David ‘Davy’ Wood (c.1947-2004), was a former Irish motor cycle racer and long standing manager of world champion motorcyclist William Joseph ‘Joey’ Dunlop, MBE, OBE (1952-2000). Wood’s racing career began in the 1960s and by 1980 was the Irish 200cc champion. In 1981 Wood had moved to a managerial role and together with Johnny Rea (motor cycle racer), he secured a riding contract with Honda for Joey Dunlop. Wood became Dunlop’s official manager, witnessing his twenty-six Isle of Man TT (Tourist Trophy) wins, twenty-four Ulster Grand Prix wins and five consecutive TT Formula One world titles.
Wood had a strong association with the Isle of Man, bringing over many talented road racers from Northern and Southern Ireland to compete in the TT and Manx Grand Prix (MGP); in 1998 Wood was guest of honour at the MGP. Riders associated with Wood include Phillip McCallen (b.1964), Ricky Mitchell, Darran Lindsay (1971-2006), Adrian Archibald (b.1969), Richard Britton (1970-2005) and Australian James Courtney (b.1980). Wood introduced and secured some of the biggest sponsorship deals to Ireland’s Motorcycle Sport Governing body of Road Racing – the MCUI (UC): Motor Cycle Union of Ireland (Ulster Centre). Deals included big names such as Embassy, Superkings and Lambert & Butler. Wood also secured deals to supply riders with equipment such as Arai Helmets, exhaust systems, oil products, knee sliders, racing suits and energy drinks.
For many years he was the chairman of the Motorcycle Road Racing Club of Ireland and was a constant ambassador for the sport. Wood passed away in 2004 and in his memory the Motorcycle Road Racing Club annually awards a David Wood Scholarship to the most promising rider. Since September 2014 a Short Circuit Championship event has taken place at Bishopscourt Racing Circuit, Northern Ireland; the event is called the David Wood Memorial Trophy Races and its feature event focuses on the Supersport 600 Class; a Class in which Wood was instrumental in introducing to Irish racing. In 2015 the David Wood Ulster Grand Prix House opened at the Ulster Grand Prix Circuit, Northern Ireland. Ulster Grand Prix was one of Wood’s favourite courses and the house is situated in the circuit’s paddock. The house contains the main race office, the race timings team, commentators, home to Club meetings and is available for community events throughout the year. Wood is survived by his wife Mrs Lee Wood.