THE Ulster Grand Prix is under serious threat this year as much needed and promised funding hasn't materialised.

Noel Johnston, Clerk of the Course, said. "Last year the Motorcycle Union of Ireland (MCUI)(UC) informed us that the Department of Culture, Arts & Leisure (DCAL) had earmarked ?50,000 for essential maintenance and safety improvements to the paddock at Dundrod.

"We were given guarantees and assurances by a number of people regarding this money, and hence carried out the necessary work.

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"For a number of months we've been trying to retrieve this money via the Two and Four-wheel Motorsport Steering Group. The Dundrod and District Motorcycle Club has been made aware that the North West 200 (NW 200) was given the same assurances for ?100K. We believe that they now have received said monies.

"The bottom line is that we currently cannot see a way forward. The Club is personally out of pocket to the tune of ?50K. We wouldn't have spent the money without the assurances that we received. This money is vital to the running of the UGP and we need it now to ensure that there is another year of great road racing at Dundrod.

"The Ulster Grand Prix can take place this year, but only if this issue is addressed as a matter of urgency."