THE Norton Bike which Robert Dunlop rode and won with in the 1990 NW200 is making a return visit to Northern Ireland at the Armoy Road Races on the 27th and 28th July 2012.
The same RCW 588 bike won the 1989 British championship and the Shell Oils F1 Championship with rider Steve Spray. It set lap records at most the Tracks, and with Robert Dunlop on board it won the two Superbike races at the 1990 NW200 – going through the speed trap at 189mph.
Accompanying the bike will be owners Keith and Paul Richardson, and Dave Evans, the original mechanic on the Rotary Nortons from 1987 until 1992. Dave Evans has been one of the foremost mechanics [spanners] working with some very special riders and teams. He said; “I’m really looking forward to coming to the Armoy Road Races. Northern Ireland is a very special place in the world of road racing. I’ve great memories of the place.”
Bill Kennedy, Clerk of the Course, said, “We wanted to add something very special to the Parade Lap at Armoy. The British Norton is an exceptional bike and when Robert Dunlop joined the JPS Norton team he achieved some great wins. On the short circuits he notched one of the three MCN Supercup wins and he got a terrific double at the NW200 as well as finished third in the F1 Isle of Man TT. It will be just fantastic to see the Norton at Armoy, at this stage I’m not sure who is going to be riding it but that might just be a surprise for those that come along and see a giant of a race.”
Talking about his lifetime career as a mechanic Dave said, “I was the mechanic when Steve Spray won the British Superbike championship in 1989 and when Steve Hislop won the 1992 Senior TT. In 1990 I spannered for Robert at the NW200 and the TT. Of course Robert won both Superbike Races at the NW200 and didn’t do too bad at the TT either.”
The event is part sponsored by the Northern Ireland Tourist Board.
The Parade Lap is one of many events during Race Week at Armoy Road Races. Further details on the Parade Lap and other events can be found at www.armoyroadraces.com. Entries close on the 2nd July 2012.
Please support the Armoy Road Races by buying a programme. They are available from Friday 20th July 2012 and cost £10.00.