Published: 15 March 2023
Updated: 15 March 2023
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Motorcycling events in Northern Ireland, including the North West 200, will go ahead as planned this year after the Motor Cycle Union of Ireland Ulster Centre (MCUI UC) agreed a new insurance deal.
The future of motorcycle racing in the country was in serious doubt last month when it was announced that all events would be cancelled due to soaring public liability insurance costs.
Since then, the MCUI UC launched a GoFundMe page which has raised over £90,000, and it has now accepted a lower insurance quote for its 2023 road and short circuit races. This means that road racing, short circuit racing and trials can now take place in Northern Ireland.
The official statement from the MCUI Chairman, John Dillon said:
“Combined with this total figure now raised, and the determination by MCUI UC member My Steven Lyons, who has worked around the clock with our insurers to find a solution, we are now pleased to be able to announce a new insurance quote has been secured, which makes it possible for all clubs to promote their events in 2023.
“The objective of the crowdfunding was that enough funds would be raised so that all clubs would have the option to promote their events. The figure currently raised, combined with the new insurance quote has now made this possible.
“Thanks to all the efforts of those concerned, the MCUI UC, promoting clubs and members are extremely grateful and humbled by everyone’s generosity. As Chairman of the MCUI UC, I pass on sincere thanks on behalf of all promoting clubs to every single person who donated to the crowd funding initiative.
“With the start of our racing season now just around the corner, I would ask that the racing community continues to support our events and make 2023 one to remember.”
The NW200 will take place on May 11-13, whilst the Armoy and Cookstown 100 national road races are also now expected to take place.
Organisers of the NW200, the Coleraine and District Motor Club has responded to the news with its own statement this evening (March 15). The statement reveals that Co.Tyrone businessman, Derek Keys, helped make the race a reality this year with a donation from his company, Euro Auctions.
“We are very grateful to Derek Keys and Euro Auctions for this very generous support,” NW200 Chief Mervyn Whyte said. “In the absence of any financial assistance from government, the sport has been left to its own devices to deal with the insurance crisis. Mr Keys intervention has been crucial in saving this year’s North West 200.
“We also wish to express our gratitude to the many members of the motorcycle racing community who donated so generously to the crowd funding initiative launched by the Motorcycle Union of Ireland, Ulster Centre.”