2023 N. Irish racing cancelled

That’s crazy news.

To be honest, from an insurance point of view, this must be a very complicated thing to insure…

Sadly insurers’ appetites are getting tighter, which means costs go up which means that sport that doesn’t cut it in terms of sponsorships, endorsements, ticketing and media coverage will not make it…

Let’s hope things change…

Always remember, the business of Insurance companies is not to provide insurance, but to provide profit for shareholders.

1 Like

Hm that’s like saying the purpose of motor racing is not to provide a spectacle to fans but a return to organisers…

No it’s not.

Ok, in the sense that organisers may not be a plc that is accountable to shareholders that’s true.

But in the sense that both seek to make a profit, it is. The difference here is scale and the investment behind it. Having said that, looking at motorcycling Ireland statement and website I wonder how professional this is… Maybe I was wrong.

I’m not saying either of this is fair / right or whatever. But, having worked for an insurer of complex risks, these are never easy to quote. And these insurers are likely behind more than just motor racing… So complex events (floods, fires etc), can wipe out their books.

Don’t get me wrong, they will charge whatever they can get away with and in a market where there are limited options, that’s what they’ll do. Again, unethical yes but all I’m saying is not to elevate motorcycling orgs to some holier status… If they could get away with charging higher entry etc to people and teams and maintain interest, they would.

Difference is with the profits from the bike racing, they go into the promotion and setup for the next year’s event.

That’s the purpose of any for-profit business.
They exist to make themselves a profit, not to provide a service (regardless of what their PR department say). This is how capitalism works.
The insurance companies have decided they can’t make (enough) money selling the insurance for these races, so are not offering it (or have charged a higher price, I’ve not looked to see which it is).
It’s the same as Tesco rasing prices/stopping selling sandwiches because the profit margin is too small/non-existent.

Now uncancelled. Yay!

1 Like

Ulster grand Prix now cancelled again. From https://www.newsletter.co.uk/sport/motorcycling/ulster-grand-prix-cancelled-for-fourth-consecutive-year-4119031

Last held in 2019, the event had been due to run as a two-day national meeting from August 18-19.

A statement issued by the Dundrod and District Motorcycle Club on Tuesday evening said a failure to obtain a copy of the public liability insurance policy covering the sport from the MCUI (Ulster Centre), coupled with the absence of a commitment on funding from Tourism NI, had left the organisers with ‘no option’.

“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 statement said.

“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 statement continued.

“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.”

The club said the issue had been ‘compounded further’ by ‘ongoing uncertainty around funding for the event from Tourism NI’.

The statement went on: “The Dundrod club made an 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.”

Under the stewardship of the Dundrod Club, the Ulster GP ran into financial trouble and faced debts in the region of £300,0000.

It was cancelled in 2020 and 2021 as the Covid-19 pandemic wiped out most road races.

The club entered into a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) with its creditors in 2021, enabling a portion of the debts owed to be paid back over a fixed period of time.

A number of riders, including Peter Hickman – who won a record seven races in 2019 and re-established Dundrod as the fastest road race in the world with a 136mph lap – were left out of pocket.

As part of a venture to save the Ulster Grand Prix and bolster the future of the North West 200, the Revival Racing Motorcycle Club, which has Portadown road racing great Phillip McCallen among its directors, aimed to secure funding from the Northern Ireland Executive to take over the Ulster GP and bring Irish road racing’s two biggest races under one umbrella.

However, the proposed £800,000 financial package fell at the final hurdle last year after Tourism NI would not support the funding.

The Revival Club regrouped after the setback and explored further opportunities to run the Ulster Grand Prix in 2023, but eventually withdrew its bid to stage the historic road race.

In a statement last October, the club said the decision had been taken ‘due to the shortness of available time to develop the plan with all vested parties such as the MCUI (UC), sponsors, local and central government’.

It added: ‘We cannot ascertain how much funding is available to run a successful event, therefore the risk in running the UGP is simply far too great for us to consider’.

With the Revival Club pulling out, the Dundrod Club remained keen to run the UGP again and the event was included in the MCUI Ulster Centre’s scale of charges for insurance cover this year.

An eleventh-hour deal in March saved the Northern Ireland motorcycling calendar, but there may now be a knock-on impact on events such as July’s Armoy road races with the Ulster GP no longer contributing to the insurance cost for 2023.

A sad time indeed for road racing. Tough times.