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Stars to Shine at Southern 100 27 June 2004

The Stars of British and European Road Racing are due to converge on the Isle of Man for the 2004 Steam Packet Southern 100 Road Races being held July 12th to 15th inclusive.

They include TT, Manx Grand Prix, Southern 100, National and International Road Race winners all wanting to pit their skills against each other around the 4.25-mile Billown in what will be the forty-ninth year of what have become known as ‘the friendly races’.

The 2004 race programme is in line with the pattern set in the last few years, with the addition of a round of the Gary Dynes Foundation Championship, creating twelve races in all, catering for 125cc to 1010cc solo machines, Classic machines and Formula 2 Sidecars. The meeting carries a total prize fund of nearly £26,000, with the winner of the Ronaldsway Shoe Co Solo Championship pocketing a cool £2004!

The current and previous Solo Champions, Ryan Farquhar and Ian Lougher head the list of solo entries, with the crème de la crème of pure road racers out to displace them, including Chris Palmer, Guy Martin, Darran Lindsay, Mark Parrett, Gary Carswell, Paul Hunt, Paul Cranston, Adrian McFarland, making a welcome return, Martin Finnegan, Tommy Clucas, Barry Davidson, Robert Dunlop, Alan (Bud) Jackson – the list is endless. Such is the quality and quantity of the entry, that regulars, Dave Madsen-Mygdal, Alan (Bud) Jackson, Paul Owen are reserves in certain races.

There is no shortage of newcomers, boding well for the future of the Southern 100, they include, William Dunlop (Robert Dunlop’s son), Paul Coward, Nigel Moore, Yarno Holland, Carl Roberts, Kevin Mawdsley, Justin Waring, Davy Clarke and Mike Stainthorpe.

The two Classic races have also attracted the main suspects, which include Dave Madsen-Mygdal, Chris McGahan, John Knowles, Roy Richardson, Billy Lyle, Barry Wood, Eddie Byers, Alan Brew, Adrian McFarland, Paul Coward, and Alan (Bud) Jackson amongst others.

The popular Sidecar class is without reigning champion Dave Molyneux, who announced his retirement at last years meeting. Even so, the action will be a competitive with the likes of Nick Crowe and Darran Hope, Roy Hanks and Dave Wells, and Kenny Howles with Doug Jewell in the chair heading the entries. There are no less than six newcomers entered; Kris Hibberd and Gary Masterman from Stamford, Neil Kelly and Jason O’Connor (Peel), Ben and Luke Beckworth (Leeds), Karl Bennett and Michael Jackson (Douglas), along with Southport’s Geoff Smale and Holland’s Martin Vollenberg, both of whom have yet to name their ballast.

The GDF Championship Race, sponsored by Clarehill Plastics of Moira, Co Armagh should see the full cut and thrust, fans have come to expect from the quarter-litre class. Four of the top six in the Championship are entered: Darran Lindsay, Yarno Holland, Paul Coward and Barry Davidson. Only 25 points separates the top two Lindsay and Holland. Add in Lougher, Palmer, Beattie, Owen, Jackson, Beattie and Gilmore and hold your breath!

The Steam Packet Southern 100 is also the eleventh round of the 2004 Duke Road Race Rankings Series. Ryan Farquhar, the current holder lies in fifth place, having missed the first three rounds due to injury, whilst 2002 winner Ian Lougher is in third position – both will be hoping to improve on their placings by the end of the meeting.

The 49th Southern 100 meeting will be full of excitement and emotion and unmissable!

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