2014 Irish road racing calendar confirmed

Guy Martin at the Cookstown 100 in 2013
Guy Martin at the Cookstown 100 in 2013

The Motorcycling Union of Ireland has confirmed the dates for the 2014 Irish road racing season, with the Bush meeting in Dungannon pencilled in for a return in June.

The Co Tyrone road race was cancelled last year as a result of rising insurance costs plus a lack of financial support.

However, the event is scheduled for Saturday, June 28 in the MCUI’s official calendar of dates this year, following the Isle of Man TT races.

The new campaign gets under way with the traditional Cookstown 100 opener, when the Tyco Suzuki team of Guy Martin and William Dunlop will likely spearhead the entry list on Saturday, April 26.

TAS Racing has been a loyal supporter of their home road race meeting in recent years and tasted success in 2013 when Martin edged a thrilling Supersport 600 race from the hard-charging Michael Dunlop.

The Tandragee 100 in Co Armagh takes place a week later on Saturday, May 3 prior to the Vauxhall International North West 200, which kick-starts the first of the season’s three major showdowns on the 8.9-mile Triangle course, with first practice on Tuesday, May 13.

Final qualifying and racing for the North West 200 will be held on Thursday, May 15 with the main race bill on Saturday, May 17.

The event was washed out last May but organisers can look forward to a brighter 2014 after an amendment to the Road Closing Order, providing the option to switch racing to an alternative day in the event of bad weather, was passed by the Northern Ireland Assembly.

Following the Isle of Man TT, which takes place from May 24 to June 6, the Bush meeting is next up ahead of the Skerries 100 on Saturday, July 5, with the ‘Race of the South’ at Walderstown in Co Westmeath the following weekend on Sunday, July 13.

The Cork road races at Glanmire will take place on July 20 before the action returns to Northern Ireland again for the Armoy event on Saturday, July 26.

The Mid Antrim 150 is slotted in for August 2, followed by the Cahir road races on Sunday, August 10.

Concluding the main trio of international meetings, the Ulster Grand Prix will take place from Wednesday, August 13 to Saturday, August 16, with the Dundrod 150 meeting - abandoned due to torrential rain last year - running on the Thursday of race week.

Kells is back on the calendar once more for Sunday, August 24 at Crossakiel, while the Loughshinny Club’s Killalane meeting brings the curtain down on the Irish national season on Sunday, September 7.