Unfortunately the popular Mid Antrim 150 meeting, will not form part of the 2018 Irish roads season, with event organisers stating recently that they do not have the funds available to run the meeting next year.
Amongst Northern Ireland’s oldest roads events, the meet which first began in 1946 has over the years been graced by scintillating performances a plenty from many of world’s greatest pure road racers.
At a glance just some of the race winners at Mid Antrim have included Phillip McCallen, Tommy Robb, Brian Reid, Ryan Farquhar, Derek Sheils, Jamie Hamilton, Paul Robinson and the late but great Malachi Mitchell Thomas.
Despite the confirmation of no competition embarking upon the Ballymena based event next year, event organisers are confident roads action will return in 2019.
Whilst this is good to hear, in my opinion more help is needed from the relevant governing bodies in the emerald isle to help events like this to survive.
In recent times, some high profile pure roads individuals have stated that a lot more promotion is needed for the national meetings, to bring in more sponsorship and increase exposure of the unique spectacle that is Irish road racing.
Photo by Rod Neill
Each and every national event has it’s own USP (Universal Selling Point), in the Mid Antrim 150’s case it’s great history and that it maintains it’s roots from years gone by.
Hopefully as predicted by the meeting organisers, the well respected Mid Antrim 150 returns in 2019, which will mark almost 75 years since it first ran in 1946.
Words by Stevie Rial