First run in 1955, the Southern 100 Road Races attracted seventy-three entries for three races. Taking its name from the premier 500cc event, which was held over a distance of 100 miles, the Southern soon gained National Status and today it is one of the most popular events on the road racing calendar.
From its inception, the Southern 100 has provided the keenest competition among some of the best-known names in British racing, including multi-world champions Phil Read, Brian Reid and Joey Dunlop. And in recent years, riders’ names have read like the ‘who’s-who’ of the road-racing scene pitting their skills against the 4.25-mile Billown public roads course. Names such as Ian Lougher, Jason Griffiths, Philip McCallen, Robert Dunlop and Dave Leach – such is the attraction to what has become known over the years as ‘the friendly races’.
The Southern 100 has for fifty years brought immense pleasure to competitors, officials and enthusiasts alike and sometimes a little sadness too. The hard working Club officials ensure that the race organisation is first class and that the friendliness for which the meeting has become renowned is maintained alongside social activities that match the racing!
‘Fifty Years of the Friendly Races, the story of the Southern 100 motorcycle road races’ is dedicated to everyone who has been involved with racing on the Billown course.