The event had been billed as the first of its kind North of the border and yet even though it was I who had been creating as much hype as possible in the weeks running up to it, nothing could have prepared me for the sight of the awesome D1 machines performing for us at our wee event. It seemed slightly surreal for a while, that these cars that so many of us had seen only in photographs before, were actually here in the flesh.
Top of the bill ofcourse were UK & Irish champion Damien Mulvey and fellow top contender Mark Luney. Indeed it was plain to see why these guys are at the top of their game, as anyone who braved the elements long enough to walk to the bottom end of the track would testify. Even if Luney did wipe out a tyre wall on his first run, but all done in the best of style ofcourse (and at about 90+mph!) No damage was done though and he was straight back on the pipe.
It was great to see that a good few new cars have opted to fit a roll cage to be eligible for the drift competition. The competition was bound to be stiff however, with most of the D1 boys entering. Of the SWRC regulars, performing well as always were Declan Munnelly (RS2000), Fergal McGovern (Manta), Martin McVey (200sx) and Alan McBride (BMW). Judging the competition were Mark Luney and Damien Mulvey, who awarded the top three positions to:
1st Mike Dean (Red 325I)
2nd Mike Murphy (180sx)
3rd Richard Bradley (Senator)
Well done to all the lads in the drift competition, for putting on such a good show for the large crowd of spectators.
It pleases me greatly to see that entries for the race program are well on the up too. For the first time we had an MR2 out in the GT Class and a rare sight indeed was the G3, G4 and G5 Escorts in the Open Class. It was the well-piloted Mk2 Escort of Martin McCormack that eventually took top honours ahead of Lindsay Ferry’s National Hot rod and Brian McKay’s G3 Escort V8.
Final Winners on the day were:
1200cc Class….. Louise Owens (No.20 Fiesta)
Sports Hatch……MEEEE!!! (No.260 Swift Gti)
GT Class………..Stephen McAleese (No.35 CRX)
Open Class……..Martin McCormack (No.59 Mk2 Escort)
The drag racing got underway on time and the largest entry of cars yet were set to be unleashed down the strip. The weather conditions were rather adverse by this stage and were making it extremely difficult for us poor staff (aww!) Interestingly though, whilst the 2wd cars struggled for grip, several of the 4wd cars actually improved upon their previous best. Perhaps a bit of wheel spin helped them to not get bogged down. I don’t think getting bogged down would ever be a problem for the ECC Impreza, recording a best of 12.03, a new record for Aghadowey. I suspect a return from AIRFORCEONE in the near future!
The new drag class structure has proved to be a great success, with such close competition in every category. Winners at the end of the day were:
Diesels (Silver VW Bora) 17.9
Middle Weights (Red 19 16v) 17.15
2wd LTD (Silver Type R) 15.51
2wd Open (Blue M3 Evo) 14.73
4wd Open (ECC Subaru) 12.03
Next event is Oct. 15th. All events over the winter months will be starting an hour earlier than usual, so it will be:
Track Day from 11am
Racing & Drifting from 2pm
Drag Racing from 5pm
See yiz then!
Drag times soon to follow!