Belfast Telegraph

Double boost as big guns back NW 200

The Vauxhall International North West 200 will have two additional high-profile race sponsors on the books at this year’s May showpiece after Race Director Mervyn Whyte and his dedicated team welcomed Milwaukee Power Tools and Pirtek UK onto their race card.

Heavy duty power tools company Milwaukee — who will sponsor the Supersport race on Saturday, May 17 at the North West — is already a well-known name in the British motorcycling paddock, sponsoring Shaun Muir’s top flight BSB team.

This year they will also be at the North West 200 with Aussie superstar Josh Brookes and returning five-in-a-week Isle of Man TT aficionado Ian Hutchinson.

Hydraulic hose and pipe fitting company Pirtek UK will sponsor the Thursday evening’s (May 15) Superstock race.

Pirtek’s motorsport credentials are also well established, sponsoring current British Touring Car champion Andrew Jordan who will attend the May 17 event at Portrush.

The announcement of Milwaukee’s involvement comes hard on the heels of the revelation that Australian BSB star Brookes, who made his NW debut in 2013, will compete in both 600cc races as well as the Superbike events this year.

“For us, a decision to become involved in sponsorship is based upon where we feel we will be able to get the best return on our investment,” Milwaukee’s Northern Ireland-born UK Commercial Director Dale McElveen said.

“The North West 200 is Ireland’s largest outdoor sporting event and it attracts a huge following of fans as well as extensive television coverage,” added McElveen, who was involved in his very own race yesterday — the chequered flag being unfurled at a local hospital in time to see his daughter Scarlett being born.

Pirtek franchisee David Adams echoed McElveen’s positive sentiments.

“We became involved with the North West as sponsors of the Mather’s chicane last year,” he explained.

“The reaction that that brought

from our customers has been so positive that we wanted to become more involved this year so we approached Pirtek UK to sponsor a race in 2014.”

The new investment was welcomed by East Coast Honda star Lee Johnston, who attended the launch.

 The diminutive Maguiresbridge rider, who finished third in last year’s shortened Supersport race and had a podium in the 2012 Superstock event, joked that he intended “to be taking home some of both companies’ money in 2014”.

Event Director Whyte MBE paid tribute to the two sponsors, underlining the importance of the event to the economy.

“It is a great vote of confidence for the race to have two such high profile, global companies as race sponsors,” he said.

“But perhaps more importantly, this is another example of the way in which the North West 200 attracts investment from both public and private enterprise that benefits the economy of the local area and Northern Ireland as a whole,” he added.

Belfast Telegraph Digital

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