Who says age counts for everything in racing? At 50 years of age Jeremy McWilliams is set to make a sensational return to grand prix racing by wildcarding at the British Grand Prix.
|McWilliams in his last grand prix appearance in 2007
McWilliams will make his 177th grand prix appearance – his first in seven and a half years -with the Brough Superior, making its debut in the Moto2 class.
The Bennetts-backed Brough effort will use an experimental carbon chassis in the intermediate category, and although Luke Mossey was initially penned in to ride the event, the team have changed riders at the eleventh hour.
McWilliams last competed in Grand Prix racing at the opening round of 2007 aboard the ill-fated Ilmor GP project but has continued to race at selected events in the years since.
MotoGP regulations stipulate that no rider over 50 years old can compete in the Moto2 class. McWilliams reached his half century four months ago and recently took to Twitter to joke, “That means I could probably ride the first couple of Moto2 races in 2015.”
The intermediate category brought McWilliams a lot of joy in his grand prix career, memorably a momentous win at Assen in 2001 aboard a 250 Aprilia – ending a 15-year wait for a British win in GPs -, along with three other podiums and one pole position in the class. He will join fellow-Brits Sam Lowes and Gino Rea in the class.
The Ulsterman enjoyed mixed results at his home race in the past. Arguably his finest ride to date came in the 2000 500 race, where he finished third and came agonisingly close to a famous home win. Just a year later he crashed out while challenging for a podium position in the 250 class, breaking a collarbone in the process.
McWilliams currently splits his racing duties with his role as a team manager for the Racedays Honda outfit that runs Brits Kyle Smith (1000cc) and Chrissy Rouse (600cc) in the European Superstock classes. He was last seen competing in the Harley Davidson XR1200 series at the Indianapolis Grand Prix, where he scored a win and a fifth place.