HISTORY


Uel Duncan Racing is born from the love of the sport by Uel Duncan and the support of Uel Duncan by his long term sponsors and friends. This is the story of Uel Duncan Racing.


Uel Duncan began his motorcycle racing career in motocross like a surprising number of our Road Racers, Uel enjoyed a fair deal of success being crowned Donegal Champion two times. His antics on the open roads however was only going to achieve on thing and that was a premature departure from this life. So under growing pressure from his brothers and friends he decided to try his hand at road racing. At least everyone would be travelling in the same direction.


Uel's first road race was at Skerries in 1996, having competed in the necessary short circuit races to get his "roads" licence. That first race might not have inspired Uel to think this was the sport for him, being as he was lapped and finishing in the lower order, but Donegal people are made of sterner stuff than many and he took in the Mid Antrim 150, and Fore races that year vowing to do better next time.

Uel equipped himself with a new Honda CBR600 for the 1997 season, once again contesting the Irish Road Race Support Championship. He proved to be intensely competitive and won his first race at the infamous Temple circuit and he became a regular top six finisher. 1997 was also Uel's first visit to the Isle of Man for the Manx Grand Prix, were he finished sixth in the Newcomers race. It was at the Manx that Uel struck up a relationship with David Wood. A relationship that has grown into a deep friendship over the intervening years as Uel was taken under David's ( Honda ) wing and found himself as a Team Wood rider together with the best riders in Ireland. Dennis McCullough, Rikky Mitchell, James Courtney, Derek Young, Richard Britton, Adrian Archibald and of course Joey and Robert Dunlop. An awesome prospect for a quite man from Donegal.

At the end of the 97 season, Uel bought Rikki Mitchells Honda CBR600 and set about preparing for 1998. The 98 season again saw Uel in the Support Championship but this time he was better prepared machinery wise than before with the ex Rikki Mitchell machine at a different level of race preparation than Uel's own bike had been the year before. More importantly, Uel was better prepared mentally for what lay ahead, this mostly due to David Wood and the way he educates his riders in total self belief.

Uel took David's advice and the advice and support of the other Team Wood riders as he raised his game to end up being a major player in the Support Championship. Sidelined at Cookstown with a holed radiator, Uel then narrowly missed out on a win at Tandragee but bounced back with a superb win at the Dundrod 150. Uel followed up those results with second places at Skerries and Dundalk and finished off the season with a win at Killalane. On the short circuits, an area were Uel had not shone before also saw big improvements with Uel never finishing out of the top four in the Support races. At the Manx Grand Prix on James Courtney's Honda CBR600, Uel finished twelfth in both the Junior and Senior races.

The teams visit to the Manx had some interesting "off track" moments which wound up with us changing accommodation. It was probably the best thing that could have happened as our new Landlords proved to be two of the most generous people we could have met. John & Boo Hockney have become sponsors and very close friends with Uel and the rest of us. Another solid friendship born.

In the Senior Championships, Uel was now becoming a regular top ten finisher. The next step on the ladder would take Uel from the Support Classes and into direct competition with the best pure Road Racers in the World.

Following Uel's success in 1998, he started to build a good support base at home in Donegal. Some of the promises were met and some were not. So for the 1999 season Uel got support from a new source. Allstar Motorsport already involved with James Courtney and Ryan Rainey stepped in to fulfil the promises broken by less trustworthy would be backers. For the first time Uel would begin the season armed with both Regal and Supersport ( tuned ) Honda CBR600's, and another deep friendship was born.

1999 was a hard season with Uel up against some of the toughest riders the Irish Road Racing scene had witnessed. It must be a daunting thought, knowing that you can't virtually guarantee at least one good result during the day and it was going to be tough getting closer to the top !

Uel has always been his own biggest critic and the 99 season caused him to be far too hard on himself. At his debut for the North West 200, Uel was rather disappointed to finish seventeenth in the Regal 600 race and nineteenth and twentieth in the two Superbike races, but he was the first 600cc machine to finish in both of the Superbike races and he had just witnessed his Regal spec machine trashed by the teams guest second rider, Jun Maeda, who had come all the way from Japan. Obviously Jun never even got a race and we were left to re build the Regal bike for it's next outing.

At the Southern 100 races on the Isle of Man, Uel was involved together with his good friend Richard Britton in a horrific accident which claimed two lives and decimated the field. Uel was lucky, very lucky but this time it was the tuned 600 that was wrecked, more bills ! Uel showed such courage and was out the next day and won the Supersport 600 class in a combined Superbike / Supersport race in which he finished fourth overall. Uel didn't feel he had won, but the record books will always say he did ! Uel then finished eighth in the Superbike race and cracked the 100 mph lap on the trusty Regal bike which had been rushed over to the Island from Donegal ( but that's another story ).

After the Southern 100 the team stayed on to compete in the Jurby Road Races. In both the Unlimited cc races Uel finished in third place and then he won the Supersport 600 in style taking race and lap records in the process. He also beat Richard ( Milky ) Quayle which we hoped would give Uel a psychological advantage over Quayle who was looking like one of the favourites for Manx Grand Prix honours later in the year.

At the Ulster Grand Prix Uel finished tenth in the Regal 600 race and fourteenth in the Superbike race, his mind well and truly on the Manx GP.

On Uel's return to the Isle of Man, practice concluded with Uel posting the fastest lap of practice week in the final session giving the competition something to think about over the weekend. On the Wednesday Uel fired the Allstar Honda off the line in determined mood. By Ramsey on lap one it was looking like a two horse race. Milky Quayle and Uel battled it out around the mountain course, but on lap two Uel had taken a slim lead then crashed at Glen Helen while overtaking a slower rider. He played down his injuries and was back out in the Senior but he had retire on again the second lap, his injuries from the Junior race making controlling the bike too dangerous.
Consistent points scoring during the year saw Uel finish sixth in both the 600cc and Senior Road Race Championships and tenth in the Regal title chase.

The 2000 season arrived with another new challenge, in the form of a Honda CBR954 Fireblade from a new sponsor Gareth Robinson under the Robinson Bros Concrete Products banner, Gareth had known Uel from their Motocross days and another great partnership was re-united.

A detailed account of Uel's 2000 season is available here on Roadracers. As is stated on Roadracers, Uel's accident, while it tragically ended Uel's racing career at point were he was becoming a true front runner. It did not dent his enthusiasm and love for the sport and it ended a chapter not the story. Now we begin the new chapter here on the Uel Duncan Racing web site.