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John Burrows weighing up options as 2021 Irish road racing calendar hit by spate of cancellations.

by / Friday, 15 January 2021 / Published in Blog / News, Motor Bike Racing, Road Racing

By Kyle White:- Belfast Newsletter

Leading team owner John Burrows is weighing up his options for 2021 following a spate of Irish road racing cancellations as a result of the continuing impact of the Covid-19 crisis.

As is stands, the North West 200 organisers have applied for dates in August (10-14) for the country’s biggest road race, but former Event Director Mervyn Whyte told the News Letter last week that the race was hanging in the balance, with a final decision expected at the end of this month or early February.

The Isle of Man TT is cancelled for the second year running and the Ulster Grand Prix faces an uncertain future due to crippling debts.

As is stands, the organisers of the Cookstown 100 – the only Irish road race held in 2020 – and Armoy remain committed to running their events this year.

However, the overall outlook for 2021 is bleak and former racer Burrows, who is one of the biggest supporters of the sport at Irish national level, says he is considering running the Burrows Engineering/RK Racing team in the British championship this season.

“We’re a road racing team first and foremost and where we are sitting at the minute is frustrating in terms of what we do going forward this year,” Burrows told the News Letter.

“Our plan for 2021 was to do whatever road races that were going ahead plus the short circuits, like the Mondello Masters and also whatever events would run here in Northern Ireland at Kirkistown and Bishopscourt.

“But now I’m wondering if anything will go ahead this year and it might be the case that I look at doing something in the British championship this season.

“As it stands it could be two years with the team doing virtually nothing, and that’s not in our interests,” added the Dungannon man.

“We have a lot of people involved with us and the longer this situation goes on without any racing, then you run the risk of losing some of those backers.

“So it’s something we’ll take a look at for 2021 and it may be that we have to do something within the British Superbike paddock instead to keep things ticking over.”

Burrows signed Magherafelt’s Paul Jordan and promising Cork man Mike Browne for the national road races last year, but his new-look line-up was restricted to a solitary outing at the rescheduled Cookstown 100 in September, and opportunities this year appear limited once again.

“We’re committed to national road racing and I love the sport, but the way things are looking at the moment then I’ve got to consider other options,” he said.

“I run the team because I love Irish road racing and we’ve enjoyed some great success in the past. We were all set to go with two great riders in Paul Jordan and Mike Browne. Unfortunately we haven’t had the opportunity to show what the two lads can do yet.

“I really worry about the impact these cancellations will have on some clubs and this could cause a few more of the Irish road races to disappear. If you go back 10 years when I was racing, we had a road race every weekend basically in July and August,” said Burrows.

“Now, we only have a selected few and in recent years we’ve lost the likes of Enniskillen, Bush, Mid-Antrim and Athea. It’s not getting any easier and this pandemic has made it worse.

“The British championship is something I never really thought would be on our radar but these are the times that we’re in.”

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