Road racing is set to return to Scarborough’s famous Oliver’s Mount circuit this summer, with the Barry Sheene Classic and Gold Cup events being sanctioned around the 2.43 mile public roads course.
Last year the Auto 66 club was forced to cancel racing at the historic venue, with safety at the narrow parkland course a concern. A new club, Two Four Three Road Racing Association, will take over the running of the event, alongside a new company set up by motorcycle racing veterans Mick Grant and Eddie Roberts.
“Behind the scenes there’s been months and months of planning. There are a huge number of people I need to thank, and finally we can confirm road racing is set to return to Oliver’s Mount,” said Roberts, a Grand Prix and TT racer in the 1970s, as well as a co-owner of the Mallory Park circuit in Leicestershire. “We are working side-by-side with the ACU (Auto Cycle Union, the sport’s governing body) and work is already underway to improve the safety of the track for both for riders and spectators. We know it’s a huge task to undertake, but we are 100% confident racing will take place at Oliver’s Mount this year.”
Grant, a seven times Isle of Man TT winner and multiple winner at Oliver’s Mount added “I watched my first road race at Oliver’s Mount in short pants back in the early 1950s and it ignited my passion for racing. We couldn’t let this historic track crumble into the history books. We need road racing in England, it’s one of the finest tracks in the world; it’s unique. I can’t wait to hear and witness classic and modern bikes race around this demanding track once again. Today is an emotional and significant day.”
Oliver’s Mount is the only real road racing track in England. It opened in 1946 and is famous for attracting big names, such as Barry Sheene and Giacomo Agostini, to non-championship races in its 1970s heyday. In recent years, the seaside town has welcomed big name TT stars like John McGuinness and Guy Martin, but a controversial Gold Cup meeting in September 2017, which saw numerous spectators injured, threw the viability of the circuit into doubt.
Scarborough Borough Council’s Leader, Derek Bastiman, confirmed that work is set to take place to improve safety at the circuit, adding: “This is really exciting news and I am delighted that Eddie and Mick are committed to delivering a bright and exciting future for motorcycle racing at Oliver’s Mount. I am particularly impressed with their proposals for bringing the circuit in line with the stringent safety requirements set out by the ACU, their passion for the circuit’s unique character and setting and also their heartfelt commitment to attracting a new generation of spectators to the sport.”
The return of racing to Oliver’s Mount has the backing of local businesses, as it attracts tens of thousands of visitors to the North Yorkshire town each year. “Racing at Oliver’s Mount has always been an important part of the Yorkshire Coast’s visitor economy,” added Martin Smith, from the Borough Council. “Today’s fantastic news means that role is set to continue and prosper. Many tourism businesses have been asking me for months when will racing will return to Oliver’s Mount so I’m very pleased that I can finally say 2019 for certain!”
Racing will resume with the Barry Sheene Classic taking place on 27 and 28 July, with the blue riband Gold Cup held from 27 to 29 September.