Chris Harris (speedway rider)

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Chris Harris
Chris Harris.jpg
Personal information
Nationality  England
Date of birth (1982-11-28) 28 November 1982 (age 31)
Place of birth    Truro, England
Nickname Bomber
Website www.chrisharrisracing.co.uk
Current club information
British league Coventry Bees
Polish league Ostrów Wlkp.
Swedish league Västervik
Career history
Great Britain
St Austell Gulls
Exeter Falcons
Trelawny Tigers
Peterborough Panthers
Coventry Bees
Belle Vue Aces
Birmingham Brummies
Poland
Rybnik
Ostrów Wlkp.
Sweden
Kaparna
Västervik

1998
1999-2000
2001-2003
2003
2004-2010, 2012
2011
2013

2006-2007
2008-

2004
2007-2014
Speedway Grand Prix statistics
2009 Number 11
Starts 67[1]
Podiums 7 (1-4-2)
Finalist 8 time
Winner 1 times
Individual honours
British Champion
British Grand Prix Winner
2007, 2009, 2010
2007
Team honours
Elite League Pairs Winner
Elite League Champion
Elite League KO Cup Winner
Premier League Champion
Craven Shield Winner
Premier Trophy Winner
Conference League Champion
Conference League KO Cup
2008, 2010
2005, 2007, 2010
2006, 2007
2000
2007, 2008
2002
1998
1998

Christopher Calvin "Chris" Harris (born 28 November 1982) in Truro, Cornwall,[2] nicknamed Bomber, is a Great Britain international speedway rider for the Coventry Bees in the United Kingdom.[3]

Career history[edit]

Early career[edit]

Chris Harris began his racing career at the age of six and a half by competing in grasstrack events. His talent quickly became apparent when he began to win all of the junior age groups in the South-West area.[4] In 1998, aged 15, he progressed to speedway racing for the St. Austell Gulls at Amateur Conference League level. The Gulls won the Championship and the Knockout Cup.

On his 16th birthday, Harris signed for the Exeter Falcons, who competed in the Premier League, the middle tier of British speedway's three-league structure. Despite the death of his father, who was his driver and mentor, he achieved his first notable individual success later that year, when he became Great Britain Under-16 Champion. He was also selected to ride for Great Britain at both Under-19 and Under-21 level.

In 2000, Harris more than doubled his previous year’s points total, being unbeaten by an opponent in several matches. The Exeter Falcons team finished the season as Premier League Champions and reached two cup finals and one semi-final.

Harris moved clubs for the 2001 season, joining the Trelawny Tigers in Cornwall. He soon became their top scorer and qualified for the 2001 Individual Speedway Junior World Championship as first reserve. He continued his form into 2002, being made club captain. Once again, he was top scorer for the club and under his captaincy Trelawny Tigers won the Speedway Premier Trophy.

Elite League progress and international debut[edit]

Taking advantage of new rules introduced to assist young British riders, Harris also took the step up to ride in the Elite League in 2002, with the Peterborough Panthers. He progressed well during his debut Elite League season, moving up into the main body of the team. Individually, he progressed to the final of the British Speedway Championship and finished fourth in the World Under-21 Championship.

In 2003, Harris rode again for Trelawny Tigers in the Premier League and Peterborough Panthers in the Elite League. By the end of the season, he was an Elite League heat-leader. Off track, he was voted BBC South-West Sports Personality of the Year.[5]

However, it was on the individual front Harris was most successful. In the World Under-21 Championship, he won both his quarter and semi final rounds, progressing to the 2003 Individual Speedway Junior World Championship in Sweden where he finished runner-up, one point behind Jarosław Hampel.

His form during 2003 won Harris an invitation to take part as a reserve in the third round of the 2003 FIM Individual Speedway World Championship, the British Grand Prix, held at Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.

2004 saw Harris sign for the Coventry Bees. The following season, the Bees won the Elite League Championship, which meant Harris had won titles at all three levels of British speedway aged just twenty-two.[6] He also represented Great Britain in the Speedway World Cup.[7]

For the 2011 season, Harris moved on loan from Coventry to Belle Vue only to return a season later.

