Niall Mackenzie grasped his invitation to compete in the Yamaha Pro-Am Championship in the early 1980s with both hands and launched a career that would take him to success in 500cc Grands Prix.
He and Alan Carter were names that were synonymous with the series that was introduced to boost the sales of the new LC Yamaha range – machinery that was to become iconic.
In addition to the Pro-Am, the LC machines became the choice of most in the highly popular Marlboro/Daily Express/Dunlop Clubmans Championships of the time.
The Marlboro series became the catalyst for fierce, elbow-bashing racing with names such as Dean Askin and Curt Langan, Charlie Corner, John Corrin and a host of others becoming the “legends” of the mid 1980s UK racing scene.
Such was the elevated status of LC racing, Pro-Am and the Marlboro Clubmans that 30 years on it remains unique, celebrated and, for 2015, it was decided to re-introduce the star-making initiative.
Thirty LC Yamahas were sourced from all over the world by Daryll Young at IDP Moto and prepared in time for an inaugural event at last year’s British Grand Prix.
That race was won by Niall Mackenzie from Charlie Corner and Andy Muggleton – and so Pro-Am was re-born.
A three-year plan will now see Pro-Am appear in a number of formats; as races, parades and at exhibitions, until the end of 2018 when many of the machines will be auctioned off.