Cookstown 100 down £20,000 this year as organisers plan meeting to discuss event's future

Action from this year's Cookstown 100 road races at the Orritor course in Co. Tyrone.
Action from this year's Cookstown 100 road races at the Orritor course in Co. Tyrone.
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The Cookstown 100 lost £20,000 at this year’s event, the organisers have revealed.

The revelation comes after confirmation that the Enniskillen meeting will not take place in 2020, while the Ulster Grand Prix is in doubt with the Dundrod and District Motorcycle Club in debt to the tune of more than £250,000.

On Tuesday, a statement issued on behalf of the Cookstown 100 said poor weather and rising insurance costs were to blame for the significant financial loss this year.

However, the race – due to take place from April 24-25 – is still more likely to go ahead than not next spring, although the Cookstown club will hold a meeting on Wednesday to discuss the future of the event.

The statement said: “If the trend continues, our heritage will fade away. With the continuous escalating costs, clubs are finding it much more difficult to raise the necessary funds to organise these events.

“The local Cookstown & District MCC is no different. Following this year's event, which had been threatened by bad weather, hence many punters staying at home, resulted in the club losing £20,000.

“Rising insurance costs is the biggest factor and the local club pays approximately £18,000 for the insurance for the two-day event. With the loss of the Enniskillen road races, and the future of the Ulster Grand Prix still to be decided, if both these events are non-runners, the remaining clubs - North Armagh, Armoy and Cookstown - will have to bear the brunt. This will mean a possible addition of £8,000.

“Unfortunately, with so many legislations in place now, it is practically impossible to force spectators to pay into road races. However, most clubs ask the public to purchase a race programme, or make a donation. Is that too much to ask anyone?

“Race fans, the message is simple: Pay, or lose the tradition of road racing.”