The 2023 Ulster Grand Prix has been called off over disagreements over preparations for the event and an uncertainty over funds from Tourism Northern Ireland.
The UGP - billed as the ‘world’s fastest road race’ - has been on and off since its last running in 2019, with COVID-19 forcing it to be called off in 2020 and 2021.
However, the pandemic struck amid a broader issue over funding, ultimately dealing it what was expected to be a fatal blow.
Nevertheless, the Dundrod and District Motorcycle Club has attempted on numerous occasions to resurrect it and had seemingly achieved its aim when it announced an August 18-19 2023 date earlier in the year.
However, after coming up against issues with Dundrod officials over pubic liability insurance policies and no indication that it would receive critical funding from the Tourism NI, it has had no choice but to cancel it again.
Full statement from Dundrod and District Motorcycle Club
It is with deep regret the Dundrod and District Motorcycle Club has been forced to abandon plans to revive the Ulster Grand Prix on August 18-19, 2023.
The club began the initiative with confidence, enjoying the full backing of Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council and the Ulster Grand Prix Supporters’ Club. There was encouraging support from teams and riders and we also received strong commitments of financial support from the local business community for which we are extremely grateful.
However, in recent weeks those plans have been undermined by two specific issues.
Despite numerous requests by Dundrod club officials during the last six weeks, we have been totally frustrated in our attempts to gain access to a copy of the public liability insurance policy the Motorcycle Union of Ireland, Ulster Centre, has put in place for 2023.
The Dundrod club was expected to make an initial payment of £26,000 by mid-April. The finance is in place to make that payment but without sight and consideration of the policy documents, the club’s solicitor has advised this payment should not proceed.
That issue has been further compounded by ongoing uncertainty around funding for the event from Tourism NI. The Dundrod club made application to TNI last December as required. We are now in April 2023 and there has still been no indication as to whether or not this application will be successful or what level of support the UGP might be eligible to receive.
Given these uncertainties, the Dundrod club has been left with no option other than to make the unfortunate decision being announced today.