MANX GRAND PRIX ORGANISERS ANNOUNCE RACE PROGRAMME FOR 2019
Following the success of the 2018 MGP races, the organisers, The Manx Motor Cycle Club, will retain the same programme for 2019. This will see things kick off with the Newcomers' race on bank holiday Monday 26th August 2019.
Wednesday of race week will see the Junior MGP Race with the first of the two Lightweight/Ultra-lightweight races in the afternoon. Friday features the second Lightweight/Ultra-lightweight races in the morning, followed by the grand finale of the Senior MGP Race bringing the event to a close in the afternoon.
Once again, the Lightweight race will feature the popular 650cc twin cylinder machines, and the Ultra-lightweight race, the 400cc, 125cc and Moto 3 bikes. The club has decided to buck the trend and retain the class for 400 and 125cc bikes at a time when many race organisers have dropped the category.
Manx Motor Cycle Club chairman, Peter Maddocks said:
“We felt it was appropriate for us to retain the smaller capacity class as it offers an opportunity for younger new riders to enter the event and get them interested in competing on the Mountain Course.”
Any newcomers wishing to be considered for the 2019 event should register their interest by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Practices for the 2019 Manx Grand Prix start on Saturday, August 17th and the event finishes with the Senior race on Friday, August 30th.
Photo by RCphotos
COSTELLO TO BECOME FIRST FEMALE TT RIDERS ASSOCIATION PRESIDENT
Maria Costello MBE is to be unveiled as the first female president of the TT Riders Association in its 66-year history.
The Northamptonshire motorcycle racer will be handed the chain of office at the association’s annual luncheon at the National Motorcycle Museum in Birmingham early next month.
Costello, who was made an MBE in 2009 in recognition of her career as one of Britain’s leading female racers, follows in the footsteps of a host of big name stars of the sport, including more than 40 world champions and racers with more than 145 TT wins between them.
Freddie Frith was the first president, while Charles Mortimer, John Surtees MBE, Joey Dunlop OBE and Nick Jefferies are among the previous holders of the prestigious role. Costello will assume the presidency from Richard ‘Milky’ Quayle who is one of only three Manxmen to have won a TT.
The association works tirelessly to help TT racers and their families when they encounter hardship but because confidentiality is paramount, their work can often go unnoticed.
Costello will be inaugurated in her new role at the annual luncheon on Wednesday November 7, which follows the TTRA annual general meeting.
She said: “I’m honoured to become the first female to become the president of the TTRA. They are a fantastic charity and one that needs to be better recognised for all they do for TT riders and their families.
“As president, one of my goals will be to help raise their profile and therefore help even more people. I’m sure that their Friends of the TTRA could easily grow stronger – the TT event itself has such a huge and passionate following that I’m sure more fans would want to be involved in what the TTRA do.”
Non members are welcome to attend the luncheon, at which Costello is expected to arrive on a race bike!
Tickets for the event, which includes a four-course meal, are priced at £37.50, are available from Frances Thorp, honorary secretary, on 01624 843695, 07624 402505 or by email at email@example.com.
Diners are expected to take their seats by 12.15pm.
Maria added: “It would be great to see as many people as possible at the luncheon. I’m incredible excited to be the first woman to have this role, and cannot wait to get started.”
Non-racers can help the association by joining Friends of the TTRA. Details from Frances Thorp as above.
For all of the latest news on Costello, including sponsorship opportunities, news, track days and other events, please visit her website.
ULSTER GRAND PRIX 2019 RACE WEEK DATE ANNOUNCED
Next year's UGP road races are to be held on 8 and 10 August, the organisers have announced.
Four Ulster GP races are again scheduled for Thursday 8 August, including the first of the meeting's three Superbike races, plus Supersport, Ultralightweight/Lightweight and Supertwins
Seven races will run on Saturday 10 August including; Superstock, Supersport, Ultralightweight/Lightweight, Superbike, Supersport, Supertwins and Superbike.
Race week starts on 5 August, with practice sessions for all classes two days later on Wednesday 7 August and on the morning of Thursday 8 August, before the race programme begins.
Welcoming the announcement, star of the 2018 MCE Insurance UGP and Man of the Meeting, Peter Hickman, who romped to easy victories in both the 600 and superbike races said: “I’m already looking forward to racing back at the Ulster GP, it’s one of the best circuits on earth!”
The number of newcomers at the meeting will again be restricted this year and Superbike, Superstock, and Supersport races will only be open to international licence holders with national licence holders eligible to compete in the other classes.
Clerk of the Course Noel Johnston said: “My key message for everyone, but specifically newcomers, is that Dundrod is an extremely fast and technical circuit which must be treated with respect, and
that means doing a serious amount of groundwork before taking your place on the grid.
“Unfortunately, this year we had less than perfect weather conditions and had to delay and abandon some of the races on the Saturday. We were gutted for the fans and all the teams and riders that had travelled over for the event, it was very unfortunate after all the hard work that had been put into the event.
“With that said, we are looking forward to welcoming the tens of thousands of motorcycling fans from across the globe, that will descend on Dundrod for the 2019 UGP Race Week.
