Local businessman and racing enthusiast Graham Wilcocks and his team, based here in Barrow, are all set for next week’s Southern 100 races in the Isle of Man.

Dan Stewart had many successes over the years at the TT riding Team Wilcocks machines. Dan retired from racing last year, but thankfully Graham and his team did not.

Earlier this year, their new signing Manxman Mike ‘Mikey’ Evans, a former Senior Manx Grand Prix winner, tested the machines at an event at Croft Autodrome.

Some ‘test’ it turned out to be. Despite never racing there before, he crossed the line ahead of some of the country`s top riders to win the Ken Redfern Trophy, which has many star names engraved on it. The following weekend, whilst ‘testing’ again at Oulton Park, poor Mikey collected an arm injury after another competitor collided with him on the notorious Esso bend.

Undaunted, Mike Bibby and the crew at MBR Racing here in Barrow, who prepare the Wilcocks machinery, repaired the bike in readiness for their main target, the TT.

Graham had entered Mikey in the Pre-TT Classic races on the Southern 100 course, which takes place just a few days before the TT practice commences.

Fully recovered from his injury, they were all hoping for a change in fortunes as he set off for some qualifying laps on The Wilcocks Consulting Kawasaki, but as we all know motorsport in any form can be unpredictable, as he crashed heavily on a damp patch of road, sustaining a fractured collarbone.

The injury effectively sidelined him and the team at this year’s TT. However, the latest news is he’s now fully recovered and is eager to get back on track and get the results the team deserve.

I intend to pop over for a few days myself, so more news on their progress on next week’s page. The races run from the July 8-11 and with a bit of careful tuning, you can pick up Manx Radio’s race commentaries on AM 1368 or 87.9 FM.

The Southern 100 took its name from the fact that the original races way back in 1955 were run over a distance of 100 miles on the 4.25-mile Billown course on the outskirts of Castletown.

Over the years, the races have grown from strength to strength, attracting many of the top TT stars.

Michael Dunlop and this year’s Senior TT winner Dean Harrison are confirmed entries for next week’s races, which are being televised too.

The club have recently installed a new Race Control building, which should make the running of this year’s races even smoother.

*Entries are now available for the Leighton Hall Motorcycle Speed Hill Climb on Sunday, September 22.

If you rode last year, you will have the forms mailed to you. The extended course produced some really quick times last year and are sure to do the same again this year.

The programme has a ‘run what you brung’ class, so you and your pals can settle that once-and-for-all bar top discussion of who has the quickest machine without fear of prosecution. Who knows, you may even pick up an award.

Contact Ian Sherrard now on 01772 323 654 (evenings) or via info@leightonhallmotorcyclehillclimb.co.uk for full information regarding competing, club stands, private entries, autojumble pitches, etc.

Still trying to source that hard-to-find part? The next Autojumble at Penrith Auction Mart, just off Junction 40 on M6, is this Sunday from 7:30am to 1pm.

Don’t forget this weekend Ulverston hosts this year’s Retro Rendezvous festival where vintage and classic car and motorcycle enthusiasts will have their pride and joys on display in the centre of thw town.

It is a great weekend that make you feel like you’re stepping back in time with food, music, films market stalls and displays of goods etc from times gone by.

If you fancy a run out next Monday evening, the next Bike Night takes place at Preston Patrick near Crooklands from 6pm onwards. The venue is just off Junction 36 on M6.

There are always some interesting machines there with visiting motorcyclists from North Lancashire and Yorkshire.

Whilst on the subject of the M6, please be aware that as from next Monday the speed cameras will be set at 50mph whilst work is being carried out on the motorway, so keep an eye on that speedo reading for a few miles.