Details have been announced of the very impressive prize fund for the forthcoming 2016 JFM Haulage Mid Antrim 150 meeting.
With the main press launch not scheduled for a few weeks yet, full details aren’t available, but I’ve been told that the total for the day stands at about £18,000.
Many thanks are due to Sean Crawford, of JFM Haulage and JFM Building Services.
After a two year break the meeting, what is arguably the biggest sporting event in the Borough is back, and with a title sponsor for the first time since 1982 it is looking good. Entries are coming in steadily and hopefully all the grids will be full.
The winner of the feature race of the day, the JFM Building Services Open Grand Final will win £1,500, with the first 600cc rider receiving the Victor Gilmore Memorial Trophy and £100, donated by Victors family. JFM Haulage have also donated £50 to the first newcomer to finish each race.
In addition, the club are to give every finisher an award to ensure they remember their day.
The club are also indebted to the recently formed Mid and East Antrim Borough Council for all their help with the event. Tourism NI are also providing funding in relation to their NI Food and Drinks Project.
Speaking to some of the members of the club, they are deeply indebted to landowners and residents of the circuit for their continued goodwill and assistance on the run up to what we hope will be a great event. Thanks also to the Maine Motorcycle club for their generous donation with the aim of helping put the 150 back on the calendar.
As I mentioned a few weeks ago, two 600 Supersport races are being planned. One, sponsored by Ballyprint, will be on Friday night after practice, while the other, backed by Paul Hill of Hill Contracts, will be on Saturday. Both will carry a fund of £2000. Tommy Gregg of Greggs Haulage has donated £2500 to sponsor the Open Superbike race.
One of the longest serving sponsors of the Mid Antrim is Logans Hardware from Cloughmills. Again they have again stepped up to the mark to back the Lightweight 1250/400/450race. Another long standing friend to the club, Clough Glasgow Rangers Supporters Club are to sponsor the Supertwins race.
Harley’s Bar in Kilkeel is a wee bit further afield, but have agreed to come on board with the club and a new sponsor this year. Robert is to back the Junior Support class.
Wilsons of Rathkenny, which is within earshot of the circuit, are a local new and used car dealership. They will sponsor the Senior Support race as well as supplying cars for the race officials to use over the duration of the meeting and are also helping with track set up.
Another man who is new to the club is Gareth Montgomery, from Pattons Bar in Cloughmills. Gareth has not only sponsored the Junior Classic race, but will also provide an area of ground behind his bar to allow race fans to camp. There will be a free shuttle bus from his bar to the circuit.
One of my old mates, Mark McNeilly, from Quarry Plant and Spares will back the Open 2 stroke race combined with the Moto3 championship event.
Mark is an ex racer himself, who has thankfully decided to put a few quid back into the sport. It will be good to see him again.
Diamond Trucks NI will underwrite the Senior Classic event, which will include for the first time, the Forgotten Era machines, while bikes in the Parade Laps will have Carl Shaw of Maine Driving School, Ballymena as their backer.
In addition to all this, local businessman Tommy Gregg from Clough Vivo will sponsor the Man of the Meeting award to the tune of £500.
I know that the club are still working hard to ensure that the meeting is the success that it deserves to be and they are still talking to a number of sponsors.
All will be revealed at the race launch in the coming few weeks.
Entries close for the meeting on Saturday 19th March. Entry forms can be accessed on the website as www.midantrim150.co.uk or by contacting Marie on 07774 769920.
Entry forms will be available at the Mid Antrim stand at the Ballymoney Motorcycle Show, which is coming up on March 4-5.
Locally based charity, the Samaritans will also be in attendance and will benefit from the sale of race programmes.
MISS MID ANTRIM
The Miss Mid Antrim 2016 competition takes place this Saturday night in the Michelin Athletic club.
Its due to get under way at 8pm. Admission will be £5 and the music is by road racer Davy Black.
Even at this late stage, any ladies who would like to enter the competition itself are to contact Allana Jackson on 07548 875969. Allana’s email is firstname.lastname@example.org
Hopefully I’ll have photos of that next week.