||18m20.150s||113.412mph||2013 (8 laps)|
|Solo Championship||Guy Martin (1000 Suzuki)||20m19.741s||112.893mph||2014 (9 laps)|
|Supersport 600||Dean Harrison (600 Yamaha)||16m27.818s||108.421mph||2014 (7 laps)|
|Supertwins||Dean Harrison (650 Kawasaki)||14m58.722s||102.145mph||2014 (6 laps)|
|250cc||Ian Lougher (250 Honda)||24m50.000s||102.068mph||2002 (10 laps)|
|125cc||William Dunlop (125 Honda)||15m57.103s||95.914mph||2009 (6 laps)|
|Supersport 400||Roy Richardson (400 Yamaha)||15m51.062s||96.524mph||2009 (6 laps)|
|Sidecar||Tim Reeves/ Patrick Farrance (600 DMR Honda)||20m38.983s||98.794mph||2016 (6 laps)|
|Classic 1000||Glen English||22m06.8s||92.252mph||1995 (8 laps)|
|Classic 500||Alan Oversby||16m49.739s||90.915mph||2005 (6 laps)|
|Classic 350||Ewan Hamilton||17m45.410s||86.164mph||2005 (6 laps)|
Now you’ve got the full knowledge of the records and stats accomplished at the Southern 100, why not take our quiz?!
Statistical information provided by Phil Wain.