Will three-time Southern 100 Solo Champion Michael Dunlop come away from the 62nd Isle of Man Steam Packet Company Southern 100 International Road Races with a coveted fourth title?
Michael completed a ‘double’ in 2011 and 2012, but missed out on equalling his Uncle Joey’s treble in 2013 when arch-rival Guy Martin took the honours.
Michael riding the Hawk Racing BMW regained the prestigious Championship title last year has to start as one of the favourites to clinch the feature race after his Senior TT win last month this time on a Hawk Racing Suzuki.
Whilst on paper Michael Dunlop is the ‘man to beat’, there are some up and coming Billown Course regulars who are equally keen to collect the silverware and other awards on offer.
Dean Harrison has to be in with a shout on the Silicone Engineering Kawasaki's, as will Devitt RC Express rider Ivan Lintin, along with last minute entry Daley Mathison, all of whom were on form at the recent Cock o’the North Road Races
at Oliver’s Mount.
Having gained his first TT Podium finish last month, Manxman Dan Kneen on the Penz13 BMW will also be one to keep an eye on.
Jamie Coward will be on board the blue liveried BMW and Honda machines sponsored by local Castletown butcher Radcliffe’s and having secured his maiden victory for the local team at the Post TT meeting, will be aiming to add more laurel wreaths and trophies to the Radcliffe Racing Team’s collection.
Jamie’s Yorkshire rival James Cowton will also be looking to take some more silverware home with the help of the McAdoo Kawasaki machines he will be racing.
Unfortunately, three-time Solo Champion, Guy Martin will be a non-starter - the Honda not being available with further testing still to be carried out.
Include in the mix William Dunlop, Ryan Kneen, Michael Russell, Mick and Mark Goodings, Gavin Lupton, to name but a few along with the ‘new boys’ to the Billown Course, Brad Vicars, Joe Thompson, Derek McGee, Darryl Tweed and Sam West and it would be a brave person to predict the outcome of the Manx Gas Solo Championship Race
next Thursday, let alone any of the other of the 14 solo races due to take place at this year’s Southern 100 International Road Races.
Practice and Qualification takes place on Monday and Tuesday evenings 10th & 11th July, with racing commencing on Tuesday evening with two races. Wednesday (12th) sees a further four races with Championship Day, Thursday 13th July will see no less than nine races being held, including the prestigious Manx Gas Solo & Sidecar Championship Races.
Further details can be found on the clubs official website: www.southern100.com and Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/S100Races