Devitt Insurance become title sponsor of RC Express Racing

RC Express Racing has announced that Devitt Insurance, one of the UK’s leading insurance providers, will be their title sponsor in 2016 as they make a concerted attack on all the International road races, most notably the Isle of Man TT, North West 200 and Ulster Grand Prix.

The Bristol-based team, which will now be known as Devitt RC Express Racing, have had an incredibly successful three years competing on the roads, firstly with Dean Harrison who gave them their first TT podium in 2014 when he finished second in the Superstock race and then went one better later in the week with victory in the Lightweight event. Ivan Lintin joined the family run concern in 2015 and ensured the success continued with a record-breaking win at the TT, also in the Lightweight race.

With the RC Express Racing squad being one of the leading contenders for race wins across the classes, coupled with an all-new ZX-10R Kawasaki, the team are confident of being able to challenge for race wins at all of the road race meetings. Underlining their intent on adding more International success to their CV, rider Lintin and his as yet unannounced team-mate will head to Spain early next year for pre-season testing to begin their preparations for the season ahead.

Based in Romford, Essex, Devitt have been arranging insurance for UK customers since 1936, providing excellent customer service that is both helpful and clear. They offer competitive prices on motorbike insurance, car insurance, van insurance, home insurance and business insurance including specialist insurance policies for dealers and training schools. Comparing quotes from the UK’s biggest insurers they specialise in finding the right insurance for the customer, at the best price. Working closely with some of the UK’s most popular brands they have a rich history and core values that are reflected in everything they do.

Devitt are no strangers to motorcycle road racing having previously sponsored Frank Whiteway who won the 1970 500cc Production TT riding a Suzuki T500. More recently, they’ve sponsored Jordan Gilbert who raced for the Haribo Starmix Triumph team in the highly competitive Pirelli National Superstock 600cc Championship.

Looking forward to their first season with the team, William Hughes, Managing Director of Devitt Insurance commented: “We’re delighted to be title sponsor for RC Express Racing in 2016, a year that marks Devitt’s 80th Anniversary. They’re an excellent team who have produced some fantastic results in such a short time. It’s very exciting for Devitt to be involved with road racing once again especially with such a promising team.”

RC Express Racing’s Co-owner Ben Constable added:  “We are delighted to announce this partnership with Devitt Insurance for the forthcoming season. We have just finished our 3rd full season and are continually improving everywhere we go. This partnership ensures that we can still push for honours in 2016 and continue to develop the bikes and team. Everyone is really excited for the start of the season now and cannot wait to work alongside such a great business.”


Devitt RC Express Racing add Bonner to 2016 line-up

Devitt RC Express Racing have today (Sunday) announced they will be expanding their team to a two-strong line-up for the 2016 International road racing season, with Eire’s Alan Bonner joining 2015 Lightweight TT race winner Ivan Lintin.

The Bristol-based team, led by father and son Roy and Ben Constable, have risen through the road racing ranks since their debut mid-way through the 2012 season, becoming one of the most successful teams in the paddock firstly with Dean Harrison and more recently with Lintin. The team took their first podium at the Isle of Man TT in 2014 when Harrison took second in the Superstock TT before going one better a few days later with a superb victory in the Lightweight TT. Lintin then gave the team further success in 2015 as they regained their Lightweight TT title.

With Lintin already confirmed for 2016, Bonner joins the team on the back of a highly successful 2015 TT campaign which saw him become the fastest ever rider from Southern Ireland to lap the Mountain Course, breaking the late Martin Finnegan’s long-standing mark.

Having made his TT debut in 2014, winning two bronze replicas in the Supersport races, Bonner excelled in his second year of competing on the Island, lapping at 127.090mph on his way to finishing in an excellent 15th place in the Senior. That gave him his second silver replica in the process after finishing 18th earlier in the week in the Superstock race. He also finished 16th and won a bronze replica in the opening Superbike race.

Meanwhile, the 2010 Irish Senior Road Race Champion took 16th in the solitary Superstock race at this year’s North West 200 whilst he also took a double race victory at the Kells Road Races in July.

