MATCH REPORT: Timms takes Nathan Harris Memorial Trophy

Report by David Makepeace

Photos courtesy of Pitchside Paul see more at…/Southampton-CSC…/

Birmingham Monarchs Chris Timms won the inaugural Nathan Harris Memorial Trophy at the Southampton Grand Prix on Bank holiday Monday following very closely contested run-of with Ben Clarke of Ipswich – winning by the width of a tyre or so, having selected gate 2 after winning the toss.

Both riders tied on 18 points with Ben, on his first visit to Shirley Pond Park, winning his first four races but crucially finding himself finishing third in his final heat won by the mercurial Timms who crafted the result he required to get the run-off, with Aussie Shane Bentley splitting the duo – Timms was headed by home-rider Gavin Wheeler as well as the very impressive, and set for great things, just 16 years old, Kenzie Bennett of Poole.

In front of bumper crowd celebrating the Southampton clubs 60th anniversary a host of the countries top senior riders, a visiting Australian international, three veterans, a comeback and one of the most exciting Juniors racing currently produced top quality, fast, exciting and very competitive racing on a grippy and superbly produced Southampton raceway – Colin Wheeler the miracle worker again and, at long last, the rightful recipient of the Wilkinson Sword of Honour.

The meeting was a fittingly wonderful tribute to former Saint Nathan Harris who we tragically lost way too early – from the Opening parade march-on music, minutes applause and 21 heats of super Cycle Speedway racing to the presentation an refreshments supplied to each of the riders by Nathan’s best mate Gavin – who despite being a veteran managed to secure the third-spot on the podium.

Wheeler finished on 15 points with 3 heat wins in a very open and evenly contested meeting, ably officiated by former Saints rider Lee Galley, saw 10 riders winning heats with many of the contenders beating or being beaten by each other, Kenzie finished joint 4th on 14 points alongside reigning World & European Champion , Ben Mould of Newport, an impressively quick Mark Boaler of Horspath and Zac Payne Kesgrave who finished the meeting strongly. The event also saw the return to the track of Tom Colling who has re-joined the Southampton club and for his first meeting back appeared well on the pace.

The Southampton Grand Prix first raced in 1963 has a new name to add to its Victory trophy and the countdown has begun as the event will be staged again in 2024 on a similar date


Chris Timme (Birmingham) 18, Ben Clarke (Ipswich) 18 (after run-off), Gavin Wheeler (Southampton) 15, Ben Mould (Newport) 14, Kenzie Bennett (Poole) 14, Mark Boaler (Newport) 14, Zac Payne (Kesgrave) 14, Ashley Hill (Ipswich) 13, Ricki Johnson (Birmingham) 13, Shane Bentley (Findon, Australia) 12, Mark Carmichael (Newport) 11, Lukas Nowacki (Horspath) 11, Craig Marchant (Gt Blakenham) 10, Tom Colling (Southampton) 8, Wil Bristowe (Poole) 7, Adam Bennett (Newport) 5