By Kyle White; Belfast Newsletter
Tandragee 100 Clerk of Course Anne Forsythe says Irish road racing will have a chance to ‘re-energise’ in 2022 after a barren spell for the sport due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Co Armagh race is set to mark its 60th anniversary this spring as the event returns for the first time since 2019 around the spectacular 5.3-mile course from April 29-30.
Expectations are high for a return to a full calendar this year and in addition to the Tandragee 100, recent announcements confirming the North West 200, Ulster Grand Prix and Mid Antrim 150 will go ahead along with the Cookstown 100 and Armoy have given fans and competitors alike a massive boost.
“It’s looking much more positive for the sport this year, not only for the competitors who haven’t had the chance to do much racing, but also for the spectators, who have missed Irish road racing over these past two years,” said Forsythe, who is also the honorary secretary of the North Armagh Motorcycle and Car Club.
“We really hope that this re-energises the sport for the future and it’s fabulous to see the Ulster Grand Prix coming back this year and also the Mid Antrim.
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“We’re in the business of promoting our own event, but we’re very thankful to all the clubs who work tirelessly to keep their races going because that’s what makes the sport viable.
“All the clubs have been working hard behind the scenes to get their races up and running again in 2022 and I have to give a big shout out to all our sponsors, because they have stuck by us and despite the pressure they have faced on their own businesses during the pandemic, all of our sponsors are on board again this year,” she added.
“That’s why I love our sport: We have those amazing heroes who throw their legs over the bikes, but we have equally amazing small businesses the length and breadth of the country who put their hands in their pockets year after year, and also the spectators as well, who turn out to support the events, and of course the volunteers who work all year round to try and make this work.”
As part of the 60th anniversary celebrations for the Tandragee 100, the club has reduced the entry fee for competitors from £90 to £60, and also added a second Classic race to the programme.
“To mark our 60th anniversary, we have reduced our entry fee this year from £90 to £60 and we are delighted to be able to offer this across the board in association with our Tandragee 100 Supporters Club,” said Forsythe.
“It’s about giving something back to all the competitors who have come and supported us over the years, even when times were tough.
“We are also running a second Classic race this year to celebrate the history of the Tandragee 100, but also to give those competitors a second opportunity to race – many of whom travel from far and wide and have come to our event religiously throughout the years to support us.
“Previously, all four classes of machinery would have been run concurrently in the Classic race, but this year we’ll have a Junior race for the two smaller classes and a Senior race. That will be an additional race on the programme, and it gives those competitors who come to race at Tandragee at great expense to themselves a second opportunity.”
A new website for the Tandragee 100 is set to go live soon, providing details of how fans can return to one of national road racing’s best events in April.