Southern 100 Stats

Southern 100 Statistics and Race Records 

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.

Dan Keen at Southern 100 credit Mar-Train Racing

Dan Kneen at Southern 100 credit Mar-Train Racing

Dean Harrison set a new lap record of 114.601mph in the 2014 Solo Championship race and this stood for three years before the 115mph was broken by the Bradford rider along with local ace Dan Kneen and Michael Dunlop, the latter claiming a new outright lap record of 115.707mph.

After a two-year break due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which saw no action in either 2020 or 2021, racing resumed in 2022 with Harrison reclaiming the outright lap record at 116.941mph. Davey Todd also broke the old mark and was just a tenth of a second slower than Harrison.

Thirty riders have now broken the 110mph barrier with Nathan Harrison and Paul Jordan the two latest riders to achieve the feat in 2022. Todd’s lap of 112.571mph in the 2018 Solo Championship race is the quickest ever by a circuit newcomer.

Fastest 25 solo riders

Rider Machine Year Time Speed
1. Dean Harrison 1000 Kawasaki 2022Ch 2m10.835s 116.941mph
2. Davey Todd 1000 Honda 2022Ch 2m10.987s 116.805mph
3. Michael Dunlop 1000 Suzuki 2017Ch 2m12.231s 115.707mph
4. Daniel Kneen 1000 BMW 2017Ch 2m12.335s 115.616mph
5. Guy Martin 1000 Suzuki 2014 Ch 2m13.667s 114.464mph
6. Jamie Coward 1000 Yamaha 2022 Ch 2m14.602s 113.668mph
7. Ivan Lintin 1000 Kawasaki 2018Ch 2m14.863s 113.448mph
8. Nathan Harrison 1000 Honda 2022Ch 2m14.925s 113.396mph
9. James Cowton 1000 Kawasaki 2018Ch 2m15.493s 112.921mph
10. Michael Evans 1000 BMW 2018Ch 2m15.933s 112.555mph
11. Rob Hodson 1000 BMW 2018Ch 2m15.946s 112.545mph
12. Conor Cummins 1000 Suzuki 2012Ch 2m16.295s 112.257mph
13. Ryan Farquhar 1000 Kawasaki 2011Ch 2m16.365s 112.199mph
14. William Dunlop 1000 Honda 2011Ch 2m16.441s 112.136mph
15. Ian Lougher 1000 Honda 2005S 2m16.750s 111.883mph
16. Sam West 1000 BMW 2019Ch 2m16.823s 111.823mph
17. Michael Sweeney 1000 BMW 2022Ch 2m16.999s 111.680mph
18. Ryan Kneen 1000 BMW 2019Ch 2m17.138s 111.566mph
19. Derek McGee 1000 BMW 2017S 2m17.452s 111.312mph
20. Cameron Donald 1000 Honda 2006Ch 2m17.510s 111.265mph
21. Joe Ackroyd 1000 Kawasaki 2019Ch 2m18.276s 110.648mph
22. Paul Jordan 1000 Yamaha 2022S 2m18.428s 110.527mph
23. Jamie Hamilton 1000 Kawasaki 2013S 2m18.446s 110.512mph
24. Seamus Elliott 1000 Kawasaki 2016Ch 2m18.458s 110.503mph
25. Dominic Herbertson 1000 Kawasaki 2019S 2m18.474s 110.490mph

Fastest 25 Sidecars 

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.

Lowry Burton credit Phil Wain's Family Archive

Lowry Burton credit Phil Wain’s Family Archive

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.

Reeves, with Mark Wilkes in the chair, went quicker in the first race of 2017 with their new lap record being 100.751mph and they, along with the Birchalls, broke the 101mph barrier for the first time in the Championship. However, their laps of 101.418 and 101.545 ultimately didn’t count as they both crashed out and were subsequently disqualified for causing a red flag.

