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Southern 100 Records and 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.

Twenty two riders have now broken the 110mph barrier with Derek McGee, Rob Hodson, Sam West and Dan Hegarty, the latest four to achieve the feat in 2016. McGee’s lap of 111.312mph is the quickest ever by a circuit newcomer.

Fastest 25 solo riders

1.Michael Dunlop1000 Suzuki2017Ch2m12.231s115.707mph
2.Daniel Kneen1000 BMW2017Ch2m12.335s115.616mph
3.Dean Harrison1000 Kawasaki2017Ch2m12.468s115.500mph
4.Guy Martin1000 Suzuki2014Ch2m13.667s114.464mph
5.Jamie Coward1000 BMW2017Ch2m14.926s113.395mph
6.James Cowton1000 Kawasaki2017Ch2m16.129s112.393mph
7.Conor Cummins1000 Suzuki2012Ch2m16.295s112.257mph
8.Ryan Farquhar1000 Kawasaki2011Ch2m16.365s112.199mph
9.William Dunlop1000 Honda2011Ch2m16.441s112.136mph
10.Ivan Lintin1000 Kawasaki2016Ch2m16.632s111.980mph
11.Ian Lougher1000 Honda2005S2m16.750s111.883mph
12.Derek McGee1000 BMW2017S2m17.452s111.312mph
13.Cameron Donald1000 Honda2006Ch2m17.510s111.265mph
14.Rob Hodson10000 BMW2017Ch2m18.318s110.615mph
15.Jamie Hamilton1000 Kawasaki2013S2m18.446s110.512mph
16.Seamus Elliot1000 Kawasaki2016Ch2m18.458s110.503mph
17.Jason Griffiths1000 Yamaha2005Ch2m18.739s110.279mph
18.Russ Mountford1000 Kawasaki2015Ch2m18.739s110.236mph
19.Daniel Hegarty1000 Honda2017Ch2m18.893s110.200mph
20.Ryan Kneen1000 Kawasaki2016S2m19.003s110.070mph
21.Sam West1000 BMW2017Ch2m19.035s110.044mph
22.Lee Vernon1000 BMW2012Ch2m19.045s110.036mph
23.Michael Pearson1000 BMW20132m19.339s109.804mph
24.Mark Goodings1000 Kawasaki2017Ch2m19.404s109.753mph
25.Daley Mathison1000 BMW2017Ch2m19.409s109.749mph

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

Lowry Burton

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.

1.John Holden/ Lee Cain600 Honda20182m31.057s101.286mph
2.Tim Reeves/ Mark Wilkes600 Honda20182m31.138s101.232mph
3.Ben Birchall/ Tom Birchall600 Honda20162m31.964s100.682mph
4.Dave Molyneux/ Dan Sayle600 Yamaha20172m32.958s100.027mph
5.Nick Crowe/ Dan Sayle600 Yamaha20072m33.341s99.778mph
6.Ian Bell/ Carl Bell600 Yamaha20152m33.605s99.606mph
7.Peter Founds/ Jevan Walmsley600 Suzuki20182m33.986s99.360mph
8.Conrad Harrison/ Mike Aylott600 Honda20152m34.143s99.258mph
9.Alan Founds/ Jake Lowther600 Yamaha20182m34.168s99.242mph
10.Klaus Klaffenbock/ Dan Sayle600 Honda20112m34.821s98.824mph
11.Simon Neary/ Jason Crowe600 Honda20112m34.836s98.814mph
12.Lewis Blackstock/ Patrick Rosney600 Honda20182m35.816s98.193mph
13.Darren Hope/ Paul Bumfrey600 Suzuki20182m35.998s98.078mph
14.Karl Bennett/ Lee Cain600 Suzuki20162m36.746s97.610mph
15.Gary Bryan/ Jamie Winn600 Honda20132m36.847s97.547mph
16.Wayne Lockey/ Mark Sayers600 Honda20162m36.921s97.501mph
17.Greg Lambert/ Kenny Cole600 Honda20132m37.446s97.176mph
18.Steve Coombes/ Paul Knapton600 Honda20092m38.553s96.498mph
19.Glyn Jones/ Richard Murphy600 Suzuki20112m38.575s96.484mph
20.Dean Lindley/ Dean Kilkenny600 Suzuki20142m38.619s96.458mph
21.Steve Ramsden/ Matty Ramsden600 Honda20172m38.715s96.399mph
22,Roy Hanks/ Dave Wells600 Yamaha20022m38.80s96.347mph
23.Tony Baker/ Shellie Smithies600 Suzuki20162m39.047s96.198mph
24.Lee Crawford/ Scott Hardie600 Suzuki20182m39.117s96.156mph
25.Estelle Leblond/ Melaine Farnier600 Suzuki20182m39.539s95.901mph

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

Ian Lougher

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.

