The 2009 International North West 200 will take place on the Saturday 16th May, it has been confirmed.

Plans for the event, which will be celebrating its 80th anniversary next year, are already well underway, but only now has the date been rubber-stamped by the M.C.U.I, while the official launch date will be 8th January 2009.

It means the race week activities will kick off on Saturday 9th May, culminating in the actual North West 200 race seven days later in Coleraine, Northern Island.

"Whilst planning is already underway for next year's 80th anniversary event, I'm delighted that our provisional date has now been rubber stamped and we can really go to town on promoting our Race Week and Race Day programmes at a global level," said NW200 Clerk of Course Mervyn Whyte MBE.

"May 16th is a perfect date and will suit all UK and Ireland competitors giving teams ample time to prepare for the North West, with BSB's Oulton Park taking place on Bank Holiday Monday - 4th May and post North West 200, BSB's Donnington Park Race not happening until Whit Bank Holiday, Monday 25th May 2009."

Meanwhile, Coleraine & District Motor Club Ltd, which organise the event, is set to recruit a full time Business Development and Operations Manager to help manage the huge year round workload and to strategically develop and expand the event for the future.

Race administrator Mervyn Whyte MBE will remain as Clerk of Course working closely with the newly appointed senior executive in the run up to next year's 80th anniversary event.

The new position has attracted funding from the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure on a three year basis in recognition that the NW200 is the premier road race event in Northern Ireland.

Closing date for all applications is 24th November with interviews set to take place in early December. It is anticipated that the new Business Manager would be in place by early 2009.

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