Feb 10, 2013
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KMR Kawasaki with Vauxhall
Vauxhall become title sponsor of KMR Kawasaki; Hamilton and Behan first to sign for 2013
After a winter of speculation about his future in road racing, recently retired Ryan Farquhar has today (Wednesday) announced that his KMR Kawasaki squad will be on the grid in 2013 with new sponsorship from Vauxhall Northern Ireland's dealerships. Jamie Hamilton and Connor Behan will be the two riders who will campaign the KMR bikes in all-new red, black and white Vauxhall NI livery. Farquhar will also continue to enjoy the support of the loyal sponsors that helped him to so much success during his own career.
The new sponsorship deal, provided by the 12 Northern Ireland dealers of the giant car manufacturer, will provide the Dungannon-based squad with a major financial package in a unique local partnership.
'The NI dealers are putting their money into this initiative as a group because Ryan is a "home boy".' Regional Operations manager Gordon Hannen explained. 'Road racing is huge in Ireland and Ryan has more experience in the sport than almost anyone else so younger riders in his team will be able to benefit from his expertise. He runs a super professional set-up and after we saw what he achieved with the support that we provided last season we simply wanted more of the same for 2013.'
21 year old Hamilton, the fastest newcomer at last year's Isle of Man TT, will continue with Farquhar's team for a second year and will again have a Superstock-spec ZX-10R Kawasaki and 650cc ER6 Kawasaki at his disposal for the Superbike and Supertwins classes. In addition, he will now also contest the Supersport races for the team on a ZX-6R Kawasaki, which has been supplied by John Duggan who assisted Farquhar on a number of occasions in recent seasons. 22-year old Hamilton will contest the main International road races - the Isle of Man TT, North West 200 and Ulster GP - along with a full season of Irish Nationals, the Southern 100 and three meetings at Oliver's Mount, Scarborough.
Cheshire rider Connor Behan joins the team for his first full season of road racing and will contest both the Junior and Senior Irish Support race championships where he will ride a 650cc Kawasaki in the former and one of the new 636cc Kawasakis in the latter. Having previously competed at the Southern 100, he will also make his debut at the Manx Grand Prix later in the year. The 22-year old has a strong short circuit background with highlights including finishing third in the 2011 National Superstock Championship on a Team Green Kawasaki and fifth in the 2008 125cc British Championship.
In what promises to be an exciting new era, the two youngsters are the first additions to the 2013 line-up with more rider announcements expected soon.
Speaking about the launch of the new team, a delighted Farquhar commented; "I'm delighted to welcome Vauxhall on board as the team's title sponsor and they've given me everything I could possibly need to lay the foundations for a highly successful 2013. After their involvement in last year's Supertwins race at the North West 200, they came on board as a personal sponsor and it's tremendous news that they've increased their involvement for the year ahead and got their support right behind myself and KMR Kawasaki. I'm equally thrilled to retain all my previous loyal sponsors."
"Retaining Jamie was always a main priority so I'm delighted to have done just that and thanks to the input of John (Duggan), we've been able to add a 600cc Supersport machine to the stable. He did a great job for the team in his debut year in 2012 and I have every confidence he'll progress even further up the results in 2013 and continue to make a huge impression on the road racing scene. Having previously excelled in the British Championship, Connor made it known to the team that he was keen to make the switch to the roads and we've been able to give him the platform to do just that. He has links with Kawasaki from his time in the Superstock 600cc Championship and with Kawasaki looking to give their 636cc machine good exposure, it's the perfect partnership for all concerned."
"My personal involvement as a rider may have come to an end but I'm busier than ever and am really relishing my new role, eagerly looking forward to the first meetings in April. Today's announcement is just the first part of the jigsaw for KMR Kawasaki in 2013 and we've still got some big plans for the season to be announced so watch this space!"