Chris Harris (speedway rider)
28 November 1982 |
|Current club information|
|British league||Coventry Bees|
|Polish league||Ostrów Wlkp.|
|1998||St Austell Gulls|
|2004-2010, 2012, 2014–||Coventry Bees|
|2011||Belle Vue Aces|
|Speedway Grand Prix statistics|
|2007, 2009, 2010||British Champion|
|2007||British Grand Prix Winner|
|2008, 2010||Elite League Pairs Winner|
|2005, 2007, 2010||Elite League Champion|
|2006, 2007||Elite League KO Cup Winner|
|2000||Premier League Champion|
|2007, 2008||Craven Shield Winner|
|2002||Premier Trophy Winner|
|1998||Conference League Champion|
|1998||Conference League KO Cup|
|This section needs additional citations for verification. (January 2013)|
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. 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 Premier Trophy.
Elite League progress and international debut
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.
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. He also represented Great Britain in the Speedway World Cup.
For the 2011 season, Harris moved on loan from Coventry to Belle Vue only to return a season later.
2007 British Grand Prix
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. 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.
Winning the Grand Prix was considered to be the biggest event to happen in British Speedway for several years.
Off track, he was again voted BBC South-West Sports Personality of the Year. and was also voted BBC Midlands Sports Personality of the Year, beating Aston Villa footballer Gareth Barry into second place.
Speedway Grand Prix results
|2007||9th||91||Winner||Won the British GP (Harris's first GP win).|
|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.|
|2012||20th||7||10th||Finished 10th in the British GP.|
|2014||15th||48||11th||Finished 11th in the Czech, British & Polish II GP.|
- Wrocław (12 May 2007) - 3rd place
- Cardiff (30 June 2007) - 1st place
- Copenhagen (5 June 2010) - 3rd place
- Gorican (28 August 2010) - 2nd place
- Terenzano (25 September 2010) - 2nd place
- Bydgoszcz (9 October 2010) - 2nd place
- Goričan (24 September 2011) - 2nd
- Warsaw (18 April 2015) - 2nd place
- Świat Żużla, No 2 (78) 2015, page 17, ISSN 1429-3285
- Oakes, P.(2004). British Speedway Who's Who. ISBN 0-948882-81-6
- Bamford, Robert (2007-03-01). Tempus Speedway Yearbook 2007. NPI Media Group. ISBN 0-7524-4250-3.
- Moore, Charles (26 June 2007). "My Sport: Chris Harris". London: The Telegraph. Retrieved 2007-12-02.
- "South West Sports Personality 2003". BBC. 15 December 2003. Retrieved 2007-10-31.
- Oakes, P (2006). Speedway Star Almanac. Pinegen Ltd. ISBN 0-9552376-1-0.
- "Harris gets World Cup Call up". London: The Sun. 16 July 2005. Retrieved 2007-10-31.
- Rigby, Vic (2 July 2007). "Harris is speedway's Hamilton". London: The Sun. Retrieved 2007-10-31.
- Aizlewood, John (1 July 2007). "Harris speeds to glory". London: The Times. Retrieved 2007-10-31.
- "Harris: My armed robbery terror". London: The Sun. 23 June 2007. Retrieved 2007-10-31.
- "Pratt praise for champion Harris". BBC. 4 July 2007. Retrieved 2007-10-31.
- "South West Sports Personality 2007". BBC. 26 November 2007. Retrieved 2007-12-02.
- "BBC award for speedway champion". BBC. 3 December 2007. Retrieved 2007-12-02.
|2011 Speedway Grand Prix riders|