All Hail Pete Founds / Jevan Walmsley and Dean Harrison, Kings of the Colas Billown Circuit




The overnight grey skies had lifted and the sun was breaking through for the start of the final days racing at the 2019 Southern 100. The press Office had issued an announcement stating that last nights Ace Hire sidecar race would be run instead of the Sidecar Consulation Race, this being added to the afternoon's programme and run over 4 laps. The teams were asked to fuel for 6 laps but to be aware that it could be reduced to 4 laps.

It was great news to hear that Estelle Leblond and Steve Ramsden had been released from hospital and were back in the paddock. Frank Claeys and Matty Ramsden were still in hospital and were said to comfortable. During the lunchtime break I saw Estelle in the paddock, she was clearly feeling the effects of the crash and looked like she was very stiff and in pain. Steve's awning is adjacent to Estelle's, both of the sidecars were back and very battered from last incident.

There were still some damp patches on the road when the first race of the day started, the 7 lap S & S Motors 600 race A. Manx rider Mikey Evans (600 Honda, Wilcock Consulting)was first into Ballakeighan on the first lap, a lead he held until Castletown Corner. The race then became a dual between Dean Harrison (600 Kawasaki, Silicone Engineering) and Jaime Coward (600 Prez Racing Yamaha). It was another battle royal with Dean edging it by just 0.268 of a second, Michael Sweeney (600 Yamaha) was third,16 seconds adrift of Coward and Evans was fourth. Jamie Coward had the consolation of recording the fastest lap of 108.003 mph.


Photographs by Mike Hammonds

Mikey Evans at Church Bends leading the S & S Motors 600 ace on the first lap.

Race 5B followed, the JCK Ltd 600 Race B. David McConnachy (600 Yamaha) took the victory from early leader Don Gilbert (600 Kawasaki) with Dennis Booth (600 Kawasaki)in third. Seven riders managed to lap at over 100 mph, McConnachy race average was just shy at 99.685 mph. This would placed him 13th in the A race.

Logically Race 6 should have come next but not at the S100, Race 7 follows Race 5!!
Dennis Booth (1000 BMW) rolled back the years in winning the G H Corlett Solo Founders Race. It was his first victory at the Colas Billown Circuit since his 600 cc Consolation Race in 2009. Second on the rostrum was Belgium rider Jean-Pierre Polet (1000 BMW) with Richard Elgin (1000 Suzuki) in third.

The evergreen Dennis Booth (1000 BMW) taking victory in the Solo Founders Race

Back to Race 6, the Island Aggregates Senior Race. Once again Dean Harrison headed the field (1000 Kawasaki, Silicone Engineering) with a more determined Michael Dunlop (1000 Tyco BMW Motorrad) giving chase, Michael clearly had his race face on. Tried as he may, and he did make in roads, disaster struck near the end of the second lap. Chasing Dean hard, he high-sided on the exit of Castletown Corner, fracturing his pelvis in the process. It has not been a good month for Michael following his car rally crash in Donegal. Dean went on to win by nearly 12 seconds from the very impressive Sam West (PRL 1000 BMW) who pipped third placed Jamie Coward (Prez Racing1000 Yamaha).

The luckless Michael Dunlop before his high-side at Castletown Corner

The final race of the morning was the rescheduled Ace Hire Sidecar Race, again another close run affair. There are rumours around the paddock that the future of sidecar racing round the Colas Billown circuit in doubt. In my view the TT and the S100 would be the poorer for not running sidecars, they bring an extra dimension, interest and excitement to both events. The Ace Hire Sidecar Race absolutely proves the point, 4 laps of close hard racing with just 1.195 seconds separating the first 4 at the finish. Tim Reeves / Mark Wilkes (600 LCR Honda, Tim Reeves Racing) won from Alan Founds / Jake Lowther (600 LCR Yamaha, Team Founds Racing} with Pete Founds / Jevan Walmsley (600 Rowtec Suzuki) in third. John Holden / Lee Cain (600 LCR Honda, Silicone Engineering / Barnes Racing) missed out on a rostrum place in fourth.

