Wednesday, April 11

The immediate threat to Irish Road Racing

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The Scarborough Spring cup being cancelled is a sure sign that modern day Road Racing is in immediate danger of being confined to the history books.

The rise of insurance costs and a decline in numbers attending meetings is having a detrimental effect in the running of these events. Every time a race is cancelled too, this adds to the expense of those running the remaining meetings. The cost of running races is unlikely to come down in the near future either, given the way insurance as a whole has risen.

While major sponsors like Carole Nash, Country Crest and Principal Insurance bring many gracious thousands to today’s races, it’s time “real Road Racing” took greater responsibility in helping clubs run the meetings like major sponsors do. It’s not enough to “Like and Share” articles or retweet posts anymore. 1000 little blue thumbs won’t pay for rented fencing, generators, portaloos and all the other equipment required to run a modern event. 1000 shares won’t pay for the ambulances to turn up and support the race or indeed the equipment that our blessed Medical Team’s provide.

Programmes are another huge expense and source of revenue for clubs. These have to be printed and paid for in thousands well in advance of a meeting (whether Joe Public turns up to buy them or not!) and printers can’t do discounts or refunds if it rains.

There are enough Irish racing fans out there too; the record breaking numbers flocking through the gates of Mondello recently is testament to that.

If you want to be able watch full-on Superbikes pass within a whisker of you on a winding public road, you need to act now and continue to do so.
What to do.
Fundraising is a core feature of any clubs activity in hosting a road racing meeting. View your local clubs website or Facebook page and I’ll guarantee there’s a “Join the Membership club”, “Sponsor a bale” or “Donate” section. It’s vital that we use these to ensure clubs have the funds available before a race is organised.

Words and images: Andy Quinn

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