We only had to wait one more year for the first, official 101mph lap though as both Reeves/Wilkes and John Holden/ Lee Cain achieved the landmark in 2018, the latter eventually claiming the new outright lap record.

Both Alan Founds/Jake Lowther and Pete Founds/Jevan Walmsley broke the 100mph barrier in 2019 to become the fifth and sixth drivers and passengers to achieve the feat but it was all change in 2022 with Manx brothers Ryan and Callum Crowe wrestling the outright lap record away from Holden/Cain with a lap of 102.308mph on their 675cc Triumph..

Driver/Passenger Machine Year Time Speed
1. Ryan Crowe/Callum Crowe 675 Triumph 2022 2m29.417s 102.308mph
2. Peter Founds/Jevan Walmsley 600 Honda 2022 2m29.880s 102.082mph
3. John Holden/Lee Cain 600 Honda 2018 2m31.057s 101.286mph
4. Tim Reeves/Mark Wilkes 600 Honda 2018 2m31.138s 101.232mph
5. Ben Birchall/Tom Birchall 600 Honda 2016 2m31.964s 100.682mph
6. Alan Founds/Jake Lowther 600 Yamaha 2019 2m32.567s 100.284mph
7. Dave Molyneux/Dan Sayle 600 Yamaha 2017 2m34.958s 100.027mph
8. Lee Crawford/Scott Hardie 600 Suzuki 2019 2m34.279s 99.808mph
9. Nick Crowe/Dan Sayle 600 Honda 2007 2m33.341s 99.778mph
10. Ian Bell/Carl Bell 600 Yamaha 2015 2m33.605s 99.606mph
11. Conrad Harrison/Mike Aylott 600 Honda 2015 2m34.143s 99.258mph
12. Klaus Klaffenbock/Dan Sayle 600 Honda 2011 2m34.821s 98.824mph
13. Simon Neary/Jason Crowe 600 Honda 2011 2m34.836s 98.814mph
14. Lewis Blackstock/Patrick Rosney 600 Honda 2018 2m35.816s 98.193mph
15. Darren Hope/Paul Bumfrey 600 Suzuki 2018 2m35.998s 98.078mph
16. Karl Bennett/Lee Cain 600 Suzuki 2016 2m36.746s 97.610mph
17. Gary Bryan/Jamie Winn 600 Honda 2013 2m36.847s 97.547mph
18. Wayne Lockey/Mark Sayers 600 Honda 2016 2m36.921s 97.501mph
19. Greg Lambert/Kenny Cole 600 Honda 2013 2m37.446s 97.179mph
20. Steven Coombes/Paul Knapton 600 Honda 2009 2m38.553s 96.498mph
21. Glyn Jones/Richard Murphy 600 Suzuki 2011 2m38.575s 96.484mph
22. Dean Lindley/Dean Kilkenny 600 Suzuki 2014 2m38.619s 96.458mph
23. Steve Ramsden/Matty Ramsden 600 Honda 2017 2m38.715s 96.399mph
24. Roy Hanks/Dave Wells 600 Yamaha 2002 2m38.80s 96.347mph
25. Tony Baker/Shellie Smithies 600 Suzuki 2016 2m39.047s 96.198mph

Leading winners – Solos (10 or more)

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.

Ian Lougher credit Phil Wain's Family Archive

Ian Lougher credit Phil Wain’s Family Archive

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.

Dean Harrison has jumped up to third overall now having dominated in both the 2018 and 2019 meetings with five and six wins respectively. Just a solitary victory came his way in 2022 but, now sitting on 25 wins, he has a great chance of taking the top step if he maintains his form over the next few seasons.

Michael Dunlop lies in fourth overall but was out of luck at the 2019 meetings before taking another victory in 2022 and he’s two ahead of local rider Kenny Harrison. He was incredibly successful throughout the 1980s, throughout the classes, whilst he added more wins in the 1990s with the introduction of the Classic race.

