The North West 200 has secured a new three-year title sponsorship deal with Northern Ireland companies fonaCAB and Nicholl Oils, which will run from 2020 until 2022.
Friday's announcement is a welcome boost for the sport after several worrying developments over recent weeks, with next year’s Ulster Grand Prix in doubt after falling into debts exceeding upwards of £250,000.
The Enniskillen Road Races were cancelled next year due to increasing costs, while this week the organisers of the Cookstown 100 announced a loss of £20,000 this year, even though the club has stressed that the event will still go ahead next April.
After celebrating its 90th anniversary in May, the North West 200 has now locked in a title sponsorship partnership for the next three years and the 2020 meeting, which takes place from May 12-16, will be known as the fonaCAB & Nicholl Oils North West 200.
Both companies supported the international road race with title backing this year and Event Director Mervyn Whyte is delighted to have reached new terms for the continuation of the partnership until 2022.
“It is great news that fonaCAB and Nicholl Oils will return as title sponsors for the next three North West 200s,” said Whyte.
“Their support is an indication of the platform the event can offer companies to promote their businesses and will help provide the Coleraine and District Motor Club with the financial security required to plan for the future of the races.”
The announcement follows the news that Carrickfergus man Glenn Irwin and his new Honda Racing team-mate, rising star Davey Todd, will give the new CBR1000RR-R Fireblade its roads debut at the North West 200 next spring at the 8.9-mile Triangle course.
fonaCAB’s William McCausland said his company’s involvement with the event this year had been “hugely successful”.
“fonaCAB, Northern Ireland’s largest taxi company, is delighted to be returning as a main title sponsor for the North West 200 after the hugely successful 90th anniversary event in 2019,” he said.
“We have a longstanding relationship with the NW200 and our sponsorship of local riders has been consistent from the 1980s through to current competitors Lee Johnston, Glenn Irwin, Jeremy McWilliams and Paul Jordan. I myself have a long history with the North West and have many happy family memories of attending the meeting from childhood,” he added.
“As one of the few premium events on the annual road racing calendar, the North West brings top competitors to our shores. At fonaCAB we work to many of the same goals as these riders – dedication, training, teamwork and use of latest technology to perform at the top of our game. fonaCAB sponsors a huge range of sporting events, teams and individuals across Northern Ireland.
“Our relationship with the North West 200 is one of the finest and we look forward to another great event in 2020 and beyond.”
Hugh Nicholl, Managing Director of Nicholl Oils, said he was proud to be associated with the famous race meeting on the North Coast.
“This sponsorship provides us with a unique opportunity to continue our support of the team at the NW200 who work tirelessly to put together a fantastic week of racing and events for all the competitors, locals and not to forget the many visitors that the event will bring to the beautiful North Coast,” he said.
“It is an event we are very proud to be a part of and one that my family have enjoyed attending for over 20 years. Now my grandchildren are experiencing the NW200 as well.”