The Vauxhall International North West 200 has been given a huge boost this week with the announcement that the event is to have two new race sponsors for 2014.
Milwaukee Power Tools, the company that currently sponsors the SMR Yamaha team of top road race stars, Ian Hutchinson and Josh Brookes, is to become the new sponsor of the Supersport event on Saturday.
Hydraulic hose and pipe fitting company Pirtek UK will complete the NW 2014 sponsorship team as the sponsor of Thursday evening’s Superstock race. Pirtek’s motorsport credentials are also well established as the company is the title sponsor of 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 Josh 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.”
“We became involved with the North West as sponsors of the Mather’s chicane last year.” Pirtek’s Belfast franchisee David Adams said.
“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 finish in the 2012 Superstock event, joked that he intended “to be taking home some of both companies money in 2014”.
Event Director, Mervyn Whyte, MBE, is delighted with this much needed boost to the North West 200’s coffers following the difficulties caused by bad weather in 2013.
“It is a great vote of confidence for the race to have two such high profile, global companies as sponsors. 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. With the commitment and continued support of global companies like Milwaukee and Pirtek, as well as locally based businesses, we will be able to ensure not just the future of the race but also help to provide an invaluable boost for the local economy as a whole.”
Whyte’s remarks were echoed by Mayor of Coleraine, Councillor David Harding.
“As home of the North West 200, Coleraine Council sponsor the event with a significant financial and ‘in kind’ investment, which helps to deliver opportunities in tourism and economic development for the area. I welcome both Milwaukee and Pirtek to the Borough, and have invited both the President for Causeway Chamber of Commerce and the Chair of Coleraine Town team to be included in this announcement, recognizing the investment and support these companies will bring.”