The Belfast Film Festival opened last week with the world premiere of ‘Road’. Narrated by Liam Neeson, this film tells the story of the world famous motorcycle road racing family, the Dunlops. The Isle of Man TT, the NW200 and the Ulster GP circuits are equally well known. Motorcycle Road Racing is an extreme sport which has attracted increased interest over the past 10 years.
The Isle of Man has led the way in developing its full potential. As motorcycling journalist Mat Oxley (Bike Magazine, July 2013) put it: “It’s… a hugely costly operation, funded by the Manx government and various sponsors. So why does the government spend so much money televising the races? Because the show advertises the Isle of Man to the rest of the world, just like the Qatar GP advertises Qatar across the globe. It’s a competitive world and the global game is getting noticed amid the chaos. The TT show certainly gets the Island on the radar: when… (television) coverage began in 2009 the show was beamed to 35 countries, now it’s seen in more than 130 countries”.
The Lagan Valley Alliance Party team welcomes the Northern Ireland Assembly having finally changed the legislation to give more flexibility for road closures, as is the case in Isle of Man. This should avoid the shambles of previous years and allow races to happen. Manufacturers, teams and sponsors will then be more likely to support these events. This year Michael Dunlop is being supported by BMW Motorrad Motorsport, and German motorcycle tyre manufacturer Metzeler will again sponsor the Ulster GP.
Spectators will be also more likely to come for a whole week to enjoy the racing at the Ulster GP and to explore the many tourist attractions of Northern Ireland and beyond.
The Lagan Valley Alliance Party team welcomes the support Lisburn City Council has given over past years in support of this event.
Dr Jonathan T McCrea has been selected by the Alliance Party to run in the new Killultagh DEA at the forthcoming Local Elections.