Road racing will return to Oliver’s Mount in Scarborough this year after a new club stepped in to revive the Barry Sheene Classic and Gold Cup meetings.
No racing has been held at the 2.43-mile circuit in North Yorkshire since the Gold Cup meeting was abandoned in September 2017 after spectators were injured in two separate incidents.
The Auto Cycle Union (ACU) refused to grant a Race Licence to the previous organisers – the Auto 66 Club – to host the Spring Cup and Cock ’o the North meetings in 2018.
However, the Barry Sheene Classic (July 27-28) and Gold Cup ( September 27-29) events this year have now been agreed with the ACU, with full backing from Scarborough Borough Council.
The races will be organised by the Two Four Three Road Racing Association in partnership with GrantRoberts Ltd.
Ryan Farquhar became the first ever rider from Northern Ireland to win the Gold Cup in 2011. Two years later, Michael Dunlop also won the trophy in 2013, becoming the first ever rider from the legendary Dunlop racing family to achieve the feat.
Eddie Roberts, who has been heavily involved in the efforts to bring road racing back to the English venue, said it had taken ‘months and months’ of hard work.
“Behind the scenes there’s been months and months of planning, there is a huge number of people I need to thank, and finally we can confirm road racing is set to return to Oliver’s Mount,” he said.
“We are working side-by-side with the ACU and work is already underway to improve the safety of the track for both for riders and spectators.
“We know it’s a huge task to undertake, but we are 100 per-cent confident racing will take place at Oliver’s Mount this year.”
Seven-time Isle of Man TT winner Mick Grant was also instrumental in reinstating motorcycle racing at Oliver’s Mount, where he watched his first ever road race as a young boy in the early 1950s.
“I watched my first road race at Oliver’s Mount in short pants back in the early ’50s and it ignited my passion for racing; we couldn’t let this historic track crumble into the history books,” said Grant.
“We need road racing in England, it’s one of the finest tracks in the world; it’s unique. I can’t wait to hear and witness classic and modern bikes race around this demanding track once again. Today is an emotional and significant day.”
Scarborough Borough Council and its tourism partners are fully behind the new venture. Cllr Derek J Bastiman, Leader of the Council, said he could foresee an exciting future for the sport at Oliver’s Mount.
“This is really exciting news and I am delighted that Eddie and Mick are committed to delivering a bright and exciting future for motorcycle racing at Oliver’s Mount,” he said.
“I am particularly impressed with their proposals for bringing the circuit in line with the stringent safety requirements set out by the ACU, their passion for the circuit’s unique character and setting and also their heartfelt commitment to attracting a new generation of spectators to the sport.”
Cllr Martin Smith, Scarborough Borough Council, Cabinet Member for Leisure, hailed the development as ‘fantastic news’ for the tourism industry in Scarborough.
“Racing at Oliver’s Mount has always been an important part of the Yorkshire Coast’s visitor economy,” he said.
“Today’s fantastic news means that role is set to continue and prosper. Many tourism businesses have been asking me for months when will racing will return to Oliver’s Mount so I’m very pleased that I can finally say 2019 for certain.”
The Two Four Three Road Racing Association has expressed its thanks to the 1946 Marshal Association for its continued support.