James Robinson Belfast Telegraph.
Phillip McCallen’s Classic Bike Festival Ireland has been cancelled for the second successive year due to the ongoing impact of Covid-19 restrictions.
Jointly organised by Irish road racing legend McCallen and Robin Titterington, the festival was due to feature classic racing for the first time this year in addition to parade laps and displays of rare classic racing machinery.
The two-day event at Bishopscourt Racing Circuit in Co Down was set to take place from August 14-15.
Held for the first time in 2019, the festival proved an instant success with motorcycling fans across the racing spectrum.
Eleven-times Isle of Man TT winner McCallen was eager to grow the event this summer, adding classic races to programme, but for the second consecutive year the coronavirus pandemic has forced the organisers to shelve their plans until 2022.McCallen said: “We had hoped to come back bigger and better this year with classic racing at Bishopscourt along with the displays and parade laps.
“We were aiming to have Junior and Senior classes but unfortunately we can’t go ahead with this now because of the situation we find ourselves in.
“I can’t see the regulations permitting big crowds in August, and it just wouldn’t be financially viable to hold the event without large numbers of spectators,” he added.
“We also have a problem where many of the best classic motorcycles wouldn’t be available because there is no Classic TT this year, so the owners of these world-class machines haven’t been preparing for that event.
“We’re planning on coming back bigger and better next year when things will hopefully be in a much better place.”
McCallen said the ideal scenario for 2022 would be to stage the festival on the weekend prior to the Ulster Grand Prix, although doubts remain over whether or not racing will return to Dundrod.