Road Racing News

Prospective September Cookstown 100 Running Provides Mixed Reaction

There’s been an extremely varied, mixed reaction since the KDM Hire Cookstown 100 organisers reiterated their intention to hold competitive action on the Orritor Circuit in September.

This afternoon, Motorcycling Ireland President Sean Bissett, issued a pretty forthright statement which is largely thought to relate to the topic in hand:

“Motorcycling Ireland announced on March 19th that all its 2020 events are cancelled for the foreseeable future to ease the pressure on the Health and Medical Services in these difficult circumstances.

We are alarmed and annoyed to read that some individual organising clubs within the MCUI (Ulster Centre) are still intending to promote events in this current climate.

They do not have the authority or support of the Motor Cycle Union of Ireland to promote these events in 2020. We also feel that they are bringing our sport unnecessarily into the public spotlight when the governments of Ireland are still trying to keep this epidemic under control.

We have accepted that as for 2020 our motorcycling sport will not be adding any pressure on the various health and public departments throughout Ireland and would hope the Ulster Centre follows that lead as we look forward to joint planning for our return in 2021.”

In addition to the update from Motorcycling Ireland, there’s been countless viewpoints from individuals involved within the inner circle of Irish road racing, stating non positive opinions on Cookstown competition for 2020.

Photo by Rod Neill

Following the negativity expressed by some on social media, Cookstown & District Motorcycle Club Chairman John Dillon stated last evening, the following:

“After reading so much negativity regarding last night’s announcement, I think it is time to clarify a few things as chairman of this club!

Last night the public were told of ONE change to this year’s event, since then it has been seconded guessed, ridiculed and been questioned right up until I write this post.

Perhaps before the negative opinions carry on, those people should realise there has been ongoing work from beginning of March on the measures which put in place for a September meeting.

While one point was made public, there is a list of over 30 changes to bring in so this event can be run under social distancing regulations along with other measures. So while those out there are posting it won’t run, or it won’t be secured or what about paddock or Spectator areas etc, perhaps criticising the efforts based on ONE change ain’t the best way to do things.

I have had myself being singled out with posts with statements like “obviously he doesn’t understand social distancing” etc, let me tell you on a personal note that I prob more than any of you posting have had to understand and deal with strict measures in my personal life so I am more than aware of what needs done!!

There has been days and weeks spent on planning various changes if the event is to run in Sept from security, changes in race office area, various paddock changes, Spectators, Landowners, land lay out, restricted areas, crowd control, hygiene, programme sellers, road end personnel and a lot more.

So before any more negative comments are posted, think about what is being posted as this has been planned, studied and would only of been put in place firstly as a last resort to bring some racing albeit with restrictions in place and secondly only if it was viable, safe and manageable to organise.

Perhaps it would be better waiting for a proper detailed announcement in the future, rather than assumptions from a single factor in a much greater list of changes which will come in due coarse instead of a club being slated for trying their best to bring an event in 2020.”

Words by Stevie Rial

>