Meanwhile, Dave Leach was another rider to enjoy success during the late 1980s and early 1990s especially in 1989 and 1990 and he has 17 wins to his name where he’s joined by recently retired Ryan Farquhar.

Chris Palmer, whose first win at the Southern, surprisingly didn’t come until 2005 is just behind them on 14 along with veteran David Madsen-Mygdal with the enigmatic Guy Martin one place further back on 13 alongside Bill Smith and William Dunlop.

Rider Wins
1. Ian Lougher 32 (1987 – 2013)
2. Joey Dunlop 31 (1976 – 1999)
3. Dean Harrison 25 (2013 – 2022)
4. Michael Dunlop 22 (2010 – 2022)
5. Kenny Harrison 19 (1983 – 1994)
6. Dave Leach 17 (1988 – 1995)
= Ryan Farquhar 17 (2003 – 2012)
8. David Madsen-Mygdal 14 (1997 – 2009)
= Chris Palmer 14 (2005 – 2012)
10. Bill Smith 13 (1956 – 1976)
= Guy Martin 13 (2004 – 2015)
= William Dunlop 13 (2007 – 2013)
13. Bob Jackson 12 (1977 – 1998)
= Jason Griffiths 12 (1993 – 2002)
15. Derek Whalley 11 (1989 – 2000)
15. Robert Dunlop 10 (1997 – 2006)
= Barry Wood 10 (1991 – 2003)


Championship Wins (3 or more)

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 made no secret of the fact the Southern 100 was 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 with Dean Harrison joining them in 2019 when he took his third Championship title in a row.

Rider Wins Years
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
Dean Harrison 3 2017, 2018 and 2019

Leading Winners – Sidecars (5 or more)

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 although, 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 motorcycle 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 but the five-time World Champion added another brace to his tally in 2018 to move to joint third on the list alongside Geoff Bell.

Rider Wins
1. Dave Molyneux 15 (1985 – 2003)
2. Lowry Burton 12 (1980 – 1988)
3. Tim Reeves 10 (2013 – 2018)
4. Geoff Bell 9 (1989 – 1996)
5. Nick Crowe 7 (2004 – 2007)
= Tim Reeves 7 (2013 – 2016)
7. Charlie Freeman 6 (1962 – 1969)
= Ian Bell 6 (1999 – 2014)
9. Allan Steele 5 (1977 – 1979)
= John Watson 5 (1972 – 1978)

Championship Wins (3 or more)

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 15 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. Tim Reeves matched this total in 2018 with his fourth success with the late Ian Bell the only other driver to have won three or more championships.

Riders Wins Years
Dave Molyneux 6 1986, 1991, 1992, 198, 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
Tim Reeves 4 2013, 2015, 2016 and 2018
Ian Bell 3 1999, 2000 and 2009

Lap Records 

Race Rider(s) Time Speed Year
Superbike/Outright Dean Harrison (1000 Kawasaki) 2m10.835s 116.941mph 2022
Supersport 600 Michael Dunlop 2m17.423s 111.335mph 2017
Supertwins Rob Hodson (650 Kawasaki) 2m24.342s 105.998mph 2022
 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 Ryan Crowe/Callum Crowe (675 Triumph) 2m29.880s 102.398mph 2022
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

Race Records

Race Rider(s) Time Speed Year
Superbike Dean Harrison (1000 Kawasaki) 15m36.668s 114.341mph 2022 (7 laps)
Solo Championship Davey Todd (1000 Honda) 19m50.613s 115.655mph 2022 (9 laps)
Supersport 600 Davey Todd (600 Honda) 16m15.967s 109.737mph 2022 (7 laps)
Supertwins Rob Hodson (650 Kawasaki) 14m37.356s 104.633mph 2022 (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 Pete Founds/Jevan Walmsley (600 LCR Honda) 20m24.167s 99.986mph 2022 (8 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)

Statistical information provided by Phil Wain. 

It’s now time to check out our Southern 100 Hall of Fame!

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