Belfast Telegraph

Top stars set for Billy Nutt Motorcycle Festival

JIM GRACEY

BELFAST'S King's Hall will host the biggest collection of horsepower ever assembled under one roof here for the 19th annual Billy Nutt Motorcycle Festival from February 7 to 9.

Bike finance company Blackhorse have joined Adelaide Insurance as title sponsors of the event, launched by top riders Alastair Seeley and Michael Rutter, who flew in from his Midlands base to also support the Oscar Knox blood donor day at Belfast City Hall.

More top riders from home and abroad will be in attendance over the three days of the show with promoter Billy Nutt promising: “The Festival will have everything from the motorcycle and karting world worth seeing. Alongside all the new models, classic machinery, displays and accessories, there will be a hot line-up of two-wheel stars to mingle and meet the thousands of fans.”

Yamaha, Honda, Kawasaki, Ducati, Suzuki, Harley Davidson, Triumph, KTM, Victory and Indian are amongst the manufacturers who will have their ranges on display while many organisations will be represented including the Ulster GP Supporters Club, the NW200 Supporters Club, Blackhorse, Adelaide Insurance, Mid Antrim MCC, the PSNI and North Armagh MCC.

Racing legend Phillip McCallen, now almost as well known for his motorcycle emporium as for his road racing exploits, will have no less than 50 bikes on his stand which will represent Triumph, Kawasaki and KTM.

Charity will benefit, too, with BBB Motorcycle Club, which raised over £20,000 for local causes in 2013, aiming to go even better in aid of ‘Cash for Kids’ which brings hope, healing and happiness to young people in Northern Ireland. Festival visitors will be offered a chance to help and to win a Yamaha MT-09.

For off-road fans, a Motocross Village will have on display machines representing seven different off-road disciplines — Adult and Youth Moto Cross, Adult and Youth Quad Cross, Supermoto, Sidecar Cross and Enduro/Cross Country

The Festival will also see the launch of the Adelaide Masters bike racing series and 2014 NI Kart racing season.

Long time Festival supporter Sam Geddis, Director of motorcycle specialists Adelaide Insurance Services, said: “As a company we continue to support motorcycling by investing in sponsorship and motorcycle safety initiatives like our Adelaide Advanced Motorcyclists Group. We’ll also announce details of the 2014 Adelaide Masters, Ireland’s biggest motorcycle racing series, at the Mondello Park stand.”

Locally the main focus for kart drivers will be the NI Championship, which kicks off on March 1 at Kirkistown and concludes at Bishopscourt in September.

In between, the drivers will also face the challenge of Nutts Corner and the NW200 Paddock.

The highlight of the year will be the Superkart UK Cup and British Superkart Championships at Bishopscourt on May 31. On their last visit to these shores, in 2012, the Division 1 Superkarts smashed Jonathan Rea’s outright lap record by over 1.5 seconds and with a grid packed with European, British and Irish champions, that record could be lowered further.

Last year, following the success of Belfast’s Charlie Eastwood in becoming 2012 Rotax Max World Champion, the NI Kart Experience was launched at the show.

The aim of the scheme is to introduce new drivers into karting. Using race prepared machinery, potential newcomers get a taste for the full thrill of karting and hopefully unearth the next generation of champions.

Show opening hours are 2-10 pm Friday and 10am-5pm Saturday and Sunday.

Belfast Telegraph Digital

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