2007 British Grand Prix[edit]

In 2007 Harris became British Champion. Harris was selected to ride as a permanent wild card in the 2007 Speedway Grand Prix series, riding at number 15. In only his fifth full Grand Prix meeting he won the British Grand Prix at Cardiff.[8][9] He was also a victim of an armed robbery, just two weeks before his maiden Grand Prix win when he was held up at gunpoint whilst out with his manager.[10]

Winning the Grand Prix was considered to be the biggest event to happen in British Speedway for several years.[11]

Off track, he was again voted BBC South-West Sports Personality of the Year.[12] and was also voted BBC Midlands Sports Personality of the Year,[13] beating Aston Villa footballer Gareth Barry into second place.

Speedway Grand Prix results[edit]

Year Position Points Best Finish Notes
2003 46th 1 18th
2007 9th 91 Winner Won the British GP (Harris's first GP win).
2008 13th 58 6th
2009 14th 62 5th
2010 6th 107 2nd (Three times) Finished 2nd in the Croatian GP, 2nd in the Italian GP, 2nd in the Polish 2 GP and Finished 3rd in the Danish GP.
2011 11th 74 2nd Finished 2nd in the Croatian GP.
2012 12th 65 4th Finished 4th in the Danish GP.

SGP Podium[edit]

  1. European Union Poland Wrocław (12 May 2007) - 3rd place
  2. United Kingdom Cardiff (30 June 2007) - 1st place
  3. Denmark Copenhagen (5 June 2010) - 3rd place
  4. Croatia Gorican (28 August 2010) - 2nd place
  5. Italy Terenzano (25 September 2010) - 2nd place
  6. Poland Bydgoszcz (9 October 2010) - 2nd place
  7. Croatia Goričan (24 September 2011) - 2nd place

SGP Finals[edit]

  1. Denmark Copenhagen (9 June 2012)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Świat Żużla, No 2 (78) 2009, page 17, ISSN 1429-3285
  2. ^ Oakes, P.(2004). British Speedway Who's Who. ISBN 0-948882-81-6
  3. ^ Bamford, Robert (2007-03-01). Tempus Speedway Yearbook 2007. NPI Media Group. ISBN 0-7524-4250-3. 
  4. ^ Moore, Charles (26 June 2007). "My Sport: Chris Harris". London: The Telegraph. Retrieved 2007-12-02. 
  5. ^ "South West Sports Personality 2003". BBC. 15 December 2003. Retrieved 2007-10-31. 
  6. ^ Oakes, P (2006). Speedway Star Almanac. Pinegen Ltd. ISBN 0-9552376-1-0. 
  7. ^ "Harris gets World Cup Call up". London: The Sun. 16 July 2005. Retrieved 2007-10-31. 
  8. ^ Rigby, Vic (2 July 2007). "Harris is speedway's Hamilton". London: The Sun. Retrieved 2007-10-31. 
  9. ^ Aizlewood, John (1 July 2007). "Harris speeds to glory". London: The Times. Retrieved 2007-10-31. 
  10. ^ "Harris: My armed robbery terror". London: The Sun. 23 June 2007. Retrieved 2007-10-31. 
  11. ^ "Pratt praise for champion Harris". BBC. 4 July 2007. Retrieved 2007-10-31. 
  12. ^ "South West Sports Personality 2007". BBC. 26 November 2007. Retrieved 2007-12-02. 
  13. ^ "BBC award for speedway champion". BBC. 3 December 2007. Retrieved 2007-12-02. 

External links[edit]

2011 Speedway Grand Prix riders
1 Poland Gollob 2 Poland Hampel 3 Australia Crump 4 Poland Holta 5 United States Hancock
6 United Kingdom Harris 7 Denmark Bjerre 8 Australia Holder 9 Sweden Jonsson 10 Denmark Pedersen
11 Sweden Lindgren 12 Russia Sayfutdinov 13 Russia Laguta 14 Sweden Lindbäck 15 Poland Kołodziej