Now fully recovered from injuries sustained in a qualifying accident at the Ulster Grand Prix, the Stamullen rider will campaign a Kawasaki ZX-10R Superstock machine in all of the 1000cc races at the Isle of Man TT, North West 200 and Ulster Grand Prix road races.

Alan Bonner: “I'm delighted to be joining Devitt RC Express Racing for 2016. I've admired the team for years and have seen the commitment they have to their riders. They have a very professional set up and some of the best technical people in the sport working within their team. I can't thank them enough or their sponsors for this opportunity especially Mann Camping. I'd also like to thank all my personal sponsors for supporting me and am looking forward to getting out to Spain with them in early March to start testing.”

Ben Constable, Team Co-owner: “I’m really pleased to have Alan on board for the internationals in 2016. Alan has shown great pace this year at the TT becoming the fastest Southern Irishman ever to lap the Mountain Course and was running inside the top 10 in qualifying at the Ulster GP in Superstock, just before his accident. With more of a team infrastructure behind him we firmly believe there is a lot more to come from him. His first outing on the ZX10R will be in Spain in March and we can’t wait to get going.”


Lougher to race Suter MMX 500 at TT 2016

Those fortunate enough to be heading to this year's Isle of Man TT races are in for a treat with the announcement that Ian Lougher has come out of TT retirement and signed a contract to ride the two-stroke Suter MMX500 in the Superbike and Senior TT's.

Lougher last raced at the TT in 2013, by which stage he had notched up ten TT wins and the honour of having the most replicas awarded to any rider in the history of the event.

He has however continued to race at the Classic TT, scoring a double in the 500cc and Formula 2 Classic TT's in 2014, and only denied a repeat of his 500cc win by a thirty second pit lane speeding penalty in the 2015 event.

Ian's exploits over the years on two stroke machinery are the stuff of legend with numerous victories and lap and race records to his credit, including the only rider with the distinction of winning five 125cc North-West 200 races in consecutive years. His maiden TT victory in the 1990 Lightweight TT is still remembered vividly to this day by those fortunate enough to have witnessed it. In one of the closest races in TT history, Ian beat his good friend and pre-race favourite Steve Hislop by 1.8 seconds and in the process set a new race record, and a lap record that stood the test of time for nine years.

Lougher is also no stranger to racing big two-strokes to good effect. Back in 1999 he put the Sabre Sport Honda NSR500V Honda on the podium in the Senior TT in third, narrowly losing out to second placed man Iain Duffus.

Ian's credentials are of course familiar to Eskil Suter, one of his fellow 250cc European Championship competitors from 1991, and now the Suter Racing CEO. It's these credentials that make the popular Welshman the ideal man to take Suter forward in what is a three year project.

Ian Lougher:
"To be honest a comeback was never part of my plan, particularly as my role as team owner/manager of Team ILR keeps me on my toes pretty much all year round. However, every so often an opportunity presents itself that is just too hard to ignore, and the chance to race a special 500cc two-stroke round the TT circuit is one such opportunity.

I've been to the factory and witnessed first hand the technical know-how of everyone at Suter Racing. Eskil Suter’s enthusiasm and professional approach to his work, and in particular to this project is infectious, and these are qualities I relate to.

We will take this three-year TT adventure step by step on what is an incredible bike, we've a lot of hard work ahead of us and I will be getting my head down with the aim of doing the Suter team and the bike justice.”


Connall Courtney joins Team ILR

Reigning Irish and Ulster 125/300 Production short circuit champion, 17 year old Connall Courtney will make his British Championship debut this year as the latest addition to Ian Lougher's Team ILR set-up. The Warrenpoint rider, who scored no less than 23 podiums, including 9 wins last season, will compete in the Moto 3 British Championship. Still at school, the double champion, in only his second full season of racing, had an outing a Magny Cours in France towards the end of last season, where he took part in the European Pata Honda European Cup Championship. Despite a practice spill and technical problems, Connall made impressive progress, before being forced to retire at half distance.

