With the 2010 Steam Packet Southern 100 International Road Races less than a month away, the organisers are pleased to say an excellent entry has been received to the traditional July meeting, including former Solo and Sidecar Championship winners.
Five-time solo champion Ian Lougher, along with 2003 winner Ryan Farquhar, will once again be hoping to take home the magnificent Derek Ennett Memorial Trophy.
However, the 2009 holder Guy Martin has announced that he will make his road racing return at the Southern 100 after his serious spill at the TT and will no doubt be aiming to once again take the winners laurels and trophy back home to Kirmington.
Last year’s sidecar champions Ian and Carl Bell will also be hoping to retain the title, father Ian for the fourth time, having also previously taken the sidecar championship crowns in 1999 & 2000 and son Carl for the second time.
Ian also won the Solo Championship in 1987.
Double sidecar TT winners last month, Klaus Klaffenböck and Dan Sayle return to the Billown Course once again, hoping to add the Petrochem Carless Sidecar Championship to their CVs.
As always the quality of the entry received for the Southern 100 provides the prospects for some close exhilarating racing over the four days of the meeting, which has been run since 1955, providing through the years future British and indeed world champions.
William Dunlop’s last visit to the Southside course resulted in a hat-trick of wins in the prestigious Manx Telecom Post-TT Races, which he followed up with a four-timer, including five lap records seven days later at the Bush National Road Races.
He will be out to collect more silverware as he competes in most of the solo classes being contested.
Two other winners at ‘The Bush’ were Davy Morgan and John Burrows; they too will be endeavouring to be on top of the podium during the meeting.
The depth of the entry doesn’t stop with the above mentioned riders, as you add to the mix previous Billown winners Roy Richardson, Barry Davidson, Adrian McFarland, Nigel Moore, Michael Dunlop, Chris Palmer, Steve Mercer, Phil Harvey and Dan Sayle.
But fast-learning newcomers such Czech Michal Dokoupil, Ulstermen Michael Pearson and Wayne Hamilton can't be discounted either.
All in all it should mean the tension will be electric as the grid forms prior to each race.
The sidecar entry is equally impressive with previous winning crew Roy Hanks/Dave Wells in the line-up alongside Simon Neary/Paul Knapton, Greg Lambert/Jason Slous, Gary Bryan/Gary Partridge, Nigel Connole/TBA, Wayne Lockey/Dave Brown, Brian Kelly/ Dicky Gale and Glyn Jones/Jason O’Connor to name just some of the entry.
Once again the ‘charioteers’ will be certain to live up to expectations once the flag drops.