Ulster Grand Prix

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Ulster Grand Prix
Dundrod Circuit.svg
Venue Dundrod Circuit
First race 1922
Most wins (rider) Joey Dunlop (24)

The Ulster Grand Prix is a motorcycle road race that takes place on the Dundrod Circuit near Belfast, Northern Ireland. The first races took place in 1922 and in 1935 and 1948 the Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme gave it the title Grand Prix d'Europe. The Ulster Grand Prix was included as one of the races in the inaugural 1949 Grand Prix motorcycle racing season, a place it held until 1971. It also counted for the Formula TT Championship between 1979 and 1990.[citation needed] According to the race organisers, it is the fastest road race in the world.[1]

History[edit]

Hairpin bend on the Dundrod Circuit

Thomas Moles, motorcycle enthusiast and Member of Parliament, helped to push through parliament the first Road Races Act, which made it legal for the Clady Course to be closed for the first Ulster Grand Prix on 14 October 1922. That first race had 75 entries in four classes (250cc, 350cc, 600cc and over 600cc).[2] The race has been held on three different circuits. The 20.5 mile Old Clady circuit was used from 1922 until 1939 and included a notoriously bumpy 7-mile straight. It also ran across part of the grass runway at RAF Aldergrove and for the first two years of its existence the pits were on the Seven Mile Straight, by Loanends Primary School.[2]

In 1926 the 500cc race was won by Graham Walker on a Sunbeam. He also won the 1928 Senior race on a Rudge. In the 1936 Lightweight (250cc) event, Ginger Wood and Bob Foster, both on New Imperials, crossed the line so close, that after over 200 miles of racing, it took the judges an hour to decide that Wood was the winner by one-fifth of a second. Foster was, however, adjudged to have achieved the fastest lap. The 1939 Grand Prix was almost called off, but went ahead in spite of an entry of only 60 riders.[2]

After World War II the new Clady circuit was used that, due to road improvements, was now 16.5 miles in length and in use between 1947 and 1952.

In 1953 the race was moved to the 7.401 mile Dundrod Circuit where it is still held. The event was cancelled in 1972 because of the political situation in Northern Ireland, but it was held in 2001 during the Foot-and-mouth crisis, even though the North West 200 and Isle of Man TT were cancelled that year.[3]

The 2007 Grand Prix attracted an entry of 162 riders, including 38 new riders, and took place on 18 August 2007, sponsored by The Belfast Telegraph.[4]

Bruce Anstey won the Superbike race at the Ulster Grand Prix in 2010, setting a new lap record of 133.977 mph, making him the fastest rider on the fastest motorcycle racing circuit in the world.[5][6]

Famous riders[edit]

Joey Dunlop during the 1982 Ulster Grand Prix

Joey Dunlop won twenty four Ulster Grand Prix races during his career with Phillip McCallen winning fourteen races and Brian Reid nine wins.[citation needed] Some of the famous riders include: Guy Martin (11 wins) Stanley Woods (7 wins), Jimmie Guthrie, Jimmie Simpson, Artie Bell, Les Graham, Freddie Frith (3 wins), Geoff Duke (3 wins), John Surtees (6 wins), Ray Amm, Carlo Ubbiali (5 wins), Bill Lomas (3 wins), Mike Hailwood (7 wins), Giacomo Agostini (7 wins), Phil Read (3 wins), Bill Ivy (3 wins), Bob McIntyre, Gary Hocking (3 wins), Tom Herron (5 wins), Ron Haslam (5 wins), Jon Ekerold, and more recently Mick Grant, Wayne Gardner, Steve Hislop, Robert Dunlop (9 wins), Bruce Anstey and Carl Fogarty.

FIM World Championship rounds[edit]

A pink background indicates a round that was not part of the Grand Prix motorcycle racing championship.

