Friday 4th March 2011

Relentless International North West 200 on Track for Pop Success!

Relentless NW200 model Laurina Kennedy is pictured with riders (from left) Stephen Thompson, Simon Andrews, Michael Dunlop, Brian McCormick, Kirk Jamison and Ryan Farquhar at the launch of the Ballymoney Borough Council and McKendry Fabrications Supersport Races and the CP Hire Superstock race which took place at BBC Blackstaff Studio.


BSB star and Ice Valley BMW team member, Simon Andrews, proved he is red hot as he joined forces with local indie band Furlo to launch a unique Relentless International North West 200 charity single called Low-Hi and also appeared alongside riders Michael Dunlop, Ryan Farquhar, Brian McCormick and Stephen Thompson at BBC NI’s Blackstaff Studio where details of the Ballymoney Borough Council Supersport, CP Hire Superstock and McKendry Fabrications Supersport races were announced.

Debut for Andrews

Andrews, who last year was set to make his Relentless NW200 debut before injury prevented him from taking part, has confirmed with technical director Mervyn Whyte MBE that he will ride for the Paul Shoesmith backed Ice Valley BMW team. The 26 year old Evesham rider clocked up excellent results in both the 2009 and 2010 Macau Grand Prix taking 7th place in 2009 and going three better in the last November’s Asian street circuit with fourth position. In 2009 Simon was the official Kawasaki rider in the BSB Championship and he also replaced Chris Vermeulen at the Valencia round of the 2010 World Superbike championship.

May 21st will mark his UK road racing debut and the Worcestershire rider is looking forward to getting into full throttle on the 8.9 mile NW200 circuit.
Andrews will be on board an ex Jentin BMW S1000RR in the Superstock and Superbike classes and spent some time checking out the course with five times NW200 winner Phillip McCallen.

“The North West has a quality reputation as a top notch road race. I’ve watched the racing via on board cameras on the web and the DVD and now I’ve seen the course in reality with expert Phillip McCallen. I just can’t wait to sample the atmosphere and excitement in the paddock and on the circuit and am looking forward to the close racing which can really only be experienced on the roads. It will also be hugely interesting to learn a brand new circuit.”

Rocking all over the North West

Adding a new cutting edge dimension to Race Week, five strong indie band, Furlo have cut a special Relentless International North West 200 single, Low-Hi, available as a download from 15th May. The song was recorded recently at Dublin’s famous Westland Studios. The Derry and Limavady group made a guest appearance at the BBC Sport NI hosted media conference on March 2nd giving their first official live performance of the specially written song which aims to raise funds for Marie Curie Cancer Care, the Dunlop Foundation and the North West 200.
Explained Stephen Henderson from Furlo’s record company Yogen Records.

“We’re delighted to have this opportunity to be involved with the NW200 and to help generate much needed cash for such worthy local charities. We’d like to thank NW200 Technical Director Mervyn Whyte and assistant Gillian Lloyd as well as BBC NI’s Stephen Watson and Careva’s Paul Lindsay for all their help in getting this initiative off the ground. We’ve also had tremendous support from Relentless Energy Drink and race team Relentless by TAS Suzuki members Philip Neill and Guy Martin and also Tim Martin whose team Martrain Racing will compete under the Marie Curie Cancer Care banner.”

On May 15th Low-Hi can be downloaded from all major online stores as well as websites, and as well as Marie Curie and Dunlop Foundation websites. Downloads cost 79 pence and all proceeds will go to charities Marie Curie Cancer Care, the Dunlop Foundation and the Relentless International North West 200. The track will be used within the main BBC North West 200 previews during Race Week and post event highlights programmes and Furlo also plan to play a live show in the Hospitality marquee area during Race Week.

BBC NI Gears up for 2011 Relentless NW200

BBC Sport NI also outlined details of its 2011 coverage and will continue to provide fans with enhanced coverage throughout the week long festival across BBC TV, radio and online. As well as the live and highlights action there will be reports and special features from behind-the-scenes and this year online coverage will be provided via the BBC Sport NI homepage rather than a dedicated and separate NW200 site. (see separate BBC NI release)

Relentless International North West 200 Technical Director Mervyn Whyte MBE said, “We‘ve had a fantastic partnership with BBC NI over many years and each year the whole production and presentation team add new and creative dimensions to BBC’s range of NW200 programmes. The end result is high calibre and hugely exciting television, radio and online coverage which reaches millions of people worldwide. Everyone involved in the Coleraine Club would like to thank Shane Glynn and all the team at BBC for their hard work and professionalism.”

