MCE Ulster Grand Prix Clerk of the Course Noel Johnston has paid a moving tribute to Darran Lindsay as the tenth anniversary of the popular Dundrod racer's tragic death draws closer.
Lindsay was tragically killed during practice for the 600cc class at the Killalane Road Races near Dublin on September 9, 2006.
Aged only 34, he left behind a wife Kerry and three young sons, Ben, Zac and Poppy.
Ulster GP chief Johnston began sponsoring Lindsay in 1995 after he caught his eye with some standout rides on machinery that wasn’t quite up to the standard of his rivals.
As well as a highly talented road racer, Johnston remembers Lindsay as a devoted family man who put his children first.
“Darran was totally dedicated to his family and I remember many times when work on the bikes in the workshop would come to an end when Darran went inside to help with bathing the children or putting them to bed,” he said.
“Quite rightly they came first. I still see Darran’s family and Kerry has done a brilliant job bringing up their three children, Ben, Zac and Poppy – they are a credit to her and if Darran was alive he would be very proud.”
Reflecting on his involvement with Lindsay, Johnston cherishes the many joyful memories of former glories, including coveted wins on the international stage at the Ulster Grand Prix.
“There were many memorable celebrations over the years I knew him and although he was regarded as a specialist on 125cc and 250cc machinery, he was incredibly competitive on everything he rode,” said Johnston.
“Some of the highlights include the win in the North West 200 125cc race in 2005, his five Ulster Grand Prix wins including a hat-trick in 2002, the Irish National 125cc Championship titles in 1999 and 2000, the Irish National Road Race 250cc title in 2006 and the Irish National Road Race 600cc title in 2004.
“The Ulster Grand Prix victories were particularly sweet as he and his family lived on the Dundrod circuit.
“He’s never far from my thoughts – I think about him every day and he’s badly missed by us all.”
You can read the full tribute in the official MCE Ulster Grand Prix programme, which is on sale now and can be purchased from various locations close to the Dundrod course, including Topaz Garage on Airport Road, Whitemountain Centra Service Station, the race office at the paddock and on approach roads to the event.
Packed with all the essential race information, entry lists, riders profiles and in-depth interviews with many of the top names, the glossy guide is a must have for fans and provides the Dundrod Club with much-needed revenue and represents excellent value for money at only £5.