For three days each May, the public roads that link Coleraine to the coastal towns of Portstewart & Portrush are closed to everyday traffic, morphing into a race track which is home to Northern Ireland’s biggest & most spectacular outdoor event….the ‘fonaCAB & Nicholl Oils International North West 200 Road Races’
First run back in 1929, the meeting has over the years used many varied configurations of what is now the established 8.9mile ‘triangle’ circuit.
Set against the backdrop of Northern Ireland’s majestic Causeway Coast, the course features long winding straights, including the 2 mile run from the mind blowing 150mph Station Corner up to University Corner, which regularly sees packs of riders performing incredible ‘slipstream’ overtakes at speeds oft times in excess of 200mph.
As an indication, a ‘lap’ of the course during the open roads, work a day week, could take up to 20 minutes. On a Superbike over the ‘closed’ circuit, a top racer would be looking for something under 4 1/2 minutes, average speed of 125mph.
The event, being the first of the ‘Big Three’ each year (NW200, IoM TT & Ulster Grand Prix) regularly attracts the world’s best ‘roads’ racers, which in turn makes it a magnet for vast numbers of fans for a fix of ‘racing between the hedges’. Such is it’s popularity upwards of 85,000 visitors make the pilgrimage to the week long festival, which as well as the racing also includes stunt shows, concerts, chat shows, fireworks, and more.
Tuesday 12th May Practice 9.15 – 3.00pm
Thursday 14th May Practice 9.15 – 3.00pm / Evening Racing 5.00 – 9.00pm
Saturday 16th May Main Race Day 9.15 – 7.00pm