The cancellation of the Ulster Trophy Race

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On August 7th we should normally have had the enjoyable races at Ulster organised by the Ulster A.C. over the Ballyclaire circuit. More news is now to hand as to why the fixture was cancelled. At a Special General Meeting of the organising Club, held on April 15th last, the Council recommended by a majority of one vote, that the race should be run in 1948 on the Ballyclaire circuit, provided certain concessions in spectator control could be obtained from the R.A.C.

At the meeting H. A. Bryson spoke against the race, arguing that the difficulties were too great to be overcome. A. McVicker was in favour of the race being held, if areas on the Lindsay’s Corner-McAdoo’s Leg were opened to spectators in return for prohibiting them from below the stand on the Ballyrobert-Palatine Straight. The Hon. Sec. explained how such concessions might be obtained and thought these should appeal to the R.A.C. more than merely keeping spectators 10 yards back from the course. H. J. Catchpole felt that guarantors would be called upon to bear a loss on the 1948 race and would then not be keen to back a more important race in 1949. He hoped that if the Race Area Act were passed in 1949 a great many of the Club’s financial difficulties would be removed, and, therefore, was in favour of concentrating on Dundrod next year. J. L. Dowling thought the Ministry of Finance likely to extract a much greater toll in respect of Entertainment Duty this year than in 1947 should the Ulster race be held.

Various members discussed detail matters, and F. M. Heyn  thought that, based on his experience a obtaining finance for the 1947 race, it would be better not to make any appeal in 1948 but to concentrate on the big event in 1949.

C. E. Robb thought members would be quite content with sprints and trials for the coming year, as did G. W. McCrea.  C. F. C. Lindsay and A. R. Scott countered this by stressing the value of continuity and thought financial and R.A.C. objections could be overcome. W. A. McMaster compared the situation to that obtaining in 1939 when the Ulster Motor-Cycle Club were split on the advisability of running their G. P. and, thinking of that race, felt the Ulster A.C. could not afford to run the race this year.

Finally, the following proposition was put: “That in the event of the R.A.C. agreeing to acceptable modifications of the present spectator-control requirements the Council should be at liberty to promote a race.”   A secret ballot lost this motion by 38 to 36. Without embellishing the foregoing, it is a reflection of the need to obtain financial support and a good “gate,” and to be able adequately to ensure the safety of spectators, before a race can be contemplated.