A step in the right direction

The promoters of the Ulster Grand Prix are encouraged at the news that the DRD has passed an amendment to Northern Ireland’s road closing legislation that will allow more flexibility for road races in the province.

The amended bill will provide events such as the Ulster Grand Prix with the flexibility to either bring forward up to two of their practice or race days or to adjust the times at which roads are scheduled to be closed.

Clerk of the Course at the Dundrod and District Motorcycle Club, Noel Johnston said: “I am heartened by the news that the amended bill has been passed as it will allow us to build robust contingency plans into our overall event management plan for Bike Week. We’ve lost a lot of money over the years due to terrible weather conditions, so the flexibility to change which days we run the races at a day’s notice will certainly help safeguard the future of the event. While the total number of days on which roads can be closed remains at three, this is certainly a step in the right direction and is a vote of support for the road racing industry, which after all brings about significant economic benefits in terms of tourism. I’ve had a lot of foreign motorcycle fans tell me that they’d love to come to the UGP but that they’re put off by the chance of bad weather – they don’t want to come all the way here to look at an empty circuit. This news will hopefully give them the confidence to book their flights and experience the world’s fastest road race first hand.

Thank you to all the supporters and fans of the sport who responded to the consultation on this matter. It has paid off, and we look forward to bringing you a fantastic week of racing in August 2014,” Noel added.

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