‘King of the Jungle’ Carl Fogarty will fly into Northern Ireland to make a VIP guest appearance at the 2017 Blackhorse Northern Ireland Motorcycle Festival in February.
The motorcycling extravaganza, organised by promoters Billy and Marty Nutt for the 22nd year, will take place over three days at the multi-million pound Eikon Exhibition Centre in Lisburn from Friday, February 3 to Sunday, February 5.
Fogarty sealed his place in World Superbike history after winning the title four times and remains a hugely popular figure in Northern Ireland, where he is renowned for his pure road racing exploits at the North West 200, Isle of Man TT and Ulster Grand Prix in addition to his incredible success on the World Superbike stage. The ‘Blackburn Bullet’ became a household name in 2014 when he was crowned ‘King of the Jungle’ after winning the hugely popular TV series ‘I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here’. Fogarty will attend the festival on the Saturday and Sunday and Billy Nutt said he was delighted to welcome the English star back. “We’re absolutely delighted that Carl will be coming back to the festival again this year and Northern Ireland holds special memories for him,” he said. “We all remember Carl winning both Superbike races at the North West 200 in 1993 on the Moto Cinelli Ducati and we could see what it meant to him in his celebrations afterwards.
He was an extremely popular winner and fans here have a lot of respect for what he achieved in the sport. “Carl is someone who needs no introduction to the fans here and I have no doubt he will receive a very warm welcome next month.” Fogarty will join 14-time Isle of Man TT winner Ian Hutchinson at the event, who was the first big name to be confirmed on the guest list. Hutchy is gearing up for another season in the British Superstock 1000 Championship in 2017 along with the international road races, when his top priority is to challenge for Superbike and Senior glory at the TT for Ulster team Tyco BMW. Carrick’s Alastair Seeley, who became the most successful rider ever in the history of the North West 200 last year, will also be in attendance at the festival, offering fans the chance to grab an autograph or have their photo taken with the ‘Wee Wizard’, who extended his winning tally to 17 victories at the North West following a dominant double on the Gearlink Kawasaki last May.
Further star guests are set to be announced in the coming weeks, while the famous Purple Helmets are set to return again with their madcap stunt show. All the major motorcycle manufacturers and dealerships will be represented under one roof, with confirmed exhibitors including:
Motoplus Coleraine Kawasaki, GS Suzuki, Ballymena Honda, Indian and Victory, Harley Davidson, Phillip McCallen Motorcycles (Kawasaki, Triumph and KTM), Hurst Honda, BMW and Yamaha, Davys Bikes Bangor and Crossan Motorcycles. Free parking will be provided on the extensive site once more and the venue will be sign posted from the Sprucefield Roundabout, Lisburn.
A free minibus shuttle service will be provided from the Railway station at Lisburn to the festival.
More details are available online at www.motorcyclefest.tv or visit the official Facebook page.