A lot of behind-the-scenes negotiations took place over the off-season to secure the future of the race. Meetings were held with World Championship promoters Youthstream and also various partners on the Island to ensure that Gore-basin remained part of the programme for 2005. Now under new direction, the Grand Prix can build on the recognition and achievement registered during 2004.
“There were a lot of issues that needed to be worked out in order to confirm this year’s race,” remarked Mark Chamberlain of 4E. “The local council and people on the Island are top priority and the land owner has been a great help. Certain aspects of the development at the venue weren’t handled in the correct manner by the previous promoter and this is something we are keen to avoid. It’s important to rebuild trust and relationships with a variety of very important aspects in running a race of this magnitude.”
The Grand Prix of England will be one of two races held in the UK in 2005 in what is a major boost for off-road motorcycle racing. The other meeting will be held at Matchams Park on June 5th; a date initially reserved for the Isle of Wight.
“The date change makes sense for us,” continued Chamberlain. “Firstly it is a bank holiday weekend and secondly it gives us the time needed to make sure we are moving forward from last year. Everyone knows what a great track we have, especially with Johnny Douglas Hamilton again lending his expert touch, and this factor is our major advantage and the reason why 4E is pushing ahead so strongly with this project. We have a couple of people helping us from the ashes of the ’04 GP such as Johnny and Julie Coyne and we expect everything to run smoothly with their expertise. There were some off-track issues last year that can and will be improved to make it an even more enjoyable weekend for all.”
The FIM and Youthstream are expected to release an updated schedule this week and August 28th is now an essential date for off-road motorcycle fans. The promoters are steadily working on a programme of activities that will further bolster the two day event.
Info MxPress – Photo copyright A.Hodgkinson