The 2014 Adelaide Masters Series was officially launched in Belfast on Saturday, with a number of changes confirmed for the high-profile short circuit championship.
The series will again take place over 14 races at five rounds, with Bishopscourt in Co Down hosting a round for the third successive year, while the remaining races will take place at the traditional Mondello Park venue in Co Kildare.
Speaking at the launch, which took place at the Adelaide Blackhorse Motorcycle Festival at the King’s Hall, Sam Geddis of title sponsors Adelaide Insurance Services, said he was delighted the company would be involved with the series for a fourth consecutive season.
“We’re delighted to be investing in the Adelaide Masters Series for the fourth consecutive year and the association with this event has greatly helped us promote our motorcycle insurance product in Ireland.
“We’ve an exciting season ahead of us as we’ve increased our contribution towards the prize money to help attract more of the big names in racing and encourage these riders to take part in the full Adelaide Masters Series.”
Dublin’s Derek Sheils was an emphatic winner of the Masters title for Chris Dowd’s CD Racing team in 2013 and is expected to defend his crown this year.
The series has grown to be become the leading short circuit championship in the country and this year live coverage of the races – including the support events – will be streamed online via Mondello.TV, with footage of all the races available afterwards on the official championship website www.adelaidemasters.ie.
Changes this year also include the return of the Grand Final to the schedule at each round, which will be open to the top 30 riders from any class.
In an effort to reduce costs, Superbike and Supersport riders will be limited to the number of tyres they can use with the additional aim of attempting more riders into the Grand Final, with competitors no required to use new rubber in their efforts to scoop the prize money.
John Morris, Managing Director of Mondello Park, said: “Adelaide’s increased investment in the series will enable us to boost the already attractive prize fund. The increase, along with a reduction in cost due to a control on tyre numbers in the Superbike and Supersport classes, will help us to further grow the appeal of the championship.
“With Live TV coverage on Mondello.TV we are looking forward to another great year in 2014.”
The main focus of the championship will remain on the Superbike and Supersport classes with the Superbike series in particular set for significant growth this year.
A number of riders have purchased new machinery and others will be making a comeback to create the strongest Superbike field in the championship’s history, with details set to be released over the coming weeks.