Alan Founds and Jake Lowther heading for a fine second place in the Ace Hire Sidecar Race

The Station Garage Consolation Sidecar Race was the first event in the afternoon. Unfortunately this was red flagged on the third lap when Alan Warner and Ian Tennant crashed at Iron Gate, Alan was said to be comfortable in hospital sustaining some fractures. The result was called after the second lap leaving newcomers Ryan and Callum Crowe (Haven Homes 600 Yamaha) as winners with John Lowther and Robert Childs (600 LCR Honda) as runners up, Michael Russell and Tom Bryant (600 Shelbourne Suzuki) in third. A pleasing result for John after his issues over the last two nights.

The Crowe brothers heading for victory in the Station Garage Consolation Sidecar Race

The conditions were nigh on perfect with the sun out high in the sky and sun cream being liberally applied. The Bettridges Car Sales 600cc Challenge Race was again another Dean Harrison / Jamie Coward affair. Harrison again coming out on top with Michael Sweeney filling the final rostrum position. This race was notable for the individuals battles that were going on all the way through the field, with fractions of a second between riders at the finish. Close and exciting racing keeping the crowds very much entertained.

Michael Sweeney on his way to a podium position in the Bettridges Car Sales 600 Challenge Race

The penultimate solo race of the meeting was the Ocean Motor Village 250 / 650 cc Twins Race. Dominic Herbertson (600 Kawasaki, RC Express Dafabet Devitt Racing) riding Paul Jordan's ex Ivan Lintin machine was again the winner. He and Rob Hodson (600 Kawasaki) had a ding dong battle until Rob went out on the fifth lap, leaving Dominic well clear in front. He won the 6 lap race by a country mile, 19.023 seconds in front of Michael Sweeney with newcomer Xavier Denis in third, both Kawasaki mounted.

Xavier Denis flying the flag for the French with his third place in the Ocean Motor Village 250 / 650 cc Twins Race

The final two races of the day are the solo and sidecar championship races. First up was the Hunts Motorcycles Solo Championship Race. Sadly Michael Dunlop could not participate as he was laid up in hospital. Dean Harrison completed a tremendous meeting by winning his third successive solo championship on his Silicone Engineering 1000 cc Kawasaki. Dean lead from start to finish, the battle for second held everyone's attention. Ryan Kneen (Charmers Builders BMW) and Rob Hodson (1000 BMW) were going hammer and tongue followed by Sam West (PRL 1000 BMW) and Jamie Coward (Prez Racing 1000 Yamaha). Dean's margin of victory was 14.832 seconds with Ryan pipping Rob by just 0.387 of a second. A great finish to the solo racing at this years Southern 100.

Dan Kneen taking a magnificent runners up position in the Hunts Motorcycles Solo Championship Race

The final race of the meeting was the Daryl Blake Construction Sidecar Championship Race over 6 laps of the Colas Billown Circuit. Tim Reeves jumped the start, realised he had gone to early, slowed down to let the others passed. The race stewards gave him a ten second penalty for his troubles. The slowing down and then getting a penalty put paid to his race, he eventually broke down and retired on the last lap. This elevated Lee Crawford and Scott Hardie (600 LCR Suzuki, ACR Newton Aycliffe) into the final rostrum position. The battle at the front between Pete Founds / Jevan Walmsley (600 Rowtec Suzuki) and John Holden / Lee Cain (600 LCR Honda, Silicone Engineering / Barnes Racing) raged all race. They were within touching distance and the margin at the end was 0.131 of a second in favour of Pete and Jevanird place, joint 27th in the all time list of close finishes.

Lastlap action at Castletown Corner, Pete Founds / Jevan Walmsley edging John Holden and Lee Cain


What a way to conclude a fantastic meeting, congratulations to all who took part and a speedy recovery to those who were unfortunately injured.

One last closing comment........Long Live the Sidecars

Mike Hammonds