Competitors at this year’s Vauxhall International North West 200 won’t have to fork out for costly entry fees after the organisers dropped the charges for the 2013 event.
The decision was taken to alleviate the financial burden on racers and teams feeling the pinch during the current challenging economic climate.
In particular, the move will be of most benefit to those riders competing further down the field who do not have the support of big-name sponsors and factory-supported teams.
It is a decision that could potentially reduce a competitor’s costs by up to £800 at the 2013 North West 200, with the fee previously set at £100 for each race.
Three races will be held on the Thursday evening of race week, May 16, with the first Superstock, Supersport and Supertwin 650 events.
On Saturday, May 18, a further five races will conclude the programme, featuring both blue riband Superbike events, plus the second Supersport, Superstock and Supertwin 650 races.
Event director, Mervyn Whyte, said the organising Coleraine and District Motor Club was “aware of the pressure facing riders” at present.
“The Coleraine and District Motor Club Ltd are very aware of the pressures facing riders at the moment as they struggle to find the sponsorship and support to get to the grid,” said Whyte.
“We have tried to take a positive step that will make it easier for everyone to race at this year’s North West.”
Ryan Farquhar, who will run a new-look team at the North West 200 in May, described the decision as “really good news”.
“I was talking to Mervyn about this a while back and it’s really good news for the lads competing further down the field,” said Farquhar.
“They are the ones who would’ve been paying entries in the past, so it’s a big benefit to them.
“You take a lad who’s maybe only riding a Supertwin at the North West and is only getting two runs out there and has no chance of getting any prize money – it’s a big help to someone like that.
“It’s a decision that will definitely appeal to a lot of lads and it’s a good help.”