Ulster Grand Prix: 2020 race called off as organisers 'unable to find necessary financial support'

The Ulster Grand Prix's future has been under threat in recent months
The Ulster Grand Prix's future has been under threat in recent months

The 2020 Ulster Grand Prix has been called off with race organisers saying they were "unable to find the necessary financial support" to run the meeting.

The Dundrod and District Club revealed in November that they were facing major financial problems, with debts estimated in the region of £300,000.

The club have held numerous meetings with politicians in recent weeks.

"The crisis around the coronavirus has made finding a solution at this stage impossible," read a club statement.

Since November the Dundrod Club had held discussions with councillors, Westminster MPs, MLAs and other government officials, including ministers in the Northern Ireland Assembly in an attempt to secure funding to save the cash-strapped event.

The cancellation of this year's race leaves a massive question mark hanging over the future of the meeting and the Dundrod Club are now left with the decision of whether to battle on and try to pay the debts or fold.

In February a statement issued by the club indicated the race was "still in crisis" and in early March Noel Johnston revealed that he had resigned as clerk of the course.

The event is scheduled to celebrate its centenary in 2022 but it remains to be seen whether it can be revived in time for that particular milestone, with the fallout from the ongoing coronavirus pandemic potentially posing another challenge.

The Munster 100, scheduled for June and the Faugheen 50, scheduled for July were also cancelled on Thursday, becoming the latest road racing meetings to be called off because of coronavirus.

The cancellations followed a statement issued by Motorcycling Ireland stating that "All Motorcycling Ireland events are cancelled for the foreseeable future."

"Given recent statements from Motorcycle Union of Ireland Southern Centre, we have been left with no choice but to cancel the event amid the growing concerns for public safety," said Munster 100 organisers.

The 2020 North West 200 and Isle of Man TT international road races were called off last week because of issues surrounding the current health crisis, the former event saying in their statement that their race had been "postponed" and the latter stating that their event had been "cancelled".

The Cookstown 100 has postponed its event until a provisional date in September, while the Tandragee 100, Kells road races and Southern 100 race on the Isle of Man have all been called off.

The Enniskillen road races revealed in November that they would not be running their meeting this year.