1. ITV Report

Future of Ulster Grand Prix under threat

The future of the Dundrod race circuit is under threat due to financial difficulties. Credit: UGP

The future of the Ulster Grand Prix is under threat due to a “major financial crisis” facing its organisers.

Severe weather forecast for the main race day this summer led to a loss of income due to “perhaps the smallest crowd the event has ever witnessed”.

The Dundrod and District Motorcycle Club has been trying to manage the situation, but says it has reached a critical juncture and a decision must be made as to whether or not the race will take place next year.

The club has sought advice and an urgent review is being carried out about the viability of the event for 2020, together with the options available for dealing with the existing financial liabilities. Organisers will consider the outcome of the review and a decision will be taken in the coming weeks.

The Ulster Grand Prix has been running since 1922 and this year saw the ‘World’s Fastest Road Race’ title brought back to the Dundrod circuit.

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

“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.”

He added: “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.”