Dundrod's Ulster Grand Prix, one of the great events in road racing, may be making a miraculous return to the Irish calendar next year as part of an ambitious plan to revitalise the sport in Northern Ireland.
A new organisation, aptly named the Revival Club, will be headed up by former North West 200 event director Mervyn Whyte and racing legend Philip McCallen. They will take over from the Dundrod and District Motorcycle Club which went out of business owing its creditors, including some riders, around £300,000, but has since reached an arrangement to payback some of the debt over a period of time.
The rescue package, which may be worth some £2million, is being sought from the Northern Ireland Executive but will also cover the North West 200 as the plan is to put these two major events under the same organisational umbrella.
Classic bikes will also be involved as part of an Ulster GP racing festival on August 16/20 which conveniently follows a Classic Bike festival at Bishopscourt. It is also just ahead of the Classic TT in the Isle of Man which should encourage teams to take in both.
And with the Cookstown 100 showing a profit for the first time last year by finding a way of encouraging spectators to pay for access, ie a value package to be obtained before the event, the 'we’re all doomed' brigade may have got it wrong.