Pictured at the Ulster Grand Prix
before it was called off due to torrential rain, were
(1-11 Eric Oliver , Chairman of Dundrod and District
Motorcycle Club, Gregory Campbell, Minister for Culture,
Arts and Leisure, Mayor of Lisburn, Councillor Ronnie
Crawford, Noel Johnston, Clerk of the Course, and
Councillor Brian Heading, Chairman of the Leisure
REPRESENTATIVES of Lisburn City Council have
held talks with the Dundrod and District Motorcycle Club about
the future of the Ulster Grand Prix at Dundrod after this year's
event was abandoned on Saturday because of the torrential rain.
|Top road racer John
McGuinness gives the bad weather the thumbs down in
the Ulster Grand Prix paddock.
||This bike fan was unconcerned about
the bad weather which led to the Ulster Grand Prix
||Bikers make their way through the
flooded roads at Dundrod.
It's the second year running the UGP has been
affected by rain. While last year two of the six races could
take place, by 2pm on Saturday it was clear the organisers would
have no choice but to call off the whole event.
And it has left the Dundrod club with heavy
Clerk of the Course Noel
Johnston stands on the deserted race
grid at Dundrod.
Clerk of the Course Noel Johnston said: "We
have 52 weeks to get things sorted out for 2009. We certainly
will not be giving up without a fight."
Mr Johnston said he was hopeful that with help
the Dundrod Club could turn around the disappointment of
"We were down in the dumps on Saturday, but
it is a new day and we are upbeat again. We met with Lisburn
Council on Monday and between us drafted a letter which we will
present to the Department of Culture Arts and Leisure to see if
we can get some compensation.
"We rely heavily on programme sales for
income to run the event and although we are grateful to those
who bought programmes during the week we sold next to nothing on
race day, which is understandable. We did everything in our
power to get the race changed to Sunday, but legislation did not
"We have to work now to try and get some
leeway, which would let us, if the weather forecast was like
this year, run on say the Friday or the Sunday. It's only a
matter of time before it happens to the NW200. Then what? We
need a change before that happens." Lisburn's Mayor, Councillor
Ronnie Crawford, said: "It is extremely disappointing for the
Club, the Council and the motorcycling fraternity."
"The Ulster Grand Prix is a major event in
the Northern Ireland Racing calendar, and is renowned for being
the fastest motorcycle road race in the UK. "The race is close
to our hearts and we will do everything that we can to assist
Dundrod and District Motorcycle Club to ensure the race's
survival on the Dundrod Circuit" he said.