10 things you need to know about the MCE Ulster Grand Prix
1. The MCE Ulster Grand Prix is the world’s fastest road race, boasting an impressive lap record of 134.089mph set by Ian Hutchinson in 2016.
2. The event will be 95 years old this year! Motorcyclists have been competing on this circuit since 14th October 1922….when motorbikes were a spritely 28 years old!
3. It takes place on the 7.4 mile Dundrod circuit, made up entirely of closed-off public roads. The 2017 race schedule consists five races at the Charles Hurst Motorcycles Dundrod 150 on Thursday 10th August and seven races at the MCE Ulster Grand Prix on Saturday 12th August.
4. The current circuit has only been in use since 1953. Prior to that riders ran on the 20.5 mile Clady Circuit located a few miles from Dundrod. When the event grew in popularity and motorbikes became faster, organizers made the decision to relocate.
5. The event attracts an impressive 50,000 spectators, who watch mainly from the five grandstands located around the circuit.
6. Legendary Dromara-born inventor Harry Ferguson, noted for his role in the development of the modern agricultural tractor as well as love for motorcycles, was one of the key figures responsible for establishing the Ulster Grand Prix. Harry and then Editor of the Belfast Telegraph Thomas Moles were pivotal in lobbying the newly formed Northern Ireland government for the Road Races Act of 1922.
7. Up until April 2017, road racing anywhere in the UK, other than Northern
Ireland required a special act of Parliament. Northern Ireland was the only part of the UK where road racing was permitted.
8. The most decorated rider at the Ulster Grand Prix is the late Joey Dunlop with 24 wins to his name, spanning from 1979 through to 1999. The active rider with the most wins is Guy Martin, clocking up 11 victories since his debut in 2005.
9. Women and men compete side-by-side at Dundrod. The fastest female racer is American Patricia Fernandez who set a lap record of 118.264 mph in 2016.
10. The 2017 MCE Insurance Ulster Grand Prix bike week will take place from 6th until 12th August and is set for another week of spectacular racing and entertainment off the circuit – miss it, miss out!
Entrance info available here.