BTC Norlin Racing boss Richard Irwin is hoping to bring the British Touring Car Championship to Northern Ireland as soon as two years time.
Speaking to local press at Belfast Motorsport Show, Irwin said the city would be perfect for a street circuit, and would bring more than 100,000 people into the city.
Currently, the BTCC only leaves England for one round: Knockhill in Scotland. The calendar, which has remained unchanged for a number of years, also doesn’t feature any street circuits, making Irwin’s Belfast race a unique round.
“There hasn’t been a race staged here in Belfast, and we would like to see that happen,” Irwin said.
“They do one race in Scotland at Knockhill, but the rest are in England. So we really need a race held over here to capture people’s imagination.
“A lot of people travel across from Northern Ireland to watch the racing and once you do you will be captivated.
“It would attract over 100,000 people to the city, plus there are over two million people who watch it online and on television.
“So it is one thing that I will be pushing for over the next couple of years. I am quite a pushy person once I get an idea.”
As a street circuit, there would be no requirement for a new track to be built, something which has proved problematic in other locations recently. But it would involve shutting down the city for the event. Irwin doesn’t see that as a problem.
“It is about concrete and fencing, so we wouldn’t need to build a circuit or anything like that,” he said.
“It would involve shutting down the city, but the amount of people you bring in, and the layout of Belfast, is perfect for racing these cars.
“I would love the race part of the British Touring Car Championship series so that it is an annual event, similar to Knockhill in Scotland.
“It is ambitious but it is something I firmly believe in.”
Feature image credit: Caroline Rhea