Lisburn road racer Gareth Evans is revving up for the season ahead and he is hoping local people can help him for the forthcoming season.
Evans is holding a fundraiser in Lisburn later this month and the racer is encouraging local people to enjoy a ‘fantastic night’ at the event.
Evans’ road racing career is self-funded and the local man is hoping to raise funds for the season ahead at the fundraiser, which will be held in Lisburn Rugby Club on Friday May 20.
Having started racing at a later age than most, focusing initially on track races, Evans moved into road racing three years ago, and has been funding himself in this highly competitive sport, running 600cc, 650cc and 1000cc bikes.
As well as the fundraiser, Gareth is hoping to bring on board sponsorship from local businesses.
He explained: “I have been funding my racing from my wage and with smaller sponsors.
“It can be hard, I was racing recently at Cookstown and was running in sixth, with the likes of William Dunlop ahead of me. I was hanging on for grim death, these guys are on bikes worth £50,000 and mine is three or four thousand.
“Sponsorship and fundraising makes a big difference,” he added.
Gareth, who previously played rugby for Lisburn, will be supported by the rugby club, as well as fellow racers from across Ireland, at the event.
“To know those people are there to help you, particularly in your own town, is fantastic,” said Gareth.
The local racer will be competing at Skerries, Armoy, Ulster Grand Prix and the Manx Grand Prix, this season.
“I’m really looking forward to this season,” he said. “I’ve started pretty well.”
Gareth has chosen to concentrate on the Ulster Grand Prix and the Manx GP - where he is being tipped to do very well - rather than this weekend’s showpiece event at the North West 200.
“It would cost around £2,000 to compete at the North West,” Gareth explained. “I thought it was better going toward the Manx GP.
“I’m just an ordinary working man, I use my holidays for racing. It takes one week for the Ulster GP, two weeks for the Manx. For the other races I have to book a Friday off.
“It’s a big strain on family life, you have to be quite selfish using all your holidays for racing,” he said. Speaking about the sponsorship he needs, Gareth said he would like to see local businesses come on board. “I like to keep everything local,” he said. Gareth is also urging local people to join him at the fundraiser.
“People think because I’m a racer that it’s restricted to the racing community, but it’s open to everyone. It’s going to be a fantastic night.”
The forthcoming fundraiser will start at 8pm and entry is £10. It promises to be a great night out for everyone with a BBQ, DJ, Raffle, Auction and special guest entertainment from Johnny Brooks, Ireland’s number 1 tribute to Garth Brooks.
Tickets are available by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org or you can pay at the door on the night. Gareth keen to hear from anyone who may have any interest in sponsorship opportunities. Contact Gareth at email@example.com.