Coleraine Borough Council – Home of the North West 200

Mayor of Coleraine, Councillor Norman Hillis, added “Council is proud to host and be so involved with what has evolved into one of the most popular annual sporting events in Ireland. The exhilarating road race, which showcases some of the world’s finest riders, attracts approximately 100,000 visitors to this area over the week-long event and makes a major contribution to the Northern Ireland economy

“I would like to express my sincere gratitude to headline sponsors, Relentless Energy Drink and the army of associate sponsors that contribute funds to make this event possible. All the commercial sponsors together with Council, central government and the BBC collectively realise the benefits of the North West 200 and endeavour to promote it worldwide.”

Ballymoney Borough Council Supersport Race 2

Ballymoney Borough Council is once again set to back this year’s penultimate race, the Supersport Race 2. The region which is so closely associated with road racing will host a special North West Frontier exhibition at Ballymoney Town Hall featuring an outstanding collection of trophies and memorabilia as well as a history of the NW200. The exhibition kicks off on 9th May and finishes on 27th August. Check out HYPERLINK "" for more information. The Council will also unveil a special memorial statue to North West legend Robert Dunlop created with the help of public contributions. Mayor of Ballymoney Cllr Bill Kennedy said, “We’re proud to sponsor the Supersport race at this world famous sporting event for the eighth year and we look forward to welcoming thousands of fans to our museum and Memorial Gardens. We wish all the riders and Mervyn’s team a safe and successful day and look forward to some spectacular racing.”

McKendry Fabrications Supersport Race 1

Leading Coleraine manufacturer McKendry Fabrications Ltd which makes a range of products in stainless steel and other metals, are supporting the Relentless International North West 200 for a fourth year and in 2011 will lend their name to the first Supersport Race. Managing Director Colin McKendry said, “As a local company I believe it’s important to back such a high profile sporting event which injects thousands of pounds into the local economy and each year grows in stature and reputation. McKendry Fabrications was set up over 10 years ago and we’ve worked closely with Mervyn and the team on a range of in kind activities as well as being an individual race sponsor. I’d like to wish the Coleraine Club the very best for Race Day on 21st May and I look forward to an action packed and safe days racing.”

Entries close on 5th April but Technical Director Mervyn Whyte has already confirmed a number of quality competitors for both Supersport races. On the grid to date are Relentless Suzuki by TAS Racing duo Alastair Seeley and Guy Martin. Alastair chalked up a win in the first Supersport race last year and both are top contenders for a win/ podium place.

Also set for the grid is Ballymoney rider Michael Dunlop who has just launched details of his new season team and bikes and picked up 3rd and 5th positions in last year’s Supersport class. As revealed Michael will ride factory Kawasakis provided by Paul Bird’s World Superbike team in the Superbike and Superstock races and will compete on Yamaha machinery in the Supersport class. Conor Cummins, currently recovering from his TT accident, will again ride for McAdoo Kawasaki whilst Dungannon ace Ryan Farquhar will be on board a KMR Kawasaki and Cameron Donald who is now riding for the Wilson Craig team have both confirmed entries for the Supersport category. Last year Ryan achieved a 6th in the class and Cameron gained a 7th position.

Last year’s winner of the second supersport race and a runner-up in the first, Ian Hutchinson will ride for Shaun Muir on Yamaha machinery and New Zealander Bruce Anstey has moved to the Padgetts team. Also on the grid for the Supersport class will be East Coast Racing’s Gary Johnston, Waterford’s Brian McCormick and local heroes John Burrows, Adrian Archibald and Stephen Thompson.

CP Hire Superstock Race

Local company CP Hire has backed the race for many years and in 2011 the company is marking a very special anniversary as it celebrates 40 years in business. CP Hire’s Managing Director Andrew Hutchinson said they were thrilled to be once again involved with the NW200. “It’s vital to support such a high calibre local festival event which attracts additional visitors to the area and also raises the profile of Northern Ireland Plc globally. CP Hire is delighted to again sponsor the Superstock race especially as part of our 40th birthday celebrations and we look forward to a great day’s action in 2011.”

Outlining confirmed riders Mervyn Whyte said, “Ryan Farquhar who took a podium third last year and 2010 runner up, Batley’s Ian Hutchinson are set to compete as well as Carrick’s Alastair Seeley and Guy Martin. MSS Colchester Kawasaki riders Stuart Easton and Gary Mason are also on the Superstock grid alongside Simon Andrews, Cameron Donald and Bruce Anstey. West Midlands star Michael Rutter will also compete with local brothers William and Michael Dunlop completing the line-up.

