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Insurance hike puts road racing in spotlight

The reason behind the spiralling insurance premiums is a rising number of personal injury claims and claims for minor falls and accidents at road races.

However, Jack Agnew, chairman of the sport's governing body in Ulster – the Motorcycle Union of Ireland – is refusing to press the panic button just yet.

“As it stands right now, every race on the calendar is going ahead this year, although the Bush meeting was an uncertainty as the club had yet to have their meeting prior to our centre meeting [to discuss the insurance costs].

“It's up to every club now to look at ways of attracting additional sponsorship and alternative means of bringing extra money into the sport,” Agnew told the Belfast News Letter.

“It will be difficult, but as an organisation we will try to make the sport as cost-effective as possible.”

Agnew is hopeful new legislation will be brought in to grant the organisers of road races the powers to charge an admission fee to their events to help offset the financial implications of hefty insurance bills.

Currently, only the Ulster Grand Prix can charge spectators an entry fee, with other events relying solely on revenue from programme sales and sponsorship to fund their races.

“The wheels have been set in motion and we're seeking legislation to charge admission fees which hopefully will be in place by 2015,” Agnew said.

“I'm not saying this will be the be all and end all, but it will help clubs bring in much-needed revenue for their events.”

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January 16, 2013 4:00 PM

I'm not a legal expert - but given the races take place on closed public roads, and so the spectator areas are pavements, fields etc, how can the organisers be sued every time some idiot twists their ankle in a rabbit hole? Oli

dommie - Unregistered

January 18, 2013 12:52 PM

10 euro for a 2 day ticket to killalane and skerrise what a bargaine .read in 2010 half the fans got into the ulster gp withought paying and they wonder why it stuggles

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