Start planning your arrangements, NW200 dates have been released
It's only July folks, but time to get your diaries out and pencil in May 16, 2015 as main Race Day for next year's International North West 200.
The provisional date has been released by Event Director Mervyn Whyte, following talks with British Superbike counterpart Stuart Higgs, who holds the keys to so many of the top teams' participation – such is the strength of his national championship in the UK.
The Race Week Festival at the 2015 North West 200 will get under way on May 10, and as Whyte explained, the early announcement is to let his 40,000 plus travelling fans make early bookings.
"After the success of this year's races we have been inundated with enquiries about 2015, as people begin to plan their holidays," he said. "The schedule we have chosen is a free week between the May Day Bank Holiday BSB meeting and the start of the Isle of Man TT."
Whyte also revealed that he is in deep negotiations to bring more high profile short circuit racers to Portrush in the wake of the success enjoyed by recent North West 200 recruits Josh Brookes and Peter Hickman.
"I have been talking to Billy McConnell and Tommy Bridewell about entering the North West and they are both keen to race if we can get a package together," Whyte said of the British Supersport Championship leader and Josh Brookes' Milwaukee Yamaha British Superbike team-mate.
Next year will be Whyte's 15th year in charge of Ireland's flagship motorcycle event, having first become involved as a marshal in 1972. He is showing no signs of slowing down.
"The North West bounced back in 2014. Yes, we have had a couple of tough years because of the weather, but road racing is booming, and the North West 200 is part of that," he explained.
"We have seen the great success of the Giro d'Italia in 2014 and the Open is destined for Royal Portrush," Whyte added.
"The North West 200 has been attracting hundreds of thousands of sports fans to the north coast for the last 85 years and we will move heaven and earth to continue for the next 85!"