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Cookstown 100 gets a very cautious green light for September date



In front: Derek McGee leads at last year's Cookstown 100

In front: Derek McGee leads at last year's Cookstown 100

In front: Derek McGee leads at last year's Cookstown 100

Cookstown and District Motorcycle Club directors have agreed that, after discussions with various organisations, they will run the Cookstown 100 on September 11 and 12 with various restrictions in place.

The club has taken the decision to run the meeting as a closed event, with restricted spectator numbers, to accommodate social distancing regulations, allowing limited numbers at vantage points around the 2.1 mile Orritor course.

The club hope this will be achieved by an on-line booking system.

The club said in a statement: "We as a club would prefer to have our event run as normal, but in these trying times we have to make various decisions and changes at least to try and bring some road racing for the riders and a limited number of spectators. However, we will continue to work with various organisations and keep the public up to date with any decisions made."

Competitors will be aware that their entry for the scheduled running of the event last month will carry forward to September and for anyone wishing to send an entry the closing date will be July 18.

This is a tough decision by the Cookstown Club to continue to prepare for what looks like being the first and possibly only road race of 2020 as demand from a race-starved public will far outweigh the number of wristbands that will be made available.

One scenario that could be looked at is to stream the event live on the internet.

It will be interesting to see the reaction from the governing body of the sport to the Cookstown Club's intentions, the one big question being whether cross-channel competitors will be allowed to travel to the event under the current Covid-19 guidelines.

I, for one, want to see the action recommence on the roads, but not at any cost. The bottom line is racing can only return when it has been deemed safe to do so by the authorities, social distancing can be adhered to and we must follow the Assembly guidelines by not putting any NHS staff or hospital under undue pressure through potential racing incidents.

Hopefully the restrictions will have been eased sufficiently to allow the oldest road race in Ireland - first run in 1922 - to fulfill all the restriction rules allowing their race to proceed in September.

Belfast Telegraph