Chris Harris (speedway rider)

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Chris Harris
Chris Harris.jpg
Born (1982-11-28) 28 November 1982 (age 36)
Truro, Cornwall, England
NicknameBomber
NationalityEnglish
Websitewww.chrisharrisracing.co.uk
Current club information
British leagueIpswich Witches/
Somerset Rebels
Career history
Great Britain
1998St Austell Gulls
1999–2000Exeter Falcons
2001–2003Trelawny Tigers
2003, 2017Peterborough Panthers
2004–2010, 2012, 2014–2016Coventry Bees
2011Belle Vue Aces
2013Birmingham Brummies
2017–2018Rye House Rockets
2018Glasgow Tigers
2018Poole Pirates
2019Ipswich Witches
2019Somerset Rebels
Poland
2006-2007Rybnik
2008Ostrów Wlkp.
Sweden
2004Kaparna
2006-2014Västervik
Denmark
2016Holstebro
Speedway Grand Prix statistics
2009 Number37
Starts67[1]
Podiums8 (1-5-2)
Finalist8 time
Winner1 times
Individual honours
2007, 2009, 2010British Champion
2007British Grand Prix Winner
2003British Under 21 Grasstrack Champion
Team honours
2008, 2010Elite League Pairs Winner
2005, 2007, 2010Elite League Champion
2006, 2007Elite League KO Cup Winner
2000Premier League Champion
2007, 2008Craven Shield Winner
2002Premier Trophy Winner
1998Conference League Champion
1998Conference League KO Cup
2018SGB Premiership Champion

Christopher Calvin Harris (born 28 November 1982) in Truro, Cornwall,[2] nicknamed Bomber, is a Great Britain international speedway rider for the Ipswich Witches and Somerset Rebels 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 turned 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[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.
2012 20th 7 10th Finished 10th in the British GP.
2014 15th 48 11th Finished 11th in the Czech, British & Polish II GP.
2015 13th 55 2nd Finished 2nd in the Polish GP.

SGP Podium[edit]

  1. Europe 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
  8. Poland Warsaw (18 April 2015) - 2nd place

SGP Finals[edit]

  1. Denmark Copenhagen (9 June 2012)

See also[edit]

World Longtrack Championship[edit]

Grand-Prix[edit]

  • 2017 - 5 apps (8th) 50pts

European Grasstrack Championship[edit]

Finals[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Świat Żużla, No 2 (78) 2015, page 17, ISSN 1429-3285
  2. ^ Oakes, P.(2004). British Speedway Who's Who. ISBN 0-948882-81-6
  3. ^ Bamford, Robert (1 March 2007). 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 2 December 2007.
  5. ^ "South West Sports Personality 2003". BBC. 15 December 2003. Archived from the original on 26 October 2004. Retrieved 31 October 2007.
  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 31 October 2007.
  8. ^ Rigby, Vic (2 July 2007). "Harris is speedway's Hamilton". London: The Sun. Retrieved 31 October 2007.
  9. ^ Aizlewood, John (1 July 2007). "Harris speeds to glory". London: The Times. Retrieved 31 October 2007.
  10. ^ "Harris: My armed robbery terror". London: The Sun. 23 June 2007. Retrieved 31 October 2007.
  11. ^ "Pratt praise for champion Harris". BBC. 4 July 2007. Retrieved 31 October 2007.
  12. ^ "South West Sports Personality 2007". BBC. 26 November 2007. Retrieved 2 December 2007.
  13. ^ "BBC award for speedway champion". BBC. 3 December 2007. Retrieved 2 December 2007.

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