Ulster Grand Prix organizers ‘committed to resuscitating’ the event in 2022


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The Ulster GP is one of the oldest road racing events on the planet and held a place in the grand prix calendar for the inaugural season in 1949-1971.

It has remained a staple of the international road racing calendar after losing its status as a grand prix world championship, but financial problems associated with the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic last year resulted in its cancellation.

Organizers of the Ulster GP were reportedly in debt for £ 250,000 as the situation only worsened with a record low turnout for Saturday race day in 2019 due to bad weather.

The event is unique in that a road closure order written into law states that anyone entering any part of the Dundrod Circuit near Belfast must pay an admission fee.

This, along with program sales, enabled the Ulster GP to generate revenue before the pandemic.

After reaching a crisis point in late 2019 and early 2020, efforts to secure funding were unsuccessful and the COVID-19 outbreak dashed any hope of saving the event last year .

Although the event will not happen again in 2021, the Ulster GP confirmed on Tuesday that “significant progress” has been made in reaching a voluntary company agreement by the Dundrod and District Motorcycle Club Ltd to manage his debt.

The Club also confirmed that discussions are underway with various parties to relaunch the event in 2022.

The full statement read: “Since the flag was laid in the last Ulster Grand Prix race in August 2019, event organizers, the Dundrod and District Motorcycle Club, have been working to resolve the financial difficulties. suffered during this season.

Ulster Grand Prix, 2019

Photo by: Stephen Davison

“The effect of the coronavirus and the restrictions to control the pandemic have hampered the process, but significant progress has now been made with the Dundrod and District Motorcycle Club Limited entering into a voluntary corporate agreement with its creditors.

“The Club would like to thank everyone involved for their understanding of the circumstances which led to the unprecedented financial difficulties of the event and their cooperation in helping to resolve this difficult situation.

“Financial issues, as well as the effects of the coronavirus, meant that the race did not take place in 2020 and the event will not take place this year either.

“Despite these setbacks, the Dundrod club remain determined to resurrect the event.

“Conversations have already taken place with public and business groups that share a similar goal and further discussions are planned.

“This work will continue over the next few months in hopes of celebrating the centenary of the world’s fastest road race with a return to action at Dundrod in 2022.”

Organizers of the 2019 Ulster GP have been accused of abusing public funds allocated to security and upgrading paddock facilities, but organizers have denied any wrongdoing and said Sport NI was at aware of how the £ 255,000 grant was to be spent.

At the 2019 event, former race director Noel Johnston told Autosport that the Ulster GP receives “very little for what the event brings to the country” in terms of government support.

In 2019, five-time Isle of Man TT winner Peter Hickman made Ulster GP history when he claimed seven wins in his BMW Smiths and set a new lap record of 136.415 mph in of the first Superbike race.

This made the Ulster GP once again the fastest road race in the world – a record Hickman took away from him in 2018 in the TT when he clocked a 135.452 mph lap on his way to victory in the Senior TT of that year.

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