Motorcycle racing in Northern Ireland will go ahead this year following an eleventh hour reprieve – but the respite comes too late for the Tandragee 100.
Road racing had been axed following exorbitant rises in insurance costs meaning the season’s curtain raiser in Co Armagh and the world-renowned North West 200 were among the sport’s casualties.
However, following a monumental public response and crowd-funder – coupled with a more palatable insurance quote – the Motor Cycle Union of Ireland Ulster Centre announced it had secured the necessary cover for the 2023 season.
Nonetheless, it comes a little too late for the organisers of the Tandragee 100 which announced the cancellation of their event last month.
The uncertainty, just weeks out from the event left it logistically impossible to pull the event together.
Sharing the update from the Motor Cycle Union of Ireland Ulster Centre (MCUI) Tandragee 100 course clerk Anne Forsythe, said she was “delighted for the sport” but “sadly though, still no Tandragee 100 this year as per our previous press release”.
MCUI Chairman John Dillon wrote: “As most of you will be aware all Tarmac motorcycle racing was cancelled in early February 2023 due to a significant increase to the annual insurance premium.
“Following the initial decision and listening to the feedback of the racing community a ‘Crowd Fund me’ was set up so racing fans could do their bit to help out. Although we know that it was a big ask, we are overwhelmed at the generosity of all who contributed.
“Combined with this total figure now raised, and the determination by MCUI UC member Mr Steven Lyons, who has worked around the clock with our insurers to find a solution, we are now pleased to be able to announce a new insurance quote has been secured, which makes it possible for all clubs to promote their events in 2023.
“The objective of the crowd funding was that enough funds would be raised so that all clubs would have the option to promote their events. The figure currently raised combined with the new insurance quote has now made this possible.
“Thanks to all the efforts of those concerned, the MCUI-UC, promoting clubs and members are extremely grateful and humbled by everyone’s generosity.
“As Chairman of the MCUI UC I pass on sincere thanks on behalf of all promoting clubs to every single person who donated to the crowd funding initiative.
“With the start of our racing season now just around the corner, I would ask that the racing community continues to support our events and make 2023 one to remember.”