Newcomer Mark Purslow
Portuguese rider Nuno Caetano began his Isle of Man road racing career at the MGP in 2011 and has announced his support for the IMGold MGP ‘Back a Newcomer’ campaign, now in its second year.
The IMGold MGP – the ‘Manx’ – has nurtured newcomers since the 1970s, when it joined with The Mike Hailwood Foundation to give racers from all over the world the chance to learn the course safely on its popular Newcomers’ Weekends. But it all comes at a cost, which up until now has been financed solely by funds raised by the Foundation at motorcycling events throughout the year.
“The aim of the Newcomers’ Weekends is to make sure that riders race safely,”
says Manx Motor Cycle Club committee member Jim Hunter. “Since Nuno first took part in 2011, the number of riders taking advantage of the weekends has more than doubled and we don’t want newcomers to avoid taking part because their budget won’t stretch to it.”
Nuno, who is an instructor on the Newcomers’ Weekends, adds, “I think it is really important for as many newcomers as possible to take advantage of these weekends. Any financial help and sponsorship that can be offered is worth every penny as a lot of people run on stretched budgets - and no corners can be cut when you are setting off down Bray Hill!
The MMCC is indebted to The Mike Hailwood Foundation for its ongoing financial support, but is aware that as the popularity of the Newcomers’ Weekends grows, the money is being spread ever more thinly, and more needs to be raised to help offset the costs to the riders.
“Last year we launched the ‘Back a Newcomer’ scheme to raise sponsorship from individuals and businesses, and we were overwhelmed by the response,”
continues Jim. “But we’ve been a victim of our own success and with over 70 newcomers taking part this year we’d like even more ‘backers’ to sign up.”
It costs just £200 to get your name, or your company’s name, on your chosen rider’s bike, and other perks include invitations to the Newcomers’ Prize Presentation, VIP treatment in the paddock, grandstand tickets for the Full Factory Winnerswear Senior Grand Prix and other events.
One local company which has already become involved is Connect2Recruitment, and Director Bernie Murphy sees the ‘Back a Newcomer’ scheme as an ideal promotional vehicle for the company.
“The opportunity to be in at the start of a racers career was too good to miss,”
says Bernie. “We, like our chosen rider Peter Moore, are in it for the long-haul and fully intend to be there when he achieves his dream of competing in the TT. As a recruitment company we know that everyone has to start somewhere, and by promoting safe racing, and giving competitors the opportunity to learn from the experts, the ‘Back a Newcomer’ scheme is the best place for any road racer to start.”
And Nuno Caetano, who achieved personal best times of over 122mph lap speeds at this year’s TT, is not just offering practical support to MGP newcomers, he’s also putting his money where his mouth is. In 2014, Nuno backed Dutch rider Kevin van der Guik and British Championship rider Craig Neve, who will be returning to the IMGold MGP this year to take part in the Junior and Full Factory Winnerswear Senior races. For 2015 Nuno is backing local newcomer Matt Mylchreest, who will be taking part in the Newcomers A and Full Factory Winnerswear Senior races.
“I’m not actually in it for the glory,”
laughs Nuno, “but I’m as competitive as any racer so I wouldn’t say no to being the winning ‘backer’!”
If you’d like to join Nuno Caetano and Connect2Recruitment in supporting this valuable campaign, please contact Jim Hunter via the Manx Grand Prix ‘Back a Newcomer’ Facebook page, or email him at [email protected]