For 2016, Connall, looked set to contest the 600 Irish Championship, but decided that he wanted to remain in the smaller classes for the time being with a view to gaining more experience, before moving up to bigger machinery. And when an opportunity arose to ride under the tutoring of one of our most respected racers Ian Lougher with his wealth of racing experience, plus being in one of the highest domestic championships in the world, this was simply an offer to good to refuse. Connall is honoured that Ian has offered him this opportunity and is getting the chance to race in a professional respected team such as Team ILR.

Lougher, no stranger to Irish motor cycle race fans, runs a very busy race team, contesting the 1000 Superstock and Moto3 races in the British Championship, along with his own race outings at Scarborough and the Manx Classic TT etc.

Last season was the team's first foray into the Motostar Moto3 class, with Dutch newcomer Vasco Van Der Valk being the only rider to score points in every race, a testament to the reliability of the Team ILR 250 Hondas and the dedication, technical know-how and experience of the team. Connall will get acquainted with his standard class Moto 3 Honda when Team ILR have a pre-season test at Kirkistown next month. The team will also use the Easter meeting at Bishopscourt, and the Official BSB test at Donington on March 31st to give Connall every chance to familiarise himself with his new bike before the start of the 2016 British Championship at Silverstone on the weekend of the 8/9/10th April.

Ian Lougher; ''As a race team owner/manager, I am always on the look out for exciting and up and coming new talent in racing. Living here in Northern Ireland, I of course noticed and kept an eye on Connall Courtney's progress throughout 2015. Despite his short time in road racing he has shone quite a bit already, going on to win the Irish & Ulster 300 Production Championships. So it's with great satisfaction that we at Team ILR, have been able to sign up Connall for the BSB Moto 3 standard cup class, and look forward to teaching and working with him, and help him to progress in the sport.''

Connall Courtney: "I’m really happy with the opportunity I have for this season. I want to make as much progress as a rider this season and to join this team and to be in such a highly competitive championship will help me improve a lot. I am really motivated for this and I am training hard to be ready for the start of the season. Thanks to everyone who has made this possible."

Tommy Courtney: (Connall's Dad) "It is fantastic to look back on such a short space of time and see the progress Connall has made in the racing scene.

To win the Irish & Ulster Championships in his first full season was a dream come true, and now to get teamed up with someone of Ian Lougher’s standing in Team ILR and in the BSB Moto3 Championship is just every racer's goal.

So we are just excited to be in such a high level race team and will be working hard to learn and progress as much as we can with this opportunity


This also would not be possible without some key people helping to make this all happen. Mr Rory Byrne of Modern Tyres, Brian Jones Mototech, Martin Whyte, Baylon McCaughey and so many friends and family. I would just like to sincerely thank you all.”


Successful Spanish test for Devitt RC Express Racing

The Devitt RC Express Racing team recently completed their first test session in preparation for the forthcoming International road racing season with four successful days spent at the Spanish circuit of Cartagena.

Riders Ivan Lintin and Alan Bonner were both present with the duo putting in over 150 laps each over the course of the four days.

Last year’s Lightweight TT winner Lintin spent the four days on the ZX-10R Superbike and ZX-6R Supersport machines and immediately improved upon his times set at the corresponding test 12 months ago. The Bardney rider completed 190 laps in total and although he had a low speed spill on the second day, he was extremely happy with the amount of work done and in the improvements he was able to make.

For Bonner, it was his first official appearance in the team’s colours with the Southern Irishman concentrating the majority of his efforts on the 2015 Kawasaki ZX-10R Superstock machine which he’ll use during the course of the season. However, he also put in some laps on the 2015 Superbike machine as he continued to adapt to the Metzeler tyres he’ll be running this year.

Ivan Lintin: “It was really good to get plenty of bike time in the sun over in Spain and I was able to get through a lot of work. I was particularly pleased with the laps and time I got on the Superbike and felt very happy with how it was working and how comfortable I felt so that should stand me in good stead for the year ahead. The 600 hasn’t changed much since last year and we’ll have a new engine for when the season starts but we made a few suspension changes which were definitely a step in the right direction. I had a small off on the big bike on the second day but I was soon back up to speed and without a doubt, it was an extremely successful test.”

