Vauxhall Motors Ltd will again back the North West 200 in 2017 as the company enters its fifth successive year as the overall title sponsor of the race.
The news was confirmed on Tuesday, with leading riders Alastair Seeley and Ian Hutchinson joining Event Director Mervyn Whyte and Gordon Hannen, Vauxhall Regional Operations Manager for Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man, at the paddock area in Portrush for a photo-call.
“Vauxhall Motors are delighted to return as title sponsors for another year and are looking forward to reaching out to thousands of motorcycle fans through our sponsorship of this great event,” said Hannen.
Race chief Whyte said he was delighted by the continuation of the association with Vauxhall and revealed the company has an option to extend the deal into 2018.
“We are delighted to have agreed another deal with Vauxhall and furthermore they have an option to extend that into year two, potentially taking the commitment in total to six years,” he said.
“The finance, vehicle fleet and significant branding around the circuit which are provided to us by Vauxhall are vital in running an International event each year.
“The support package supplied by Vauxhall UK demonstrates their commitment to our International event in Northern Ireland and undoubtedly helps us to attract the best road racers in the world to our grid.”
Bingley rider Hutchinson, who has re-signed for Northern Ireland’s Tyco BMW team for a second season next year, won the Superstock race at the North West in May.
The 37-year-old will also ride a Yamaha R6 in the Supersport class at the event for the McAMS Racing team.
However, Ulsterman Seeley remains on the lookout for machinery for the new campaign and hopes to secure a British championship ride before finalising his plans for the first big international road race of the year, which will take place from May 7-13.
Seeley became the most successful rider in NW200 history after he clinched a double on the Gearlink Kawasaki in the Supersport races this year.
extending his tally to 17 victories.