Ulster Grand Prix: Road racing future ‘uncertain’ after 2022 event canceled

The Ulster Grand Prix was last held in 2019, where Peter Hickman won seven races

The future of the Ulster Grand Prix is ​​in doubt after the cancellation of the event scheduled for 2022.

The road race was due to return from August 16-20 after a two-year absence due to financial issues and Covid-19.

Organizing group Revival Racing MCC blamed the “agreed” lack of funding from Tourism NI and added that the event’s future was “unclear”.

Tourism NI said “it could not justify the level of funding requested for both financial and legal reasons”.

This is the latest blow to the Ulster GP after a turbulent few years. The future of the event had been thrown into serious doubt when it was revealed that host Dundrod Club had received a winding up order in 2020.

The club had run up debts of around £300,000 and entered into a voluntary settlement with creditors.

However, the race has been given a lifeline and is set to be resurrected by the Revival Racing Motorcycle Club in August, but organizers said with “great regret” they were no longer able to hold the race. centenary year of the event in August.

“We would like to express our sincere thanks to the Department of Economy and the Department of Finance who have both fully endorsed our proposal which would have generated the biggest investment in motorcycling ever seen in Northern Ireland,” a statement from the Revival said. RacingMCC. , which is run by North West 200’s Mervyn Whyte and 11-time Isle of Man TT winner Phillip McCallen.

“Unfortunately, Tourism NI has informed us that they will not be supporting the agreed level of funding.”

136.415mph! Climb aboard for Hickman’s Ulster GP lap record

“A blow for the sport”

The statement adds that organizers have spent the last year discussing with Tourism NI and the Northern Ireland Executive a joint funding proposal with the Ulster Grand Prix and North West 200.

“All parties were involved in thorough cost-benefit assessments which confirmed excellent value for money and huge impact on the economy,” the statement added.

“We are aware that the cancellation of the UGP, which celebrates its centenary, is not only a huge disappointment for the fans but also a blow for the sport.

“But we are simply unable to stage what is one of Northern Ireland’s oldest and most prestigious sporting events because TNI will not give the green light to the funding that two government departments have approved.

“We would like to thank the PMU leadership for their unwavering support and efforts to get this historic event up and running again.”

The PMU regained the title of ‘world’s fastest road race’ from the Isle of Man TT in 2019 when Peter Hickman lapped at an average speed of 136.415mph en route to winning the Superbike opening race around the Dundrod circuit.

Six times

Tourism NI has issued a statement clarifying its position in response to comments from Revival Racing MCC.

He said: “Tourism NI have received an application from Revival Racing Ltd seeking funding of £800,000 to stage the North West 200 and Ulster Grand Prix in 2022. This is six times the funding provided by Tourism NI for organize the events in 2019.

“The Ministry of Economy and the Ministry of Finance have provided Tourism NI with the necessary approvals in principle to pay the requested sum of money if Tourism NI is able to do so.

“The funding request has now been reviewed by the Tourism NI Board of Directors and it has concluded that it cannot justify the level of funding requested for both financial and legal reasons.

“Like all public bodies, Tourism NI is operating in a very constrained budgetary environment and is considering applications for support for a series of events across Northern Ireland in 2022.

“Tourism NI has provided Revival Racing with an indicative offer of what it could expect to receive and what we believe is sufficient to allow both the North West 200 and the Ulster Grand Prix to progress this year. .

“We are disappointed to learn that Revival Racing has decided not to stage the Ulster Grand Prix this year.”

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