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Ulster Grand Prix: 2022 Season Cancelled Due to Funding Rejection

Hefty Funding Request Causes Sponsor to Back Out

A view of the machines present at the 2019 Ulster Grand Prix

We’ve just had word that, for the third consecutive year in a row, the fastest road race in the world has been cancelled – and the recent let-down is the latest in a string of hardships for the Ulster Grand Prix. 

The report from MCN states that, this year, the Revival Racing Motorcycle Club was in charge of organizing the event, with dates set for the Dunrod Circuit, August 16-20. 

The complication was in the field of the former organizers – the Dundrod Club – who apparently acquired debts of around £300,000 and given a winding up order (an instruction from the court to close down a company and liquidate its assets once a creditor has tried to collect the money and failed multiple times).

A view of the Ulster Grand Prix, with a logo for the Tourism NI company that fell through as a sponsor for the event.

To make matters even worse, word has even gotten around of riders who did not receive their 2019 prize money, adding to the chaos and furthering what was already a complicated situation. 

“It’s believed that Government funding of £800,000 had been signed off to bring the UlsterGP and North West 200 together under one organisational banner, but the package has not been supported by Tourism NI,” continues the report. 

Mervyn Whyte, Event Director, at the launch of the 2019 fonaCAB International North West 200 in association with Nicholl Oils in the Lodge Hotel, Coleraine.

Here’s a statement released by Revival Racing Motorcycle Club directors, Mervyn Whyte, Phillip McCallen and Robin Titterington on the state of affairs:

“It is with much regret that we must announce the Revival Racing MCC is not in a position to stage the Ulster Grand Prix in 2022. We would like to place on record our sincere thanks to the Department of Economy and Department of Finance who both fully endorsed our proposal which would have delivered the biggest investment in motorcycling ever seen in Northern Ireland.

“Unfortunately, Tourism NI has informed us it will not support the level of funding agreed. The funding proposal was a joint venture between the UGP and NW200 to provide support to both international events which showcase Northern Ireland around the world. Revival Racing MCC has spent the last year engaging with TNI and government departments to explore the opportunities to increase the economic benefit of the UGP and NW200 to NI.

“All parties have been involved in in-depth business case appraisals which have confirmed excellent value for money and a huge impact on the economy.”

A view of the machines present at the 2019 Ulster Grand Prix

Rebuttal from Tourism NI included the argument that the requested £800,000 (for both the NW200 and UlsterGP) was six times more than the amount issued for them in 2019. In short, the debts were too much for Tourism NI to justify, given that they were also supporting other events in the country – fair, though heart-breaking. 

A view of the machines present at the 2019 Ulster Grand Prix

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Drop a comment below letting us know what you think, and as always – stay safe on the twisties.

*Media sourced from AutoSport, Ulster GP, Sport Techie, ITV and North West 200*