Nephew Michael moved up to third overall after the 2017 meeting with a hat-trick of wins in the Superbike class putting him on to a total of 20 wins, one 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 races.

Dean Harrison closed to within one of his Isle of Man namesake after taking another give wins in the Superbike class at the 2018 meeting, including the Solo Championship for the second successive year. Meanwhile, Dave Leach was another rider to enjoy success during the late 1980s and early 1990s especially in the 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 Souther, surprisingly didn’t come unt8il 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.

1.Ian Lougher32 (1987 – 2013)
2.Joey Dunlop21 (1976 – 1999)
3.Michael Dunlop20 (2010 – 2017)
4.Kenny Harrison19 (1983 – 1994)
5.Dean Harrison 18 (2013 – 2018)
6.Dave Leach17 (1988 – 1995)
=Ryan Farquhar17 (2003 – 2012)
8.David Madsen-Mygdal14 (1997 – 2009)
=Chris Palmer14 (2005 – 2012)
10.Bill Smith13 (1956 – 1976)
=Guy Martin13 (2004 – 2015)
=William Dunlop13 (2007 – 2013)
13.Bob Jackson12 (1977 – 1998)
=Jason Griffiths12 (1993 – 2002)
15.Derek Whalley11 (1989 – 2000)
15.Robert Dunlop10 (1997 – 2006)
=Barry Wood10 (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.

Joey Dunlop61976, 1977, 1978, 1991, 1993 and 1999
Ian Lougher52002, 2004, 2005, 2007 and 2008
Guy Martin42009, 2013, 2014 and 2015
Terry Shepherd31955, 1956 and 1958
Bill Smith31959, 1967 and 1971
Jason Griffiths31994, 1996 and 1997
Michael Dunlop32011, 2012 and 2016

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.

1.Dave Molyneux15 (1985 – 2003)
2.Lowry Burton12 (1980 – 1988)
3.Geoff Bell9 (1989 – 1996)
4.Nick Crowe7 (2004 – 2007)
=Tim Reeves7 (2013 – 2016)
6.Charlie Freeman6 (1962 – 1969)
=Ian Bell6 (1999 – 2014)
8.Allan Steele5 (1977 – 1979)
=John Watson5 (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.

Dave Molyneux61986, 1991, 1992, 198, 2002 and 2003
Charlie Freeman51962, 1964, 1965, 1966 and 1969
Lowry Burton51980, 1981, 1983, 1987 and 1988
Nick Crowe42004, 2005, 2006 and 2007
Tim Reeves42013, 2015, 2016 and 2018
Ian Bell31999, 2000 and 2009

Lap Records 

These are the current lap records set at the Southern 100.

Superbike/OutrightMichael Dunlop2m12.231s115.707mph2017
Supersport 600Michael Dunlop2m17.423s111.335mph2017
SupertwinsJoey Thompson2m25.756s104.970mph2018
 250ccIan Lougher (250 Honda)2m28.000s103.378mph2002
125ccWilliam Dunlop (125 Jonda)2m37.107s 97.386mph2009
Supersport 400ccRoy Richardson (400 Yamaha) 2m36.224s97.936mph2009
 SidecarJohn Holden/ Lee Cain (600 Honda)2m31.057s101.286mph2018
Classic 1000Kenny Harrison2m43.0s93.865mph1995
Classic 500Alan Oversby2m45.552s94.418mph2005
Classic 350Paul Coward2m52.54s88.675mph2004

Race Records

These are the current race records set at the Southern 100.

SuperbikeMichael Dunlop (1000 Honda)15m42.562s113.626mph2017 (7 laps)
Solo ChampionshipDean Harrison (1000 Kawasaki)20m09.203s113.877mph2017 (9 laps)
Supersport 600Dean Harrison (600 Kawasaki)16m18.441s109.460mph2017 (7 laps)
SupertwinsIvan Lintin (650 Kawasaki)14m48.170s103.359mph2017 (6 laps)
250ccIan Lougher (250 Honda)24m50.000s102.068mph2002 (10 laps)
125ccWilliam Dunlop (125 Honda)15m57.103s95.914mph 2009 (6 laps)
Supersport 400Roy Richardson (400 Yamaha)15m51.062s96.524mph2009 (6 laps)
SidecarTim Reeves/ Mark Wilkes (600 LRC Honda)20m31.255s99.411mph2018 (8 laps)
Classic 1000Glen English22m06.8s92.252mph1995 (8 laps)
Classic 500Alan Oversby16m49.739s90.915mph2005 (6 laps)
Classic 350Ewan Hamilton17m45.410s86.164mph2005 (6 laps)

Statistical information provided by Phil Wain. 

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