Ballymoney’s Seamus Elliott couldn’t hide his emotion as the privateer rider sealed a dream victory in the Supersport class at the Diamond Jubilee Southern 100 on Wednesday.
Elliott took full advantage when Mar-Train Racing’s Dean Harrison retired on the final lap with a flat battery while holding a lead of more than four seconds, fending off the challenges of Russ Mountford and Dan Kneen on the Valvoline Padgetts Honda to take victory in the Radcliffe’s Butchers 600 race by half-a-second on his Yamaha.
It was a stunning result for the Ulster rider at the 4.25-mile Billown course on the Isle of Man, where Tyco BMW’s Guy Martin and Michael Dunlop earlier thrilled the crowds in the Ellan Vannin Fuels Senior Race.
An elated Elliott was almost lost for words as he reflected on his maiden victory in the class at the event, saying: “I don’t even know where to start. I had a bit of a gap to make up at the start and I thought ‘just keep your head down’ and on one of the laps I closed in, so I knew I wasn’t out of it.
“Our wee bike has standard road suspension in the front of it and I was just able to out-brake them – I don’t even know how I done it.
“Then I saw Dean [Harrison] with his hand up on the last lap and I said ‘if these boys don’t come past me this is in the bag’.
“I can’t believe it – I’ve never done a burnout before but when I won that race, I didn’t care. We’ll get another tyre for the next race!”
Mountford edged out Kneen for the runner-up spot with Ivan Lintin taking fourth on the RC Express Kawasaki.
A blistering Senior Race went in favour of Lincolnshire rider Martin, who had to dig deep to keep the hard-charging Michael Dunlop at bay.
Martin took an early lead but Dunlop was soon giving chase after coming through to second place on his Superstock BMW machine, which is a new 2015 model the Ballymoney man is riding for the first time this week.
The pair were never separated by less than a second on the final three laps as they dropped Mar-Train Racing’s Harrison in third position.
Martin, though, had enough in hand to narrowly edge victory over Dunlop by nine hundredths of a second, with Harrison putting the Yamaha R1 onto the podium. Kneen, Lintin and Cowton completed the top six.
“It was spot on, I loved it,” Martin said afterwards. “It was wet in practice on Monday and Tuesday so the bike was a bit of an unknown in the dry, but the bike is mint and we just need a few little tweaks.
“It makes for an interesting race tomorrow.”
Dunlop is only contesting the 1000 class at the Southern, with his injured shoulder affecting his riding style on his 600 Honda.
“I had a bit more pace but I’m on a ’stocker and the Superbike just had the legs,” he said. “I’ve never sat on that bike before but thanks to BMW Motorrad, Buildbase and my own team for getting the bike here.
“It’s my first time on the bike but it feels good and if I had a bit more strength in myself I could pull it about a bit more, but we’re going in the right direction.
“My shoulder means I can’t crouch down on the 600, so we’re just here with the big bike and I know we can go a lot quicker.”
A mouth-watering Solo Championship race is in prospect on Thursday, with Martin aiming to retain his title in the blue riband showdown.
Meanwhile, Ivan Lintin was a comfortable winner of the opening Supertwins race by 4.6 seconds from James Cowton, with Jamie Coward rounding out the top three.
Tim Reeves and Mark Wilkes won the first Sidecar race, while Alistair Haworth clinched the 125/400 race spoils, with Paul Robinson fourth and top 125 finisher.