Belfast Telegraph

Alastair Seeley is targeting history at NW200

By Paul Lindsay

Twelve-times North West 200 winner Alastair Seeley, who was a double winner back in May on the north coast with local team Mar-Train Racing, is yet to announce his plans for next season.

But the Carrick man joined TT legend and six-time NW200 winner John McGuinness in Dungannon yesterday to help announce Vauxhall Motors Ltd as the event's title sponsor for the third consecutive season.

Seeley said of his local race, which is scheduled for May 10-16 next year: "Despite racing full-time in the British championship, the North West 200 is an important part of my season.

"I have some great memories from racing on the north coast and with 12 wins now in the bag, I'll be looking to come back next year and edge ever closer to Robert Dunlop's all-time record of 15."

On his plans for 2015, Seeley explained that he's keeping his options open: "I have a number of offers and while the British championship is the main focus, I'm always on the lookout for a team who can give me a top-class package for the North West 200.

"Mar-Train Racing did that for me this season and we collected two wins, but I'll be with a new team for next year and hope to make a decision in the coming weeks."

Valvoline by Padgetts' Honda rider McGuinness has been a great ambassador for the NW200, racing at the event for 20 years, and he fully appreciates the support of leading brands like Vauxhall.

"It's good to see the race getting support from big companies like Vauxhall, and it's good for us as racers because we know there will be significant prize money to chase," smiled the six-time winner at the Triangle.

The securing of Vauxhall's continued support will allow North West 200 Event Director Mervyn Whyte MBE, and his dedicated team, to push forward for the 2015 event.

"Vauxhall provide us with finance, a vehicle fleet and significant branding around the circuit, all of which are vital to running an International event each year," Whyte explained.

"Vauxhall Motors are also partnering us at the National Motorcycle Live Show at the NEC later in November, where without their support we just couldn't attend. At the show, we will be promoting the North West 200 races to a wider audience and it is support like Vauxhall's that has helped us to bring the very best road racers in the world to the Vauxhall International North West 200 grid."

Vauxhall's Regional Operations Manager, Gordon Hannen, said of the new deal: "Vauxhall are delighted to be back on board as title sponsor of the North West 200 for a third year.

"The North West 200 is a major event in the province and this new deal underpins the significance we place on the Northern Ireland market; in particular the increasing numbers of fans who attend this fine race festival are, of course, existing or potential customers of our brand and therefore we want to show our commitment to the sport they love."

Only yesterday, Lisburn-based Mar-Train Racing announced a lucrative deal to represent Yamaha UK at the North West 200 this coming season with prodigiously talented racer Dean Harrison.

If we add in other local teams like John Burrows' Cookstown B.E Racing, TAS Racing and NW200 circuit neighbours Millsport Racing and MD Racing, then the 2015 Vauxhall International North West 200 is set for some top-class local flavour.

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