Glengormley’s Jeremy McWilliams to line up in British Grand Prix
Glengormley’s Jeremy McWilliams will make a shock return to Grand Prix racing at the ripe old age of 50 during next weekend’s British Grand Prix at Silverstone.
The former 250cc Grand Prix race winner will line up on the all-new British-designed Brough Superior Moto2 machine on August 31.
Despite not having ridden at Grand Prix level since 2007, McWilliams has never formally retired from motorcycle racing.
He has won and been competitive at the North West 200 in the past two years and, most recently, took victory in an AMA Harley-Davidson XR1200 race at the Indianapolis Moto Grand Prix.
McWilliams famously led the British GP at Donington Park in 2000, battling with Valentino Rossi and Kenny Roberts Junior, which was to become the Italian legend’s debut win in the premier class.
Last month it was announced that Brough Superior would mark a return to the UK with a one-off entry to the British Grand Prix at Silverstone.
California-based Brits, Paul Taylor and John Keogh head up the project and the Carbon 2, which features a carbon fibre monocoque design, has won national level races in the United States.
McWilliams tested the Carbon 2 at Mallory Park on Wednesday and hopes for another outing on the bike before his first competitive action next Friday.
“I was pleasantly surprised with the bike at Mallory; we had it working quite well,” said McWilliams.
“When an opportunity like this comes along and you can see po
tential in it; it’s difficult to say no. With Bennetts supporting the project and the work that the guys at Brough Superior have put in, it deserves a shot.
“The bike is a completely new concept in terms of chassis design, there’s nothing else like it on the grid in Moto2.
“With the carbon chassis and the wishbone fork set up, I wasn’t sure what to expect and whether I’d be able to adapt to this new concept but it worked okay.
“We started working with a setting they’d used at Cadwell and I couldn’t really get on with that but then we played about with some other settings and we started to make some progress.
“There are a few things that we need to do before Silverstone and we’re aiming to get that done next week.
Smiling at the thought of being back in the spotlight, the affable Ulsterman added: “At this stage in my career, I’m doing this to help a small team with a limited budget, in a hope that they can move on to bigger and better things.
“There are no expectations but there’s every hope that we can place the bike where nobody expects to see it, especially if the weather is tricky — that’s what my career has been about!
“I’ve ridden bikes that people have doubted before and achieved results that people did not expect. I’m not saying that’s going to happen next Sunday but you never know.
“We’ll all put 100 per cent in and what will be will be.”