ULSTER GP: Organisers planning changes to schedule in 2018

Action from year's record-breaking MCE Ulster Grand Prix, where Dean Harrison raised the outright lap record to 134.369mph.
Action from year's record-breaking MCE Ulster Grand Prix, where Dean Harrison raised the outright lap record to 134.369mph.

A number of changes will be introduced to the schedule at next year’s MCE Ulster Grand Prix.

On Monday, the organisers confirmed that the world’s fastest road race would take place between August 5-11 in 2018.

Practice sessions will be held on Wednesday, August 8 and on Thursday morning, August 9.

Racing will also take place on Thursday afternoon ahead of the feature bill on Saturday, August 11.

Clerk of the Course, Noel Johnston, said an announcement regarding new plans for the international road race next year will be made on October 2.

“August 2017 saw some spectacular racing at Dundrod, with Peter Hickman scooping a hat-trick of wins and the lap record around the 7.4-mile circuit broken three times in one week, eventually being secured by Silicone Engineering Kawasaki rider Dean Harrison at 134.614mph,” he said.

“The early indications are that we drew a bigger, and more international audience at the event than ever before, which we’re delighted about. The challenge for us is to keep raising the bar year on year to ensure those people keep coming back to the event.

“Despite the high quality of the racing and the competitors this year, there’s always room for improvement and that’s why we’re working hard behind the scenes to make a few changes to our schedule for next year,” Johnston added.

“I’m not yet in a position to confirm what we will be doing differently, but watch out for an announcement on 2nd October.”

The 2018 dates are subject to formal agreement by the Motor Cycle Union of Ireland (UC), which will be confirmed at their upcoming inter centre conference.