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Historic motorsport festival gears up for return to Cultra

Pictured are front, from left: Porsche Centre Belfast Centre Principal, Gerry Mulholland, Mayor of Ards and North Down, Jennifer Gilmour, Chief Executive of National Museums NI, Kathryn Thomson. Back, from left: competitor David Gomes (Jaguar XK 120), TSCC NI representative Paul Robinson (Porsche Centre Belfast’s Porsche Taycan) and competitor Tim Woodside (Pilbeam MP82) who broke the hill record at the 2023 event.

Three people, including a lady Mayor, standing in front of a manor house with a vintage car, new Porsche care and a race car parked outside with three other people standing at those.
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First run in 1905, the prestigious Cultra Hillclimb is one of the world’s oldest speed hill climbs and it’s set to return on Saturday 8th June 2024 to the Ulster Transport Museum, taking in the grounds around Cultra Manor at the nearby Ulster Folk Museum and is generously supported once again by Porsche Centre Belfast.

Organised by the Thoroughbred Sports Car Club of Northern Ireland (TSCC NI), who reignited the event twenty-four years ago, around 100 drivers will don their race suits and helmets to charge up the 640-metre-long course against the clock in the most eclectic array of machinery. 

Last year’s winner, Tim Woodside, who smashed the long-standing hill record on what was a glorious day, looks set to debut his recently acquired Gould GR55. Powered by a high-revving V6 racing engine, Tim will bring a lot more noise to the event this year, with more speed being the aim.

A mix of other pedigree racing machines will compete against an array of vintage, classic and modern road cars spanning across several racing categories. Some of them are driven daily, some with Ards Tourist Trophy history, the rest enjoyed as and when their owners get the chance.

Tickets for the one-day event, held from 9am to 6pm on Saturday 8th June 2024, are now available via the Ulster Transport Museum and your ticket includes admission to the museum on the day.

The home of NI transport history, this year, the event will take in the Ulster Transport Museum experience, with the famous Cultra hill climb taking place around Cultra Manor on the grounds of the Ulster Folk Museum right beside the Transport Museum, as with tradition.

Alongside the timed competition on the hill, TSCC NI and Porsche Centre Belfast will have vintage, classic and modern cars on static display at Cultra Manor, including gems from the Ulster Transport Museum collection that will be released from Ulster Transport Museum’s private stores, especially for this event.

As well as greatly improved parking for this year’s event, there's a new Green Ticket this year, which will get you 20% off event tickets if you travel to the event by train or bus.

TSCC NI secretary, Kevin McNamee commented:

 “The 2023 Cultra Motorsport Festival was a great success and the club has been working hard with our Ulster Transport Museum and Porsche Centre Belfast partners to make this year an even better family day out.

“Set in the beautiful museum grounds in addition to the famous hill climb, with everything from vintage sports cars to single-seater racing cars going up the hill right in front of you, there will be things to keep all the family entertained including static displays, circus performers, face painting and live music at lunchtime.

“It is called a festival for a good reason - come and join the party.”

Talking of their continuing support, Porsche Centre Belfast’s Centre Principal, Gerry Mulholland stated:

“Porsche Centre Belfast is once again delighted to be partnering with the Cultra Motorsport Festival for 2024 after the successful re-emergence of this historical event last year.  The ambition for the event grows with each year, and we are proud to support the organising teams at TSCC and the Museum to ensure it becomes a date in the dairy for many years to come.  

“After last year’s 75th anniversary celebrations for Porsche globally, this year is just as significant with the largest transformation of the Porsche range ever.  Our all-electric Porsche models grow with the launch of the electric Macan alongside an improved and enhanced Taycan, while our iconic 911 sees a mid-generation refresh in the second half of the year.

“We encourage you to get up close and personal to our extensive display of current Porsche models, and hope you all have an enjoyable day.”

Mayor of Ards and North Down, Jennifer Gilmour, added: 

“The Cultra Motorsport Festival will be a fabulous event for all the family. It is an exciting day out and one that entices people to our borough from all around the country. It will be a great spectacle and I wish everyone a safe and enjoyable event."

Kathryn Thomson, Chief Executive of National Museums NI, said: 

“Cultra Motorsport Festival speaks to Northern Ireland’s continued passion for competitive motorsport and our heritage when it comes to mechanical innovation and transport history. Our two Cultra-based museums have such unique history and connection to this event for those very reasons. The grounds of the Ulster Folk Museum is home to the famous Cultra Hill Climb and it’s at the Ulster Transport Museum where we celebrate our history of invention, a spirit of innovation and explore how our lives and communities have always been in motion.

“The event this year, now taking place at the Ulster Transport Museum, will once again be an exciting motorsport experience for car enthusiasts and families. it's a unique opportunity for visitors of all ages to gather across our two museums in Cultra where shared passion meets tradition.”

The Transport Museum will open earlier and stay open later than usual to allow spectators to visit the museum before or after the races. In between races, circus performers, face painting, music and family activities will keep the crowd entertained. Book tickets at

Photo credit: Graham Baalham-Curry