Belfast Telegraph

Jeremy McWilliams' new goal is a massive boost for North West 200

Former Grand Prix star turned road racing aficionado Jeremy McWilliams will return to the Vauxhall International North West 200 next May, looking for his second victory at the north coast event at the ripe old age of 51.

But the big news for both the organising Coleraine & District Motor Club and race fans alike, is that the Glengormley man is seriously considering a second class at the May showpiece on either Supersport or Superstock machinery.

McWilliams, who has become an integral part of Ryan Farquhar's old guard in the KMR SGS International Kawasaki Supertwin racing squad at the North West, told me just yesterday that a potential deal is imminent. He also discussed some national road racing plans.

"The idea for 2015 is to do a couple of road race meetings with KMR," said McWilliams.

"The obvious one is the North West and I would like to go back to Armoy, as I really like the meeting. I have a soft spot for it, I like the people that run it and the whole atmosphere around the event is great," said McWilliams, who on that basis is not looking at scaling down his road racing interest next term.

Quite the contrary, and if a deal can be secured with North West 200 Event Director Mervyn Whyte at tomorrow night's SPARKS Champions of Motorsport dinner in Belfast, then McWilliams could well enter the Supersport or high-octane Superstock cauldron at next year's event.

That would be some coup for Whyte and his team should McWilliams add his name to the classes that make all the headlines at the Triangle.

"I will probably only ride the 650 Supertwin at Armoy, but I am considering riding two bikes at the North West," said the former 250cc Grand Prix winner.

"I am undecided what bike I will ride, but it will more than likely be a 600cc bike or a Superstock, although I need to get a chat with Mervyn first to see where we are at with it."

When asked whether the machine would be in KMR livery, McWilliams used all his media savvy to generalise his answer, sounding like he may have other plans for the bigger classes.

Pausing to think before answering he said: "It's just a bit of an inkling at the moment. I want to see what opportunities there are, but I'm not completely stuck on it and if it doesn't happen it would not be the end of the world."

Giving an insight into the potential decision, he added: "I've enjoyed watching both classes when I've been at the North West and it's a long week up there, so we will look at it and see what happens."

Last year McWilliams joined Aussie Josh Brookes in the Mather's Cross Chicane grass-tracking club, with their faux pas ultimately costing both men victories at the event.

Like Brookes, McWilliams would like to see the awkward chicane altered, but in turn said it was the same for everyone.

"Yes I would love to see it being made a bit more flowing and it would ultimately make it a bit safer too, but I'm sure Mervyn has plans in place and we will deal with it whatever happens," he said.

Before then McWilliams will head up a strong British team at the Island Classic in Melbourne, Australia next month.

He will be joined by his new partner-in-crime Farquhar, with top TT star John McGuinness, Mike Edwards and Glen Richards adding strength to the squad.

McWilliams continued: "Although I've won the individual prize before we've never won the team event in Oz so it's good to have such a strong squad for the event.

"Although Glen is an Aussie he has a British passport which makes him eligible for our team thankfully," he added.

The event runs from January 23 to January 25.

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