Vauxhall will continue as title sponsors of the North West 200 in 2018 for a sixth consecutive year.
The news was announced yesterday as the car manufacturer committed to the international road race for another year at least.
Recently, Event Director Mervyn Whyte confirmed he would remain at the helm after mulling over his future, although the Limavady man confirmed that a ‘succession strategy’ has been put in place to ensure a smooth transition upon his retirement.
The 67-year-old has not given a clear indication over when he intends to call time on his role at the North West, although it is widely believed he may step aside following the 90th anniversary of the race in 2019.
Welcoming Vauxhall’s extended sponsorship commitment, Whyte said: “We are delighted to have Vauxhall’s support once again as we approach this landmark occasion in the International North West 200’s history.
“The support we receive from Vauxhall is vital in running an international event which attracts the best road racers in the world each year.
“The 2017 races culminated in a fantastic superbike race battle between Glenn Irwin and Alastair Seeley that will still be fresh in every fan’s memory. With Vauxhall behind us we will be aiming to hit those same spectacular heights next May.”
Simon Oldfield, Vauxhall’s Marketing Director, added: “Vauxhall is delighted to return as title sponsor for a sixth year. We are very much looking forward to reaching out to thousands of motorcycle fans through our sponsorship of this great event.”
Meanwhile, Isle of Man TT Senior race winner Michael Dunlop is among a plethora of top TT names set to appear at Motorcycle Live, which gets underway at the NEC in Birmingham tomorrow.
The Ballymoney man raised his tally of wins around the Mountain Course to 15 in June, when he also won the Supersport race.
Twenty-three time winner John McGuinness plus Ian Hutchinson, who won the Superbike and Superstock races in June, will join Dunlop at the event.
Padgetts Motorcycles team-mates Conor Cummins and Bruce Anstey, Smiths BMW’s Peter Hickman and rising stars Lee Johnston, James Hillier, Ivan Lintin, Dan Kneen and Dean Harrison are some of other leading names due to attend Motorcycle Live throughout the week.
The motorcycling extravaganza will culminate with the now traditional ‘TT Day’ on the final day of the annual show next Sunday, which will focus on the latest TT announcements for 2018.