- Chris Harris (speedway rider)
Chris Harris Personal information Nationality England Date of birth 28 November 1982 Place of birth Truro, England Nickname Bomber Website Official website Current club information British league Belle Vue Aces Polish league Ostrów Wlkp. Swedish league Västervik Career history Great Britain
St Austell Gulls
Belle Vue Aces
Speedway Grand Prix statistics 2009 Number 11 Starts 22 Podiums 5 (1-2-2) Finalist 5 time Winner 1 times Individual honours British Champion
British Grand Prix Winner
2007, 2009, 2010
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
2005, 2007, 2010
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, Harris 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. Harris then suffered the loss of his father who was not only his driver but also his mentor. He still 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 was able to build on his successful debut season and 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 World Under-21 final 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 & 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 was once again able to ride 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 final 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 World Cup.
For the 2011 season, Harris moved on loan from Coventry to Belle Vue.
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
- Wrocław (12th May 2007) - 3rd place
- Cardiff (30th June 2007) - 1st place
- Copenhagen (5th June 2010) - 3rd place
- Gorican (28th August 2010) - 2nd place
- Terenzano (25th September 2010) - 2nd place
- Bydgoszcz (9th October 2010) - 2nd place
- ^ Świat Żużla, No 2 (78) 2009, 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 0752442503.
- ^ Moore, Charles (26 June 2007). "My Sport: Chris Harris". London: The Telegraph. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/main.jhtml;jsessionid=UZT5FLZKSRGZ1QFIQMFSFF4AVCBQ0IV0?view=DETAILS&grid=&xml=/sport/2007/06/26/somysp126.xml. Retrieved 2007-12-02.
- ^ "South West Sports Personality 2003". BBC. 15 December 2003. http://www.bbc.co.uk/devon/sport/2003/12/sport_awards_winners.shtml. 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 Newspaper. 16 July 2005. http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/sport/article135872.ece. Retrieved 2007-10-31.
- ^ Rigby, Vic (2 July 2007). "Harris is speedway's Hamilton". London: The Sun Newspaper. http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/sport/article241361.ece. Retrieved 2007-10-31.
- ^ Aizlewood, John (1 July 2007). "Harris speeds to glory". London: The Times. http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/more_sport/article2011190.ece. Retrieved 2007-10-31.
- ^ "Harris: My armed robbery terror". London: The Sun Newspaper. 23 June 2007. http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/sport/article238598.ece. Retrieved 2007-10-31.
- ^ "Pratt praise for champion Harris". BBC. 4 July 2007. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/motorsport/motorbikes/speedway/6258556.stm. Retrieved 2007-10-31.
- ^ "South West Sports Personality 2007". BBC. 26 November 2007. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/motorsport/motorbikes/speedway/7113013.stm. Retrieved 2007-12-02.
- ^ "BBC award for speedway champion". BBC. 3 December 2007. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/7123843.stm. Retrieved 2007-12-02.
2011 Speedway Grand Prix riders 1 Gollob 2 Hampel 3 Crump 4 Holta 5 Hancock 6 Harris 7 Bjerre 8 Holder 9 Jonsson 10 Pedersen 11 Lindgren 12 Sayfutdinov 13 Laguta 14 Lindbäck 15 Kołodziej Coventry Bees Squad 2009 (British Elite League) Coventry Bees Squad 2008 (British Elite League)
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