Alan Bonner: “I had a great four days of testing in Spain and I’m loving being part of the Devitt RC Express Racing team! I got to test a lot of stuff with both the team and Richard from Maxton suspension and I couldn’t be happier with either the team or the bike. It’s a brilliant set up and I’m now really looking forward to the first race of the year at Scarborough next month.”

Ben Constable, Team Co-Owner: “It was a mega test for both the riders and the Devitt RC Express Racing team and we were able to get plenty of work done. We’re still awaiting a few parts for the 2016 ZX-10R but Ivan was able to carry on from where he left off this time last year and he was straight back into the swing of things. He had a bit of a tumble when he was pushing hard, particular with the edge grip, but he looked impressive throughout the four days.”

“Alan soon got used to the Superstock machine and got progressively faster as he got used to the Metzeler tyres that he’ll be using with us. He also had a stint on the Superbike and now has an appreciation in the difference between the two machines but we couldn’t have been happier with how it all went. Both boys were on fire and with a couple more tests planned over the next few weeks, we’re extremely confident of being in a strong position for our first race of the year at Scarborough next month.”

The team have scheduled more testing for later this month in the UK prior to their first race outing of the year at the Spring National, Scarborough on April 16-17.


Farquhar moves to BMW for exciting season ahead

Ryan Farquhar has today (Wednesday) announced his plans for the 2016 International road racing season and it promises to be one of the most exciting yet in his illustrious career.

The Dungannon ace is set to have a three pronged attack across the Superbike, Superstock and Lightweight classes with the biggest news being that he will be switching to BMW power for the 1000cc categories after eight years with Kawasaki.

Arguably the most exciting announcement is that Ryan will be part of the official Tyco BMW squad at the Isle of Man TT Races where he’ll compete as team-mate to Ian Hutchinson in the Superbike and Senior races on board the BMW S1000R originally earmarked for Guy Martin.

He will also be riding a Superstock-spec BMW S1000R throughout the season with the International Energy Group (IEG) being the title sponsor. Ryan will have this machine at his disposal for all of 2016 and will see him contest numerous National road races in Ireland as well as the TT and North West 200.

As expected, Ryan will also have a major presence in the Lightweight class where SGS International will continue to be the title sponsor. He will once more campaign an ER6 Kawasaki at the NW200, TT and Irish road races whilst a number of other riders will be contesting the races on his machines.

Former Grand Prix ace Jeremy McWilliams will make his now annual return to the North West 200 to contest the two races there whilst Australian Cameron Donald will take over the machine for the Isle of Man TT.

In addition, Danny Webb and Darren James will compete at both the North West 200 and TT with selected outings at the National road races. Webb’s personal sponsor, Stilebridge Groundworks, will also become one of KMR Kawasaki’s team sponsors whilst Ryan also welcomes Game Bore Cartridges as another new sponsor alongside his existing ones from previous years.

“Without doubt, it’s the most exciting I’ve felt coming into a new season for a long time,” said Farquhar. “I’ve recently turned 40 but I’m getting great support and feel fitter than ever and with some great machinery for 2016, it’s an opportunity I aim to grab with both hands. From a confidence point of view, I’m riding well, I’m fit and the chance to ride the Tyco BMW at the TT is one I’m relishing. We know the bike’s good enough to win and the team obviously have the experience to win races so I’m confident I can run at the sharp end.”

“I’ve been with Kawasaki a long time and have ridden every version of the Kawasaki ZX-10R so it’s a shame it’s come to an end but the deal with IEG was one that was too good to turn down. It’s a proven race package and with the Tyco ride coming as well, I’ve never been as well fixed as what I am this year. As a result of joining Tyco BMW, I’ll also be making the switch to Metzeler tyres from Dunlop who have supported me for many years. RST have given me full support as well so there are a lot of changes for 2016, but changes that I’m really excited about so I can’t wait to get going.”

Farquhar’s season will get underway over the Easter weekend at the Thundersport Championship meeting at Donington Park before he turns his attention to the roads with the Mid Antrim and Tandragee road races prior to May’s International North West 200. The Isle of Man TT in June will be Ryan’s main event of the year whilst he also intends to participate at the Classic TT and selected Irish National road races.