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.
The Tandragee 100 has been cancelled, while every national meeting in the Republic of Ireland has been called off, with the exception of the Skerries 100.
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.
“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.
“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.
“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.