Revamped Website and Olympic Style Grandstands

In line with title sponsor Relentless Energy Drink’s edgy image event website has had a make-over and is set to attract a wider visitor audience. Website managers Redback Creations have installed a translation facility for multiple languages to allow the navigation to change each time a different language is selected. A button has also been added so that visitors can check out the latest product and information from title sponsor Relentless Energy Drink check out for details.

Grandstand, programme and paddock package details are now available on the website and will be on sale from 7th March. This facility was hugely successful last year with large numbers of fans and visitors booking and buying packages online. In 2011 a daily weekday paddock pass is only £6 whilst Saturday grandstand seats cost £20 and £25 with a weekly paddock pass, programme and Saturday grandstand seat delivering good value at £45 and £49. Check out for full details.

Organisers Coleraine Club have secured a new grandstand supplier, Eventserv who are set to be one of the main grandstand suppliers at London 2012. The new ergonomic style seats will feature wider spacing between seat rows and will provide spectators with high calibre, comfortable and stylish international seating. The new range of grandstands will be in place by 11th May.

New Safety Equipment

Each year organisers of the Relentless International North West 200 seek to further improve and enhance rider and spectator safety and in 2011 the team will through Sport Northern Ireland and 2&4 Wheel Motorsport Group, purchase over £30,000 of additional safety bales and pedestrian barriers.

Print Media Partner

Top daily newspaper, Belfast Telegraph will once again become a print media partner helping to bring event coverage to general readers as well as avid sports fans. The title will also sponsor a high tech Media Centre for international and local journalists and photographers.

New 3 Year Deal for NW200 from Fleet Financial

Mallusk based contract hire and fleet management company Fleet Financial has announced a new three year in kind and cash sponsorship package worth £75K which kicks off in 2011. Fleet Financial will provide key race executives including the Clerk of Course, Course Manager and Technical Director Mervyn Whyte with a range of up to 18 cars and vans such as Jaguar and BMW cars in the months running up to Race Week as well as additional cash support until May 2013. The Northern Ireland owned company operates in GB, NI and RoI markets and has backed the NW200 since 2003.

Fleet Financial Sales Manager Jim Humphreys said, “We believe the North West 200 is one of the most important sporting festival events in the calendar and as a locally owned and based company we wanted to support the excellent team of volunteers led by Mervyn Whyte and help them continue to raise the bar in terms of event profile and management.”

Hospitality Marquee

New for 2011 is a ‘Giant Expo’ unit, the largest mobile hospitality facility in Europe. Supplied by Dutch company Movico the glass fronted doubled sided unit caters for 300 people and has been used at key sporting events such as the Tour de France and Le Mans. Offering enhanced viewing the unit is a first for any event in Ireland. Hospitality packages will be available in the next few weeks from

Duke Road Race Rankings

The Relentless International North West 200 will once again be included in the schedule for the prestigious Duke Road Race rankings. The original Geoff Duke trophy is now held permanently by Ryan Farquhar who won the award for three consecutive years and a new trophy will be created for the 2011 season.

North West 200 Supporters’ Club:

Laurits Mackness and Ina McColm will once again co-ordinate the NW200 Supporters Club which last year raised over £20,000 for the event. Laurits and Ina have raised huge amounts of cash support for the North West for 34 and 31 years respectively and Mervyn Whyte thanked them wholeheartedly for their hard work and determined efforts over the years.

Campsites and Caravans

The official Relentless International North West 200 campsite will again be located at Blairs Caravan Park and will offer visitors extensive camping facilities catering for up to 3000 people. Official motorhome and caravan sites will again be located at the Finish chicane and adjacent to hotel and restaurant, the Inn on the Coast. Site costs include a programme and paddock pass and to date sites have been selling extremely well. Visit for more details.


Rock on: BSB star and NW200 newcomer Simon Andrews and technical director Mervyn Whyte show off their musical talents alongside Furlo band members Lead guitarist Stevie Roddy (left) and lead singer Jonny Everett (right) to launch the new Relentless North West 200 charity single Low-Hi which can be downloaded from 15th May. The project aims to raise funds for Marie Curie Cancer Care, the Dunlop Foundation and the Relentless North West 200.


'Five NW200 wins in one day' record holder Phillip McCallen and Technical Director Mervyn Whyte (right) show BSB rider and event newcomer Simon Andrews from Evesham round the 8.9 mile Relentless International North West 200 course.


pig's ear publishing 2011 ©