THE Armoy Motorcycle Racing Club has just confirmed that a deal has been struck with major UK television channel, Channel 4, for a one hour highlights programme of the Armoy Road Races which will be aired in August 2014, just two weeks after the races.
Channel 4, already renowned for its coverage of motorsport, sees the thrill of real road racing as a great fit for their programming and with their on demand service, 4oD, the Armoy “Race of Legends” will now reach a wider audience while highlighting the heritage of motorcycle road racing in Ireland.
Local man, Graham Little will present the coverage. Graham is a well-known sports presenter who covered road racing during his time at UTV and Sky Sports and was most recently involved in the production of the BBC's Moto GP coverage.
He said, "This is great news for Armoy Road Races and Channel 4 alike. With the recent Guy Martin 'Speed' series and Channel 4's involvement in Motorsport this is a great addition to their programming. I'm personally delighted to be involved in the programme and with the Armoy Club, who have worked tirelessly to promote real road racing as a premier sports event. “The support that local road racing has is quite extraordinary, and with the recent success of the Dunlop's road racing film, 'Road', this UK-wide coverage of the Armoy Road Races serves to ensure that fans will get what they deserve - great coverage of great races!"
Chairman of the Armoy Motorcycle Road Racing Club, William Munnis, said, “As you can imagine the Club is just over the moon. We’ve been working dilligently over the last number of years to bring the Armoy Road Races to as many people as possible. “This is a fantastic opportunity and I’d like to thank Channel 4 for seeing the Armoy Road Races as a great event which will provide many existing and potential new fans with the chance to view the show on a mainstream, terrestial channel, which the whole of the UK has access to live and additionally through on demand services.
“This deal would not have been struck without the additional assistance of Tourism Ireland. The fact that NITB and Tourism Ireland can work together and bring international quality events to this part of the world is just fantastic. They ensure events like the Armoy Road Races are first of all funded and then capitalised upon, allowing our landscape to be showcased in Great Britain and beyond.
“The Club and I are extremely grateful for their help which will ensure that road racing, Armoy and all those other hidden gems located around the Causeway Coastal Route, are shown to a much wider audience.” “Television coverage has become cruical in promoting our sport and ensuring our local fans and Channel 4’s motorsport fans will be able to experience all the action from the Armoy Races on Channel 4 on Saturday, 9th August 2014 from 7am to 8am, and then on 4OD is a major boost.”
Aubrey Irwin, Tourism Ireland’s Head of Nothern Ireland, “I am delighted, along with NITB, to be able to support the Armoy Road Races. I am confident that this programme will encourage more to come and see this beautiful part of Ireland.
“This part of Northern Ireland is rooted in real road racing heritage. The Armoy Armada, Joey Dunlop, Jim Dunlop, Mervyn Robinson and Frank Kennedy are renowned throughtout the world. Part of their legacy lives on through these races and the Armoy Club has done a terrific job to date.
“I believe the prospect of this Channel 4 show will greatly enhance this event and will only serve to encourage many from far and wide to not only come and see the fantastic road racing but to visit the beautiful Causeway Coast, the famous Game of Thrones ‘Dark Hedges’ and of course the races themselves next year. “Given the recent success of the Giro d”Italia it is important that we continue to build on our great sporting heritage – this is great news for all!”
Clerk of the Course at the Armoy Road Races, Bill Kennedy concluded, “It is just terrific for the Club, road racers, sponsors and fans alike that the Armoy Road Races and the RiverRidge Recycling ‘Race of the Legends’ can be watched on Channel 4 just two weeks after the races.
“I’ve been told that Chris Kinley and Jeremy McWilliams have agreed to be commentators and with some of the top road racers set to come to Armoy everything is falling into place - the way it should do!”
Armoy Road Races are sponsored by the Northern Ireland Tourist Board and Moyle District Council's Tourism Events Fund.
Bike Week 2014 is from 20th – 26th July. For more information on the RiverRidge Recycling’s ‘Race of the Legends’ visit www.amrrc.com or search for ‘AMRRC’ on Facebook and join the official fan page. You can also follow us on twitter at @ArmoyRoadRaces.