Top Ulster teams Tyco BMW and SGS/KMR Kawasaki spearhead the confirmed entry list for July’s SGS International Armoy Road Races.
Guy Martin – a long-time supporter of the ‘Race of Legends’ – and William Dunlop will be among the big race favourites on the S1000RR machines for the Moneymore team at the eagerly anticipated Irish national meeting, which was officially launched on Wednesday afternoon at the Bayview Hotel in Portballintrae.
Dungannon team owner Ryan Farquhar will also make his racing return at Armoy for the first time since 2012 and is joined in the SGS/KMR Kawasaki colours by Jeremy McWilliams in the Lynn/McAuley Supertwins race.
McWilliams made his debut at the event in 2013 when he set the current lap record after finishing a close runner-up to Ballyclare’s Jamie Hamilton, who will miss the event this year as he recovers from the injuries he sustained in a crash in the Senior race at the Isle of Man TT.
Canadian rider Darren James will also join Farquhar and McWilliams at Armoy in the Dungannon man’s privateer team after making his debut at the North West 200 in May in the Supertwins class.
Farquhar, who has won 11 times at Armoy since the event’s inception in 2009, said: “Last year I was at Armoy but I was flat-out preparing bikes. This year is going to be a lot different and not only will I be racing in the Supertwins but so will Jeremy and Darren James, one of Canada’s top professional motorcycle road racers who will be racing as a newcomer.
“Folks will have seen him at the North West earlier this year but I’ll wait and see how he gets on at Armoy. Jeremy was keen to return and race this year at Armoy and after his win at the North West there was no question he wasn’t going to race at Armoy.”
Armoy Clerk of the Course, Bill Kennedy, also revealed that Scottish rider Keith Amor intends to compete at the event on his Rig Deluge BMW and Honda machines.
Amor crashed at the TT in the Supersport race at Stella Maris but is hopeful of being fully fit for the Armoy meeting, which takes place from July 24-25.
“The club and I are really delighted with the news that the SGS International/Manx Gas team with Ryan Farquhar, Jeremy McWilliams and Darren James are entering the Supertwins race – there will be other riders and they may enter other races for that matter, but we’ve just got to wait and see in the coming days,” said Kennedy.
“It’s also fantastic news that the Tyco BMW team will be racing at Armoy. Guy Martin and William Dunlop are no strangers to Armoy with Guy clinching the ‘Man of the Meeting’ award last year after taking top spot in the second Supersport race and the first Superbike race.
“I’ve also been reliably told that another Armoy favourite, Keith Amor, is aiming to be fit and he’ll be at Armoy – so we wish him a very speedy recovery.
“The return of Martin, McWilliams, Dunlop and Farquhar is testament to the club and the exceptional races that we put on as a team.”
Michael Dunlop won the feature Superbike race last year on his MD Racing BMW but is yet to be officially confirmed for his home race.
The event is part-funded by Tourism Northern Ireland and Bike Week runs from Sunday, July 19 until Saturday, July 25, culminating in the ‘Race of Legends’.