High Velocity under the Tyne with ‘The Weirwolf’

The fast paced Tyne Tunnel 2K race night is set to become more thrilling than ever this year as the world’s greatest wheelchair athletes share their unique, under water race track with the fastest cyclists in the North of England.

What’s more, one lucky child will be invited to design the official tee-shirt for this inaugural event.

The thirteenth wheelchair race under the Tyne will take place on the evening of Friday 13th September. Stars of the London 2012 Paralympic Games, including the ‘Weirwolf’ himself, David Weir CBE, who bagged four golds at the Games, will return to Tyneside to battle it out on the two kilometre long course through the northbound vehicle tunnel.

Adding to the spectacle of the fastest wheelchair race in the world, a new concept in bike racing will follow the wheelchair race.  ‘Velocity’ is a mass elimination, power sprint cycle race that will give more than 100 cyclists the chance to speed through the Tyne Tunnel in a series of drag style races, leading to a grand finale at the end of the night. Velocity qualifying events have been taking place throughout the summer, from St. James’ Park to Bamburgh Castle, with the final qualifier due to be held on 31st August at the Metrocentre in Gateshead.

Tyne Tunnels Operator, TT2, will open its doors to the public for the first time to share this exciting race night.

Rachel Turnbull, TT2’s CEO, said “Other than the Royal ceremony last year, Tunnel 2K is the only event we close a vehicle tunnel for. We are committed to supporting the race because we truly believe it changes the way people look at disability sports. The wheelchair race through the tunnel is very much about celebrating ability. It is thrilling to watch and it attracts the best in the sport.

“However, the race has always been hosted as a televised, closed invitation event. We have been looking at ways to open up the race to our local communities, and we decided that the exciting qualities of the Velocity sprint race would complement the wheelchair race perfectly, showcasing just what people are capable of whether able bodied or not.

“The races present very different, yet equally demanding, challenges for the athletes in each event. We are delighted to be able to share this high adrenaline night with a wider audience.”

The race night offers spectators a rare opportunity to get up close to the original Tyne vehicle tunnel, with a 500 metre viewing gallery running inside the tunnel along the challenging uphill section of the course. Tickets for the Tyne Tunnel race night go on sale at 9am on Tuesday 20th August  via http://velocitystreetracing.com/

Young people wishing to leave their mark on this inaugural event are also being invited to get involved in the Tyne Tunnels race night by designing the official event tee-shirt.

The tee-shirt design competition is open to under-16s, with a set of four VIP tickets to the event up for grabs and a £100 high street gift voucher for the winning entrant.  The winning design will be printed onto tee-shirts as official event merchandise, with a special signed tee-shirt autographed by this year’s T2K champion being presented to the competition winner.

There are no limitations on the design, so long as it can fit onto the front of a tee-shirt. The winning entry will best capture the essence of the exciting race night, showcasing what people can achieve through sheer muscle power and mental strength.

Children up to the age of 16 can submit their entries via Instagram @tt2kvelocity or by emailing tt2kv@tt2.co.uk  Alternatively hard copies can be posted to TT2kV, TT2 Limited, Tyne Tunnels 2, Wallsend, Tyne & Wear, NE28 0PQ.

The closing date for entries is Monday 2nd September 2013.

Sponsorship opportunities are also still available for this inaugural, high octane event. Interested businesses should contact Velocity Street Racing or www.tunnel2k.com

To accommodate the race event the northbound Tyne Tunnel will be closed overnight. During this time the southbound tunnel will operate bi-directionally, providing one lane of traffic in each direction.  The event is held at night, when traffic volumes are at their lowest, in order to minimise disruption for motorists.

IMAGE 1: Canada’s Josh Cassidy and GB’s David Weir battle it out in 2009 at Tunnel2K.

IMAGE 2: Velocity trial run through the northbound Tyne Tunnel


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