Important change in structure as Mid-Antrim club looks to the future

Members of the Mid Antrim motorcycle club with Miss Mid Antrim, Zoe McKinnon, after the club was relaunched at the Kings Hall. Picture: Roy Adams.
Members of the Mid Antrim motorcycle club with Miss Mid Antrim, Zoe McKinnon, after the club was relaunched at the Kings Hall. Picture: Roy Adams.

An important move within the Mid Antrim club has taken place, as the club looks towards its future plans for success.

The motorcycle and car sections have parted company, with the motorcycle section now free to make their own decisions and organise their own meetings.

A spokesman for the club has told me: “We are now free to make our own money and anything we do make is our own.

“We felt the club would benefit from operating independently from the car section.

“As things were neither section were able to do very much without the other sections approval. We didn’t feel that such a state of affairs was beneficial to anybody.

“There was no fall out, just a mutual agreement. We now have freedom to make our own decisions.”

At the motorcycle show over the weekend, I sensed an upbeat mood within the membership of the Mid Antrim Motorcycle club, as they prepare for what will be an important year for them.

They are to run a joint fundraiser during the year, most probably towards the end of June, with money split between themselves and the MCUI Medical Team. More details on that when they are finalised.

One thing is settled, however. The hill climb, which was to have taken place on the Clough circuit the date allocated to the Mid Antrim 150, will not now happen.

The club is, however, fully committed to the return of the 150 in 2016.

“We are working hard towards restoring the Mid Antrim to its rightful date and circuit,” said the spokesman.

The main item on the agenda for club members is the Neil Robinson Memorial short circuit event, which is to take place at Bishopscourt.

A superbly talented 24 year old from Cullybackey, Neil Robinson lost his life at Scarborough just a few weeks after beating the then unstoppable Joey Dunlop at the 1986 Ulster Grand Prix.

His death came just as he had been singled out to ride Suzukis against the might of Dunlop and Honda.

There’s no doubt that there was much more to come from the former 250cc British title holder. Shortly afterwards the Neil Robinson Memorial Trophy was awarded, with ironically, the first winner being Joey Dunlop himself. The only other man to have won it was Carl Fogarty.

The Mid Antrim club have resurrected the trophy and it will be raced for at the short circuit event at Bishopscourt on Saturday 18th April. According to the club, there will be a substantial prizefund for the race, with £1700 being shared between the top three riders.

The first Supersport 600 machine will collect £300 while the fastest lap of the race will lift £150. I will, of course, have further details a bit closer to the event.

Meetings of the new club now take place in the Front Page bar, Ballymena on the first Tuesday of each month, getting under way at 8pm. New members are always welcome.

SHOW SUCCESS

Last weekend’s Adelaide/Blackhorse motorcycle show was a very enjoyable event.

A number of new bikes were launched at the show, including Kawasaki’s new turbocharged and the R1M Yamaha.

I saw Jack Kennedy and his dad Paddy on Friday, while Jamie Hamilton, Glenn Irwin, Michal Dokoupil and his fiancée Veronika Hankcyova and Dean Harrison attended every day.

The next big event like that will be the RDS show in a couple of weeks.

THIS WEEKEND

The first of the three MCUI training schools takes place this Sunday at Bishopscourt.

There was a Supermoto planned for Nutts Corner, but it has been cancelled due to only having three entries.