Year Track 50 cc 125 cc 250 cc 350 cc 500 cc Report
Rider Manufacturer Rider Manufacturer Rider Manufacturer Rider Manufacturer Rider Manufacturer
1971 Dundrod Race cancelled [N 1] United Kingdom Ray McCullough Yamaha United Kingdom Peter Williams MZ Australia Jack Findlay Suzuki Report
1970 Dundrod Spain Ángel Nieto Derbi Australia Kel Carruthers Yamaha Italy Giacomo Agostini MV Agusta Italy Giacomo Agostini MV Agusta Report
1969 Dundrod Spain Ángel Nieto Derbi Australia Kel Carruthers Benelli Italy Giacomo Agostini MV Agusta Italy Giacomo Agostini MV Agusta Report
1968 Dundrod United Kingdom Bill Ivy Yamaha United Kingdom Bill Ivy Yamaha Italy Giacomo Agostini MV Agusta Italy Giacomo Agostini MV Agusta Report
1967 Dundrod United Kingdom Bill Ivy Yamaha United Kingdom Mike Hailwood Honda Italy Giacomo Agostini MV Agusta United Kingdom Mike Hailwood Honda Report
1966 Dundrod Switzerland Luigi Taveri Honda New Zealand Ginger Molloy Bultaco United Kingdom Mike Hailwood Honda United Kingdom Mike Hailwood Honda Report
1965 Dundrod Germany Ernst Degner Suzuki United Kingdom Phil Read Yamaha Czechoslovakia František Šťastný Jawa United Kingdom Dick Creith Norton Report
1964 Dundrod New Zealand Hugh Anderson Suzuki United Kingdom Phil Read Yamaha Rhodesia Jim Redman Honda United Kingdom Phil Read Norton Report
1963 Dundrod New Zealand Hugh Anderson Suzuki Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland Jim Redman Honda Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland Jim Redman Honda United Kingdom Mike Hailwood MV Agusta Report
1962 Dundrod Switzerland Luigi Taveri Honda United Kingdom Tommy Robb Honda Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland Jim Redman Honda United Kingdom Mike Hailwood MV Agusta Report
1961 Dundrod Japan Kunimitsu Takahashi Honda United Kingdom Bob McIntyre Honda Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland Gary Hocking MV Agusta Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland Gary Hocking MV Agusta Report
1960 Dundrod Italy Carlo Ubbiali MV Agusta Italy Carlo Ubbiali MV Agusta United Kingdom John Surtees MV Agusta United Kingdom John Hartle Norton Report
1959 Dundrod United Kingdom Mike Hailwood Ducati Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland Gary Hocking MZ United Kingdom John Surtees MV Agusta United Kingdom John Surtees MV Agusta Report
1958 Dundrod Italy Carlo Ubbiali MV Agusta Italy Tarquinio Provini MV Agusta United Kingdom John Surtees MV Agusta United Kingdom John Surtees MV Agusta Report
1957 Dundrod Switzerland Luigi Taveri MV Agusta United Kingdom Cecil Sandford FB-Mondial Australia Keith Campbell Moto Guzzi Italy Libero Liberati Gilera Report
1956 Dundrod Italy Carlo Ubbiali MV Agusta Switzerland Luigi Taveri MV Agusta United Kingdom Bill Lomas Moto Guzzi United Kingdom John Hartle Norton Report
1955 Dundrod United Kingdom John Surtees NSU United Kingdom Bill Lomas Moto Guzzi United Kingdom Bill Lomas Moto Guzzi Report
1954 Dundrod Austria Rupert Hollaus NSU Germany Werner Haas NSU Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland Ray Amm Norton Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland Ray Amm [N 2] Norton Report
1953 Dundrod Germany Werner Haas NSU Republic of Ireland Reg Armstrong NSU New Zealand Ken Mudford Norton Australia Ken Kavanagh Norton Report
1952 Clady United Kingdom Cecil Sandford MV Agusta United Kingdom Maurice Cann Moto Guzzi Australia Ken Kavanagh Norton United Kingdom Cromie McCandless Gilera Report
1951 Clady United Kingdom Cromie McCandless [N 3] FB-Mondial Italy Bruno Ruffo Moto Guzzi United Kingdom Geoff Duke Norton United Kingdom Geoff Duke Norton Report
1950 Clady Italy Carlo Ubbiali FB-Mondial United Kingdom Maurice Cann Moto Guzzi United Kingdom Bob Foster Velocette United Kingdom Geoff Duke Norton Report
1949 Clady United Kingdom Maurice Cann Moto Guzzi United Kingdom Freddie Frith Velocette United Kingdom Les Graham AJS Report
Footnotes
  1. ^ The 1971 50cc race was cancelled as the organisers had only received eight entries.[7]
  2. ^ The 1954 500cc race was stopped due to bad weather and the race was excluded from the world championship.[8]
  3. ^ The 1951 125cc race only had four competitors and the race was excluded from the world championship.[9]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The World's Fastest Road Race" Ulster Grand Prix Official Website 2010; retrieved August 2010
  2. ^ a b c Eddie McIlwaine (17 August 2008). "10 things you didn't know about the big event". Belfast Telegraph. p. 15. 
  3. ^ Ulster Grand Prix 2001 – Preview (retrieved 10 September 2006)
  4. ^ Victoria O'Hara (17 August 2008). "Revved up for race". Belfast Telegraph. p. 15. 
  5. ^ Pinchin, Gary (2010) "Bruce Anstey: Road racing’s reclusive hero", Motorcycle News, 18 August 2010, retrieved 2010-08-28
  6. ^ "Ulster Grand Prix: Anstey celebrates being fastest man on planet", Belfast Telegraph, 17 August 2010, retrieved 2010-08-28
  7. ^ "Les Championnats du Monde de Courses sur Route - L'année 1971" [World Championship Road Racing - 1971]. Racing Memory (in French). Archived from the original on 2 November 2011. Retrieved 2 November 2011. 
  8. ^ "Les Championnats du Monde de Courses sur Route - L'année 1954" [World Championship Road Racing - 1954]. Racing Memory (in French). Archived from the original on 2 November 2011. Retrieved 2 November 2011. 
  9. ^ "Les Championnats du Monde de Courses sur Route - L'année 1951" [World Championship Road Racing - 1951]. Racing Memory (in French). Archived from the original on 2 November 2011. Retrieved 2 November 2011. 

External links[edit]