Michael 'Michelangelo' Rutter has helped launch an additional collection of race day awards to be presented at this year's Relentless International North West 200 event.

Local company The Modern Art Gallery has created the awards which will be presented for the first time to riders, teams and sponsors during race day on Saturday.

The gallery, based in Moira, specialises in promoting contemporary paintings by up and coming young artists, and has produced six ancillary trophies including awards for Best Newcomer and Best Team which will be presented alongside the traditional first, second and third trophies given after each of the five races.

Gallery owners Gary Bradley and Paul Neeson have also commissioned one of their artists, Jo Browne to create a road racing themed painting featuring a Michael Rutter 'lookalike' rider on a bike.

Special limited edition prints of the painting which has been signed by NW200 riders, including the Rapid Solicitors-Bathams Ducati star, will be given to each of the event race sponsors, Eventserv, McKendry Fabrications Ltd, CP Hire Ltd, Ballymoney Borough Council and McAvoy to mark their contribution to the North West 200.

Mervyn Whyte MBE, technical director of the Relentless North West 200, is delighted to see the gallery becoming involved with the NW200 and believes it demonstrates the continuing success of the event.

“I'd like to pay tribute to Gary and Paul from the Modern Art Gallery for providing extra trophies for teams and riders as well as such unusual gifts for our sponsors. It's fantastic to offer something different and quirky and we're also pleased to give the gallery a platform to profile such talented home grown artists.”