Tandragee 100 2013 – Information for Tourists

The Tandragee 100 is the largest National Motorcycle Road Racing Event in Northern Ireland. It is held early in the racing season, usually in the first weekend in May, and the circuit is located in County Armagh between Tandragee, Markethill and Armagh.

It attracts approximately 160 competitors which equates to approximately 300 entries from around the globe.  Spectators at the event number in excess of 10,000 and television audiences are also in the thousands.

The first Tandragee 100 took place on Saturday 19th April 1958 and has been one of the most popular events on the annual calendar, always attracting top-class entries and huge spectator attendances.  It was, on that first day, a 100-mile handicap race (thus the name) and over the 53 years it has run (with the exception of 1972, 2001 & 2010 when it was cancelled) it has evolved into the prestige event it is today.

It’s now a 2-day event with practicing on day 1 and racing on day 2.  There are various classes ranging from the support classes, the smaller 125cc bikes, through to the larger 1000cc bikes.  It’s a culturally inclusive event in that all types of people from differing countries, cultures and walks of life are involved as competitors, officials or spectators many of whom stay overnight in the local area.  The North Armagh Motorcycle & Car Club Ltd, which is affiliated to its governing body The Motor Cycle Union of Ireland (Ulster Centre), co-ordinates approximately 800 volunteers to run the event.

There is a long tradition of sporting culture in Northern Ireland, not least of motorcycling.  Promoted by the North Armagh Motorcycle & Car Club Ltd, the Tandragee 100 has been held on the same course between Markethill and Tandragee in the shallow hills of County Armagh since 1958 and has now developed into the best National Road Race in Ireland, with winners that include all the big names from Creith to Farquhar, two generations of Dunlops, as well as County Armagh’s local motorcycling hero Philip McCallen.  It has been called a ‘mini TT’ by top riders with its mix of flat out blasts, narrow technical bumpy sections such as Cooley Hill Road, its fast sweeping bends and the 180 mph Cabragh Straight – the 5.3 mile course is a test of road racing unmatched by other national courses. It offers riders the chance to really ‘set up’ their bike for the NW200 or the TT.

This year, six-times World Champion and TT Legend Jim Redman will be taking part in the Parade Lap at the start of the event on the Saturday.

On Friday 2nd May 2014 the public roads that make up the course are closed from 3.30pm; practice starts at 4.00pm and the roads open again at 9.30pm.  On Saturday 3rd May 2014 the roads close from 10.00am; racing starts at 11.00am and the roads open again at 7.00pm.  This year we will have the following 8 separate races:-

A Open Race (201 –1010cc ) Non Championship 6 laps
B Junior Support Race (201/400/650cc/Supertwin machines) (Irish/Ulster Championship) 5 laps
C Supersport Race  (Irish/Ulster Championship) 6 laps
D Classic Race (a) up to 250cc (b) 251-350cc (c) 351-1000cc (Irish/Ulster Championship Race) 5 laps
E Lightweight 125cc Race/450cc Singles /SS400* (Irish/Ulster Championship) 5 laps
F Senior Support Race (401-750cc machines excluding 650cc/Supertwins) (Irish/Ulster Championship Race) 5 laps
G 250GP* & 650cc Twins* (Irish/Ulster Championship) 5 laps
H Senior Open Race “Tandragee 100 Race” (Irish/Ulster Championship) 7 laps

Entry into the race area is free, however, the Club do ask spectators for a donation (however big or small) and to buy a Race Programme which costs £10 Stg.  Access to grandstands costs £2 Stg on Friday and £5 Stg on Saturday.  Parking in one of the official car parks is £2 Stg for the entire day and camping at the back of the paddock is free of charge.  Food stalls are available in the paddock and various locations around the course on the Saturday.  Toilets are also provided around the course.  There is a map of spectator facilities available on our website www.tandragee100.co.uk.

The event takes place on a Bank Holiday weekend and there are many tourist attractions in the Armagh area – check out the Visit Armagh website – www.visitarmagh.co.uk and the Discover Craigavon website – www.discovercraigavon.com.

Why not stay in Northern Ireland a while longer and check out the North Coast – check out the website – www.northcoastni.com or visit the NW200 – www.northwest200.org.

All of the above websites include accommodation and travel links.