This year’s North West 200 on May 15 will feature two major changes to the 8.9mile road course to improve safety.
Organisers of the ReIentless International North West 200 unveiled a new chicane at Mather’s Cross and improvements at Station Corner.
The new purpose-built chicane at Mather’s Cross has been introduced to slow down competitors at the entrance to the corner.
Race Director Mervyn Whyte said: “The new chicane will reduce speeds at Mather’s Cross, initial drawings and plans having been created following consultation with the riders.
"The chicane is located on right side entrance to Mather’s Cross and the area to the left has been cleared of any hedging with the chicane area free of any obstructions.”
Further changes are currently being carried out at Station Corner, another high-speed area on the course.
On the exit of the corner on the left hand side it is planned to pipe the large drain and fill up the ground over an 80-metre distance. A new socketed fence is to be installed the full length of the corner.
“These upgrades are part of the North West’s ongoing policy on safety improvement and we continually work hard year on year to make the course as safe as possible for competitors and spectators.” said Whyte.
“I believe these improvements are significant. We have had excellent feedback from both riders and team managers.
Sport Northern Ireland have been has contributed £35,000 to ensure safety works have been completed ahead of this year’s races. Eamonn McCartan, Chief Executive of Sport Northern Ireland, stated: “We view the safety of participants and spectators at the NW 200 as of the utmost importance.
"While the event obviously centres on the racing, it is vital that measures are taken to improve the safety of all concerned.”