With just ten weeks to go until the first international road race of the year, join The H Duct in the countdown to the Vauxhall International North West 200. With a brand new blog post every Monday, we will be previewing the event by profiling key riders and teams.
What is the NW200?
The North West 200 was first held in 1929, originally over 200 miles, giving it its name. Since then the course has been reduced to a 8.970 mile track in the triangle area in the North West of Northern Ireland encompassing Portstewart, Coleraine, and Portrush. Due to the nature of the track, with its long straights, speeds often reach 200mph with riders passing each other in the slipstream constantly. You could be eighth at the start of the last lap, and still go on to win if the leading pack is close enough. It certainly proves to be exciting racing for spectators as the track passes through residential streets and along the coast road. Recent Oscar winner Daniel Day Lewis is a fan and a frequent visitor to the paddock.
A map of the course is shown below:
North West 200 Race Week
The North West 200 takes place over the course of a week with plenty of entertainment interspersing the racing. Events such as the Miss North West 200 competition and the “Givin’it Gas Chat Show” with Carl Fogarty and Jamie Whitham are just two highlights of this year’s schedule. A full schedule can be found on the official NW200 website.
On Tuesday and Thursday roads will close between 9.30am and 2.30pm for practice sessions. At 5.15pm on Thursday the roads will close again for the following races:
- Supersport 1 sponsored by Ballymoney Borough Council
- Supertwin 1 sponsored by Anchor Complex, Portstewart
- Superstock 1 sponsored by LiveWire AV Ltd
Saturday is the main day of racing, with five races including the NW200 Superbike race at the end of the day. Roads close at 10am and are due to re-open at 6.30pm. The race day schedule is as follows:
- Supersport 2 sponsored by McKendry Fabrications fm Ltd
- Superbike 1 sponsored by EventServ
- Supertwin 2 sponsored by Vauxhall
- Superstock 2 sponsored by CP Hire
- NW200 Superbike race sponsor to be announced
Keep up to date
The NW200 mobile app is available for Android and IOS. It includes:
- Course map
- GPS directions to great vantage points
- Watch videos on the go
- Events info
- Send your picture
You can follow the event’s Twitter account @northwest200 and find them on Facebook. Their official website can be found at http://www.northwest200.org/default.aspx, which has all the information visitors to the North West 200 will need to know.
Watch this great promotional video for a taste of what’s to come:
Next week’s post will take a look at the newcomers including Karl Harris and local racer Sam Wilson. I hope you will join us!