MOTOR SPORT: CREWE rider Stu Wilson is celebrating a five-figure sponsorship deal for next season.
Stu, 24, has signed a deal with German electric power tool manufacturers Metabo, which will see him become the face of the firm's marketing push.
In return, the company is investing in Stu to compete in the full 12-round British Super Stock Championship.
'I've been racing since I was five and this is the kind of backing I've always wanted. Metabo have also told me that if I make sufficient progress, they will support me in the British Superbikes in 2005 and I'd love to kick-on to the World Superbikes from there.
'My goal for two years' time is to be front-running in the British Superbikes series, hopefully still with the support of Metabo.
'Their support will be a huge weight off my shoulders and will allow me to concentrate fully on riding. In the past, my dad and I have been tuning the bike ahead of the weekend and although we'll still be involved in that, we'll have support from others as well.'
Stu, a former European BMX champion and seven-times club karting title holder, has developed a reputation for daring manoeuvres which has helped him become a firm favourite at circuits throughout the country.
This season, he will switch from a Yamaha to a new Suzuki GSXR 1000 K3 for the new season in March.
'The bikes will be tuned by Beowulf Racing, which is a big help, and we will be running two Suzukis which I hope to take delivery of next month. They will be decked out in Metabo's corporate colours of red, green and silver.'
Last season, Stu claimed several topsix finishes in the Pro Bike Grand Slam - a support series to the British Superbikes - and was also given a taster of Super Stock events at Oulton Park and Donington, performing so well in the first that he was congratulated by his hero, Niall Mackenzie.
'Those two events were important as it means it will not be new to me. I attended several track days with Niall when I was developing my motorcycling and he taught me about gearing, setting up the bike and generally how to be fast and smooth. We will be racing in front of crowds between 15,000 and 60,000 and the event will also be covered on Sky Sports 3 and other satellite channels, which is great exposure for me and the sponsors.
'My aim is to be running in the top 10 of the championship. If we can do that, there is always the possibility of being asked to test for Superbike teams and get a foot in the door.'
Stu is recovering from a post-season cartilage operation and plans to get himself fully fit for the coming season.
The sponsorship deal came about after a chance discussion between Stu and the owners of Nantwich firm KMD, Keith and Margaret Dimelow.
'I've recently set up a building company with my friend Jamie Scott, Wilson and Scott Construction, and I mentioned to them I was after a sponsor. They told me to give Metabo a ring and I was invited to their British head office in Southampton. I will front their marketing push and make appearances at trade events and such like. It's great to be involved with them.'
Stu, who marries his fiancee Debbie next month, would like to place on record his thanks to his family.
'My mum and dad have supported me for the past 19 years to help get me to this stage and without them it wouldn't have happened.' Stu would also like to thank Doveys, Rob Dunn Dental Care, Florida Sun Centre, Wilhall Engineering and Banatynes Health Club for their support.