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Champions and Challengers return to Billown

Author: Phil Edge
Posted on: Monday, Jun 23 2008

Both 2007 Solo and Sidecar Champions return to the popular 4.25-mile Billown Course for the four day meeting. Four-time Solo Champion Ian Lougher, heads an impressive list of entries, likewise, Nick Crowe, also a four-time winner of the Sidecar title will both have their work cut-out to retain their championship titles.

Perhaps most eager to wrest away the coveted Derek Ennett Trophy on Championship day from its current holder Lougher, will be Ulsterman Ryan Farquhar, who is enjoying a fruitful season on his Harker Kawasaki’s. However, he won’t be the only competitor wanting the top honours with the likes of Chris Palmer, Davy Morgan, Gary Carswell, Ian Armstrong, Paul Cranston, Mark Parrett, Roy Richardson and not forgetting Guy Martin to name but a few.
Nick Crowe with his new passenger Mark Cox, will not have an easy time retaining his coveted title, with the crème de la crème of the sidecar fraternity all wanting to take the chequered flag in the title race.

Nigel Connole, Roy Hanks, Kenny Howles, Klaus Klaffenboch, Greg Lambert, Tony Baker and Eddy Wright will all be vying for the honours. As will newcomer to the circuit John Holden. Making a welcome return to the Billown course is former Solo and Sidecar Champion, Ian Bell, with his son in the chair need also to be brought into the reckoning for the top honours.

The Classics are likely to provide some of the most exciting racing of the meeting, as well as bringing the sights, sounds and smells of a past era to the venue, as Alan Oversby, Alan Brew, Dave Madsen-Mygdal, Roy Richardson, Chris Palmer, Chris McGahan, Ian Rycroft and Alec Whitwell et all do battle around the 4.25-mile course, re-kindling previous battles on the famous circuit.

Interest in the ‘smaller’ classes, will centre once again on the Dunlop brothers, Michael and William, with the local men, Chris Palmer, Tony Cawte, Daniel Sayle vying with regular visitors, Nigel Moore, Ryan Farquhar, John Burrows certainly provide the recipe for some exciting two-stroke battles. The renowned ‘friendly races’ this year take place for the 53rd year on the Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday 7th, 8th, 9th & 10th July. The meeting gets underway on Monday evening with a full session of practices, whilst Tuesday opens with a final practice period, followed by the first two races of the 2008 meeting. Wednesday is dedicated to more racing, concluding with Championship Day on Thursday with races morning and afternoon.
The ‘finale’ to the 2008 Steam Packet International Southern ‘100’ Road Races is the open air Prize Presentation in Castletown Square on Thursday evening - a unique atmosphere, where everyone can honour and applaud all the competitors that have taken part in the meetings known universally as ‘the friendly races.’

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