NORTHERN Ireland will host a round of the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship from 2019.
The race will be held at as-yet-unbuilt Lake Torrent Circuit in Coalisland, County Tyrone.
A three-year agreement has been signed between track developer Manna Developments and Dorna WSBK Organization, and Dorna representatives, including Executive Director Daniel Carrera, reportedly visited the site yesterday.
Commenting on the new circuit, Carrera said: ‘We are delighted to be adding Northern Ireland as a destination for the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship, Lake Torrent circuit is a fantastic project that will deliver a high-class facility for competitors and visitors.
‘We are proud that Manna Developments and Mid ulster representatives have chosen WorldSBK as their top event for the international promotion of the circuit and region. We know that the proper management of this kind of facility could provide the local community with new opportunities through business, job creation, leisure and tourism.
‘With the large tradition and culture in motorcycling in Northern Ireland, I am sure that this event could become a reference in our Championship in the near future”
Just 40 minutes away from Belfast, the new 2.2-mile circuit has been designed by Driven International on 163 acres of former clay pits. It will feature 12 corners with a width of 12m to 15m and elevations of up to 30m.
Manna Developments hopes the track will regenerate the area and create new jobs in the sectors of Business, Engineering and Leisure. When work begins this year, it will create an estimated 700 jobs during the 18-month construction phase. In the long term, a further 90 retail and business units are planned around the circuit, bringing a further financial boost to the area.
The state of the art circuit will offer fans the full race weekend experience, David Henderson of Manna Developments said.
‘For the past 15 years it has been a dream of mine to build a motor racing circuit that incorporates the feel of the road with the safety of an international standard track – and also to bring the World Superbike Championship to Northern Ireland,’ he commented.
‘Having finally identified the perfect location and achieved planning permission last year, today sees the completion of that dream and is a day that will only be topped when we see up to 30,000 spectators converge in Coalisland for the first WorldSBK racing event in Northern Ireland. They really don’t come much bigger than this.’
‘This is a historic milestone for the town of Coalisland, the county of Tyrone and indeed for the whole of Northern Ireland as we celebrate the realisation of our vision to create an internationally recognised motorsport arena which will become a venue for regional, national and international competitions for many years to come.’