Application for funding through the State government’s regional infrastructure program could determine whether the Troy Bayliss Classic returns to Taree Motor Cycle's Old Boar Roadside Circuit next year.
Taree Motor Cycle Club president Craig Nelson said the application has been lodged, but warned it is a lengthy process. If successful it will enable the club to improve facilities at the circuit, which will make the event more economically viable to stage.
He added the improvements would be permanent and would be for the ongoing benefit of the club and the sport. Mr Nelson fell short of saying the funding will determine whether the classic does return next January, but he did say a successful application would make the task much easier.
The Bayliss Classic was inaugurated in 2013 and was the biggest event on the Manning’s sporting calendar. However, a lower-than-expected crowd at last year’s event was among the reasons promoter, Troy Bayliss, decided to suspend the 2018 program, citing increasing costs. Bayliss, who started his stellar career riding for the Taree club as a junior, said he will not take the classic to another venue.
Mr Nelson said he has been talking regularly to Bayliss about relaunching the classic next January.
“We’re still positive...but there’s no guarantee,’’ he said.
Mr Nelson said the club is also looking for other avenues to fund the overseas riders who take part in the classic. American Jared Mees won the classic in 2015 and 2017 and was well placed in 2016 before the program was curtailed out. The 2016 wash out had ramifications on the 2017 classic and in turn, the decision not to run the classic this year. The weather forecast leading into last year’s event wasn’t favourable and even though it turned out fine, the crowd was down. It was estimated at around 3500, with more than 6000 packing into the complex in previous years.
Mr Nelson said the club will press ahead with plans to hold a meeting to determine the support riders for the classic. This will be held in either September or October.
He confirmed it is the intention to run the classic every second year from 2019, believing this is more manageable.
“But at the moment we’re just working to get the classic back in 2019,’’ he added.