Dedicated Hector Neill honoured for his support of Isle of Man TT
Enigmatic and much-loved Tyco BMW team owner Hector Neill was honoured for his services to motorcycling in a surprise presentation on the Isle of Man.
The Hillsborough resident is a well-known figure in racing circles and his gregarious personality has won him the hearts of many who follow the sport he has loved for over five decades.
Speaking after the presentation by former 'minister of fun' on the Isle of Man, The Honourable David Cretney MHK, Neill said: "I knew nothing about it, so it was just as well I'd a nice shirt and cufflinks on."
Tickled pink by the award that simply stated, 'for your support and dedication for over 35 years at the Isle of Man TT," he laughed and said: "I think it's more like over 45 years. But the years fly by and to come here and receive this award is just brilliant.
"In the early days with Norman Brown it was Hector Neill Racing but this is as much for Philip as it is for me," he added, paying tribute to his son Philip who runs the day-to-day business at TAS Racing and Tyco BMW.
"It's nearly time I was retiring, but I want to win one more Senior TT," he said with a touch of panache, and many fans of Tyco BMW will be hoping he does just that with Ian Hutchinson in today six-lap blue riband race.
Wednesday's Superstock win was the first for TAS Racing at the TT in eight years, and if they win today's Senior it will be the first since 2003, when Ballymoney's Adrian Archibald triumphed for TAS Racing, following the heartbreak of losing his team-mate David Jefferies during practice week.
"I look around at our team set-up now with the support of BMW and think I'm only dreaming, but if Hutchy can win the Senior for us, it will be just fantastic. I might just finally retire!"