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Ulster Grand Prix future under threat

Peter Hickman (Smith's BMW) celebrates winning seven races and the 'Man of the Meeting' award at the Ulster Grand Prix on Saturday August 10 2019. Picture by Stephen Davidson.
Willis Marshall

THE future of the famous Ulster Grand Prix is in doubt after it was disclosed that the promoters, the Dundrod and District Motorcycle Club, have suffered heavy financial losses at the event over recent years.

This year's event suffered particularly after bad weather kept many race fans away.

Road racing in general is going through extremely difficult times, and with rider numbers and race fans interest seemingly at an all-time low.

Professional advice has been sought by Ulster Grand Prix organisers and an urgent review is being carried out in respect of the viability of the event for 2020, together with the options available for dealing with the existing financial liabilities.

Race organisers will consider the outcome of this review and a decision will be taken in the coming weeks.

“The Ulster Grand Prix celebrated its 97th birthday in 2019,” said Robert Graham, chairman of the Dundrod and District Motorcycle Club.

“The race organisers have met with local MP, Jeffrey Donaldson, alongside representatives of Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council as we continue to seek a solution to the financial problems that would enable Northern Ireland's most prestigious and historic motorcycle race to continue towards its 100th anniversary.

“It is clear though, that in the absence of significant financial support, the Ulster Grand Prix is in real and imminent danger of disappearing from the road racing calendar, an outcome that would be a major blow for motorcycle sport in Northern Ireland.”

In a recent list of proposed dates for next year's Ulster and Irish Road Races, the East Coast Road Races, formally known as the Killalane road races, near Dublin, has been provisionally given August 8 and 9 2020 which where the provisional dates for the 2020 Ulster Grand Prix.

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