New-look North West 200 launch gives fans chance to meet the stars

John McGuinness is one of the special guests at the North West 200 launch
John McGuinness is one of the special guests at the North West 200 launch

Fans will have the chance to meet some of the top stars of the Vauxhall International North West 200 this month as part of a revamped launch for the renowned road race.

Following the official media presentation during the day on Monday, March 31, a special ‘Meet the Riders’ evening will be held in the Titanic Suite of the Titanic Building in Belfast from 7pm.

Admittance is strictly by ticket only and the event will include a chat show hosted by the BBC’s Stephen Watson, after which fans will have photo and autograph opportunities with the riders, including Honda Racing’s John McGuinness,

Milwaukee Yamaha rider Ian Hutchinson, Mar-Train Racing’s Alastair Seeley, new Tyco Suzuki signing William Dunlop and his brother Michael, who will ride a factory-supported BMW S1000RR Superbike this season.

KMR Kawasaki pair Ryan Farquhar and Jeremy McWilliams, who will contest the Supertwin races at the North West 200 on Thursday, May 15 and Saturday, May 17, will also be in attendance.

A line-up of top machinery will also be on display at the launch evening in Belfast and special guestswill include stars of the north coast road race frombygone years.

Numbers are limited and tickets for the event can be obtained by visiting the official North West 200 website at

Practice for the first big international meeting of the season commences on Tuesday, May 13 with final qualifying and the first three races taking place on Thursday, May 15.

Five races are scheduled for the main bill on Saturday, May 17, including both Superbike events.

Meanwhile, the Mid Antrim Motor Club’s Shane Cup Trials meeting will take place at Shilnavogy Hill, near Slemish Mountain, on Saturday.The popular Parkmore Forest venue at Glenariff Glen remains unavailable at present, but the circuit at Shilnavogy has been extended by a mile for the Irish Championship event following consultation with the landowners.

The meeting is the opening round of the club’s trials series, which will be sponsored by Michelin once again in 2014.

All senior grades and Youth A, B and C grades are catered for and regulations and entry forms can be downloaded at