TT insurance soars but ‘we can handle it’ says Gov

| | TT and Roads
Picture: Impact Images

While road racing in Ireland faces an uncertain future due to massive insurance costs, the Isle of Man is exuding confidence despite facing a bill of £930,000 for all their events this year - an increase of 18%.

Since the announcement by the Motor Cycle Union of Ireland (Ulster) that all road racing would be cancelled due to a virtual doubling of insurance fees to a figure circa £410,000, huge efforts to raise funds have been made via crowd funding. And while there is a degree of confidence that the North West 200, with it’s massive effect on tourism in the Portrush area, may raise enough via it’s 90,000 audience, sponsors and the Northern Ireland Tourist Authority, there has been an ominous silence from elsewhere.

On the other hand, the newly appointed Isle of Man Enterprise Minister Tim Johnston did not take long to announce that the 18% increase to the eye watering figure of £930,000 covering all events including the TT was within the Government’s means. Answering a question in Tynwald he replied: “I am pleased to confirm that the insurance cover for the TT and other motorcycle racing events, scheduled to be held in the Isle of Man in 2023, is in place.

“The cover is provided to the race organiser by a permit issue by the Auto Cycle Union, the governing body for motorcycle sports in the UK and the Isle of Man,” he went on adding: “I appreciate that the recent news emanating from Northern Ireland regarding from road racing will have been of concern for TT fans, local residents and businesses. Increasing costs are a challenge for all motorsport events and such challenges are amongst the many reasons why the department has a clear plan in place to continue to grow and diversify the audience for the TT, in turn generating additional income and broader exchequer benefit to ensure the long term sustainability of the event.”

On plans for the future, ie 2024, he referred to increasingly high costs and the need to increase revenues saying there were “ongoing discussions.” And on the potential effect of the Northern Ireland situation he said it was likely to be minimal as few TT teams and competitors took part in their national level events and, if anything, would concentrate more on the UK and Europe but there might be some impact at the Southern 100 and the Manx.