Changing of The Tides For Irish Road Racing?

Changing of The Tides For Irish Road Racing?

A respected team owner has said that an online ticketing system used by organisers of the Cookstown 100 is a blueprint other road races can follow in the future.

Last summer, organisers of the Cookstown 100 – which was the only closed road racing event in Ireland last year – were forced to introduce a unique, pre-booking ticket system for fans wanting to attend the event.

This was due to the restrictions placed on the road race by the Northern Ireland Executive as a result of Coronavirus and the popular system meant that a limited number of spectators could book their place remotely on a first come first serve basis.

It has been well documented in the past that the sport is going through a bit of a rough patch, even before COVID-19 but an upbeat Jason McAdoo, team boss at McAdoo Kawasaki, is hopeful that other organising clubs may learn from the approach taken by the Cookstown 100 club.

“I’m hoping that the new Cookstown 100 template for buying tickets is the way forward for all clubs (from now on),” Jason McAdoo explained during a recent interview.

“I am hopeful that it will be the saviour of the sport and I think if there is anything good to come out of the sport in terms of Coronavirus it will be that races will be organised in that way.

“Tickets are a guaranteed source of income (for clubs) and the problem down the years has been when you get something free you don’t like paying for it.

“It costs around £40 to watch British Superbikes or £60 to watch a football match at a Premier League club in England so it is about changing the mindset to a point where people realise road racing can’t be a free event from now on,” insisted the 47-year-old.

Photo by Rod Neill

Starved of action in 2020, the Northern Ireland based team enjoyed positive results at Cookstown in their only outing of the year.

Having recently acquitted the services of former Manx Grand Prix and Southern 100 winner Darryl Tweed to ride alongside the accomplished Adam McLean, Jason McAdoo is hopeful that there will be a lot more to look forward to in the year ahead.

“We are really excited to get going with both riders for the year ahead,” he admitted.

“We have watched Darryl from afar and obviously he rode our Super Twin at Cookstown. He is good friends with Adam (McLean) and we were impressed with him and decided to give him a full season at it and I feel we are going to have a very strong team.

Six weeks ago things seemed a little clearer but now we have a spike in cases and another lockdown but the vaccine is a major step forward so hopefully by the time the season comes around we will be on top of things again.”

Words by Aaron O’Neill

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