The Mid Antrim 150 was officially launched on Friday night at the Braid Centre in Ballymena, where final details of the race were announced.
Ryan Farquhar will make his debut on his new IEG BMW Superstock machine on April 2, when his key opposition includes Derek Sheils on the Cookstown B.E. Racing Suzuki plus Derek McGee, who has also switched to BMW power this year on a Superstock S1000RR backed by Noel Williamson Racing.
An interesting newcomer is Senior Manx Grand Prix winner Malachi Mitchell-Thomas, who has signed for John Burrows’ team.
Other confirmed entries include Skerries man Michael Sweeney, the evergreen Davy Morgan, Wayne Kirwan, Seamus Elliott, Rob Barber, Paul Robinson, Sam Wilson and Sam Dunlop.
Czech rider Michael Dokoupil will ride Wilson Craig’s Superstock Honda. The year is the first time the event has secured a title backer since 1982 and the club is indebted to Sean Crawford of JFM Haulage. Roads close for practice on Friday, April 1 from 11am-7.30pm and from 10am on Saturday, April 2 for racing.
The opening Supersport 600 and Lightweight 250/400cc races are due to take place after practice on the Friday evening.
Meanwhile, new Cookstown B.E. Racing signings Derek Sheils and Malachi Mitchell-Thomas made the most of the pleasant Spring sunshine last week as they undertook a private test at Kirkistown in Co Down.
Dublin man Sheils will ride the ex-TAS Racing Suzuki GSX-R1000 Superbike at the National and International meetings this year, while Horwich young gun Mitchell-Thomas has a full stable of machines at his disposal
The Senior Manx Grand Prix winner is one of the brightest prospects in road racing and will make his debut between the hedges at the JFM Haulage Mid Antrim 150.