It was back in 1924 when pure road racing first took place in Dungannon, Northern Ireland thanks to the tireless work of the Dungannon and District Motorcycle Club.
For the next three years the ‘Dungannon 100’ consistently attracted a high quality entry with multiple famous marques represented such as Norton, AJS, Matchless, Scott and Francis-Barnett.
Last run in 1927, it would take almost 80 years till roads competition returned to Dungannon.
With the revival of the Dungannon and District Motorcycle Club in 2005, a new meeting soon arose titled the Bush Road Races.
First run in 2006, for the next eight years it attracted the cream of Irish road racing, including local racer, three times TT winner Ryan Farquhar.
The seven times Duke Road Race Rankings champion went onto secure feature Open race victories in 2008, 2009, 2011 and 2012.
In amongst his successes, others to scoop the premier race crown included two time TT winner Cameron Donald (2006), Conor Cummins (2007) and Davy Morgan who claimed a popular victory in 2010 aboard the Strangford Holiday Park Suzuki.
Off the 2013 Irish roads calendar, the Bush Road Races would return in 2014 with a ten race schedule, backed up by a top class entry list.
Photo by Rod Neill
At the time competing in Wilson Craig Racing colours, Ballyclare’s Jamie Hamilton dominated the meet winning the Open, Supersport, Super Twin and Grand Final races.
In amongst Hamilton’s fine display’s where also standout performances from event newcomer Dan Kneen who went onto become Irish road race Superbike champion of 2014.
Since 2014 pure road racing hasn’t graced Dungannon, with adequate support to re-run the Bush Road Races, as yet not found.
Don’t be surprised though if in the near future, the event returns, it has a huge fan base and a rich road racing heritage, plus many astute roads insiders are ultra keen to see road racing return to the famous bumpy, technically challenging Bush roads.
Words by Stevie Rial