North West 200 to go ahead after revised insurance deal
Following weeks of uncertainty, certain Northern Irish road racing events, including the International North West 200, will now go ahead as planned after a new, lower, insurance deal was agreed.
With the future of Irish road racing thrown into doubt as a result of the huge rise in public liability insurance costs, a GoFundMe page was launched by the Motor Cycle Union of Ireland Ulster Centre (MCUI UC) and went on to raise over £90,000. This figure has allowed the MCUI UC to accept a lower insurance quote for both road and short circuit races for 2023.
“Combined with this total figure now raised, and the determination by MCUI UC member Mr 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,” said the MCUI Chairman John Dillon in an official statement.
“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 biggest event to be saved as a result of the revised insurance quote is the North West 200, which had already stated it was working on ensuring the event went ahead as planned. It will now fill its planned slot on 11th-13th May, where the likes of Peter Hickman, Michael Dunlop, Dean Harrison and Davey Todd will compete around the 8.9-mile Triangle circuit at speeds over 200mph.
A donation from County Tyrone businessman Derek Keys and his business Euro Auctions has also played a major part in saving the North West 200’s 2023 event, and the event chief Mervyn Whyte paid tribute to Keys in his own statement.
“We are very grateful to Derek Keys and Euro Auctions for this very generous support,” said Whyte. “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.”
The Armoy and Cookstown 100 national road races are also expected to take place, as well as short circuit and trials events.