Bike fans are staying loyal to the Relentless North West 200, despite last year’s aborted meeting, jinxed by a hoax bomb alert, freak weather and eventually scuppered by an oil spill on the track.
Ticket sales have been brisk for this year’s May 12-19 Race Week, including many purchased online by visitors from outside Northern Ireland.
Now, with less than five weeks to go til the big bikes roll in, Coleraine club organisers are advising local fans to book their places now in anticipation of a last minute rush.
“We’ve sold a large percentage of our 4000 seats and are looking forward to packed houses and a great atmosphere in all four grandstand locations,” said Event Director Mervyn Whyte.
Stands are located at the start-line and York Corner with two adjacent to the Paddock area and all four feature Olympic standard seating provided by Superbike race sponsor EventServ.
Seats cost £20 and £25 with the option to upgrade to complete race packages, including programmes and paddock passes.
“With additional daytime practice on Tuesday and Thursday as well as two brand new races on Thursday evening and special parade laps on Race Day including past star Carl Fogarty, a grandstand seat will offer the best views of all the action,” Mervyn added.
Race Day hospitality is also selling well.
Overlooking the start/finish zone, guests will be able to enjoy an open deck viewing platform and big screen TV coverage with food and drinks.
All packages can be booked at www.northwest200.org
For the vast majority of the 100,000 spectators over the week, the North West is, of course, the biggest free show in sport here... to those Mervyn Whyte would say, spare a thought for the future of the great race and buy a programme, the event’s main source of revenue.