Both Lougher and Britton know the roads at the famous Northern Irish triangle circuit well. The North West 200 is one of Ulster’s most popular sporting events, attracting over 200 competitors and 100,000 spectators annually to the North Antrim coast.
The high-speed circuit covers 8.9 miles and links the towns of Portrush, Portstewart and Coleraine. Its combination of long, fast straights, tight corners and blind crests combine to make Northern Ireland’s premier road racing event one of the most exhilarating of the year.
Thirty-eight-year-old Lougher has claimed victory at the event seven times and finished second to HM Plant Honda Racing’s Michael Rutter in the second Superbike race last year. His consistency and adaptability is unrivalled and he can be counted on to run at the front in all classes.
Britton has also enjoyed success at the coastal roads circuit with a victory in the 2000 production race. The 34-year-old was also selected for a manufacturer-supported team in the 2004 Superbike races, but it is the Pirelli-shod Team DMRR Honda Racing machines that he is hoping to steer to victory on Saturday 21 May. He has already secured three victories for the team at the Tandragee 100 and three other podium finishes at the Cookstown 100 this year.
Ian Lougher: “I’m really looking forward to this weekend and the Team DMRR Honda Racing machines are all running really well. I always enjoy racing at the North West 200 with the big crowd and superb atmosphere. As always, it will be great preparation for me in the build-up to the Isle of Man TT races.”
Richard Britton: “I love racing at the North West 200 in front of my home crowd. The team is working really well together and we have a great package with the extra support from Honda Racing. I’m hoping to get some good results this year following my earlier successes at the Cookstown and Tandragee events this season.”
North West 200 – vital statistics
Circuit length: 8.9 miles
Superbike lap record: 4:27.40 – Michael Rutter (HM Plant Honda Racing)
2004 Superbike race one winner: 1. M. Rutter; 2. J. McGuinness; 3. A. Archibald
2004 Superbike race two winner: 1. M. Rutter; 2. I. Lougher; M. Finnegan
Race day schedule (roads close at 10am):
Race one Dewalt Superbike Race
Race two Kennedy Group 600cc Junior Race
Race three Club Soi 250cc & 125cc/400cc Races
Race four CP Hire Superstock Production Race
Race five Ballymoney Borough Council 600cc Race
Race six Blackhorse North West 200 Superbike Race