“It’s always close racing and the track is a firm favourite among fans and riders alike, but there is so much more to enjoy during Bike Week, as it is five days packed with full of entertainment and activities for all ages.
“We will be posting an early bird package to our website in the next few weeks, offering a discount on wristbands and programmes – the perfect Christmas gift, for a racing fan or just someone who would love to sample the legendary Dundrod atmosphere. It’s not to be missed.”
For more information visit www.ulstergrandprix.net, or follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
ADAM MCLEAN AND MCADOO KAWASAKI RENEW PARTNERSHIP FOR 2019
Adam McLean has renewed his partnership with McAdoo Kawasaki for the 2019 roads season.
After a successful roads campaign in 2018, which saw the rising roads star win multiple national races and his first international win at the Ulster Grand Prix, he will continue to showcase his potential whilst riding for the local team in 2019.
McAdoo Kawasaki will also continue their partnership with MSS Performance and with their backing, and the talent McLean has shown on the bike, big things are expected for the upcoming season.
In a statement released by the team today, team owner Winston McAdoo and McLean had this to say.
Team owner Winston McAdoo
“We’re really looking forward to working with Adam again next year. He’s a superb young rider - still only 22 - but has shown great ability and maturity already. Last season was really tough for the team. We won international races and many national races - maybe the only team to do so with two different riders - but losing James was a devastating blow. He was a lovely young man with a massive future ahead. It was a very difficult time but we’ll never forget him, we must move on with life.”
“I really enjoyed working with McAdoo Kawasaki in 2018, therefore I am very excited to continue the partnership next season. I learned a lot this year and although it’s been successful, I know there is room for improvement in myself. I’m still in the early stages of my career and the results this year were very positive, which I hope to continue to build on next season. The McAdoo Kawasaki’s are very competitive and with the help of MSS Performance I’m really looking forward to the challenge. I would like to say a massive thank you to McAdoo Kawasaki and MSS Performance for the fantastic opportunity and continued support.
SUPER CEMETERY PLANNING PERMISSION BURIED
Dundrod and District Motorcycle Club welcomed Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council Planning Committee’s unanimous rejection of the proposed 96-acre super cemetery, on the Ulster Grand Prix Circuit.
Des Stewart, Chairman of the Ulster Grand Prix Supporters Club, said there had been a groundswell of opinion against the cemetery among race fans: “More than 3,000 objection letters to the plans were handed over to Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council in 2016, signed by The Ulster Grand Prix Supporters Club, the Dundrod & District Motorcycle Club, promoters of the Grand Prix and the vast majority of local residents, who were united in their opposition to the planned cemetery site on Quarterland Road, Dundrod.
“Race fans far and wide felt so strongly about the impact these plans could have on this international event that they launched a ‘Don’t Bury the UGP’ petition, which has been supported by motorcycle fans around the world.”
The Ulster Grand Prix is one of the biggest annual outdoor events in Northern Ireland, attracting tens of thousands of visitors from across the world. The economic impact is significant; spectator spend alone generates an estimated £2.5 million every year, and there are more than 10,000 commercial bed nights.
“The sheer volume of objections to the unpopular planning application and the packed gallery at today’s hearing, demonstrates the support and important social, cultural and economic impact the Ulster Grand Prix has in the area and to Northern Ireland tourism,” Mr Stewart added.
The inherent conflict between the economic benefits of the cemetery proposal and the existing benefits of the Ulster Grand Prix road racing event were weighed up by The Council Planning Committee and it was concluded that after the construction phase of the cemetery, economic benefits would be limited.
Apart from the potential negative impact the proposed cemetery might have on the Ulster Grand Prix, the application was also rejected on the basis that the nature, scale and lifespan of the proposed development is considered excessive and unacceptable.
The consultation process did not secure support from surrounding councils and it was not demonstrated that the additional burial capacity is required to meet the needs of the council area.
Lending his support Alderman James Tinsley, Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council said: “Dundrod sits within my constituency, I am in total agreement with local residents and Dundrod & District Motorcycle Club that this plan is not viable.
“From day one local residents told the applicant in no uncertain terms that the proposal was not acceptable to them, due to the unsuitability of the site, road infrastructure, the area’s propensity for inclement weather and the harm it would cause to the local area and community.
“A super cemetery in this area is not compatible locally with farming, it would destroy the character of the local Dundrod village and since the application has gone in we’ve had two fatalities on the roads here, which are usually the first to be closed during snowfall in the winter months.”
Noel Johnston, UGP Clerk of the Course added; “We are pleased with the unanimous decision taken today by The Council Planning Committee to reject the cemetery in favour of the planning officers’ recommendation for refusal.
“I’d like to thank all of our stakeholders including the race fans and local residents who worked very hard to achieve this positive outcome for everyone but especially the Ulster Grand Prix.”
Pictured here: Dundrod & District Motorcycle Club, The Ulster Grand Prix Supporters Club, and local Dundrod residents pictured outside Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council’s Office following its unanimous rejection of the proposed 96-acre super cemetery, on the Ulster Grand Prix Circuit.