The David Wood Ulster Grand Prix House was officially opened in the paddock at Dundrod on Saturday evening, two years after planning permission was granted for the project.
Since then, more than £90,000 has been raised towards the cost of the facility, with significant contributions coming from the Team Wood Foundation, the Ulster Grand Prix Supporters’ Club’s ‘Buy a Block’ campaign, the Dundrod & District Motorcycle Club and a grant from Groundwork NI.
Fundraising and grant applications are currently underway to raise the estimated £40,000 required to complete the venture.
The House was officially opened in time for the Metzeler Ulster Grand Prix Bike Week by the BBC’s Stephen Watson, with speeches from Sharon Courtney, Barry Symmons, Ian Noad and John Harris.
It will contain the main race office, the race timings team and commentators, and will also be home to Club meetings and community events throughout the year.
James Courtney, President of the Dundrod & District Motorcycle Club and part of the Team Wood Foundation, said: “We are absolutely indebted to everyone who has contributed to making the David Wood Ulster Grand Prix House possible, including the Team Wood Foundation, the UGP Supporters Club, Groundwork NI, DDMC and Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council.
“I’d also like to thank the wider community who paid £5 each towards the ‘Buy a Block’ campaign, your generosity has also made this possible.
“Last year marked the 10th anniversary of David Wood’s death, and we are honoured to have built this house in his memory,” he added.
“David was a terrific ambassador for the sport, both as a racer and as a racing manager – his most famous rider being Joey Dunlop. He was also instrumental in bringing a lot of sponsors to the sport and played a big part in helping younger riders find their feet.
“In respect of all that he did for motorbike racing, it is fitting that the Ulster Grand Prix will be home to this lasting memorial and I hope that we have done his memory proud.”
Although not yet fully complete, the David Wood Ulster Grand Prix House will be utilised for the first time this week as the ‘World’s Fastest Road Race’ gets underway.
Courtney added: “Fans can still buy a block: it’s just £5 each and everyone who donates will be personally named on a plaque inside the house. It’s a unique opportunity to be part of UGP history.”
The Ulster Grand Prix Supporter’s Club will be selling blocks at their stand in the paddock throughout Bike Week.
Donations to the project can also be made via the Metzeler Ulster Grand Prix website at www.ulstergrandprix.net.
The Team Wood Foundation is made up of Lee Wood, James and Sharon Courtney, Sally Best and Ken Stewart.