Norton rotary gets North West 200 go ahead
Dunlop had already agreed to race the Brian Crighton-inspired rotary in this year’s Senior TT (a ‘formula libre’ style race that allows a mix of open class machinery) , but was keen to follow in his late father Robert’s footsteps and race the Norton at the North West 200.
The rules though were strictly for superbike-spec machines, with no provision for the rotary.
But after successfully lobbying the organisers, the Norton has been accepted into the two superbike races – a coup for Dunlop, as well as a massive publicity boost for the event.
North West 200 Clerk of the Course Mervyn Whyte told MCN: “Last Saturday's Inter Centre Conference in Dublin between the north and south governing bodies agreed to reinstate the rules for rotary engine machines to allow a max capacity of 1200cc - for road races and short circuits - using an equivalency factor of 1.7 instead of the FIM equivalency factor of 2.0.
“This means the 588cc Norton rotary will be rated as a 999.6 machine for all events including the North West 200.”
It also means that the twin-chamber Norton could run a theoretical capacity of 705.88cc which, under the new equivalency ruling, rates it as 1199.9cc, still within the new top limit of 1200cc.