Track Skills Track Day at Kirkistown Race Circuit

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NLP practitioners tell us that everyone has a preferential sense by which they experience their world and if you can tap into it you can melt that person’s heart. In my case it is auditory and on Saturday I fell totally in love with the sound of an Audi RS4 on full song! Wonderful!

However, that RS4 was only one of a great selection of cars that enjoyed almost perfect conditions. A number of experienced Kirkistown drivers remarked that the track was in the ‘fastest’ state that they had ever experienced.

The first session got under way slightly later than planned at 10.40am and was made up of regular participants such as Micky Dardis in his rapid Escort, Paul Keys in his Megabusa, Nicolas Wood in his Audi S3 and Andy Wallace in his Westfield Ford. Ray Dowds brought his RS2000 out to play with us for the first time and we nearly collapsed with shock when Derek Latimer arrived at 9.30am and made the first session!

The second session was meant to be for the people new to us. We had a great mix including Mervyn Lemon’s Westfield Ford, Richard Boyd’s Williams Clio and Michael Robinson’s Toyota MR2. However, the non appearance of a large number of promised Lotus prompted us to let Gavin Byrne and Andrew Yeates run their Exige and Elise respectively in the second group.
Three more Lotus did eventually arrive and the Spendlove brothers, Nigel and Lloyd put on their usual rapid display throughout the day.

As always there were hard luck stories. It is difficult to know which one ranks highest. There was the Lotus that didn’t make it. It destroyed an engine on the road up from Dublin! Then there was the curse of the last session! Seán Kenny, having driven in a sensible, controlled manner all day made a slight mistake that normally would have resulted in nothing more than a scare. However, this time Fate sent his Lotus into the tyres at the Chicane. However, I think top prize has to go to Martin Bryans. He was well down our reserve list but was regularly phoning me to see if he was ‘in’. Eventually he was and he turned up early with his Sierra XR4i on the trailer. Having signed on he went back up to take the car off the trailer and broke the cast iron manifold in doing so! End of day!

Interesting tit-bits from the day include the fact that having finally got their Mk2 Escort Cosworth going quickly, father and son team, Tony and Stephen Traub, assure me that they are definitely going racing at the end of the month. Who is going to be driving? They would not say!

Another potential racer, the glamourous Kirsty Forsythe, assured me that she was not touching up her make-up as she walked up the paddock with an open make-up compact. She said she was going to use the mirror to check her oil level! I thought, “Women can multi-task. She was probably doing both!”

Speaking of multi-tasking. Regular marshal and Formula Vee racer, Jenifer Mullan, stood down for a session to give some advice to Paul Keys on his racing lines as he took her round in his Megabusa. Colm Gallagher, alias Arthur, went one better by actually swapping places with one of our participants for a few sessions. Special thanks goes to super-sub marshal Patrick Ritchie who stood in, in both cases.

As ever, thanks to the marshals, St. John’s, Viv, Greer, Eórann, Jessica and all the participants for making it another successful day.

Thanks to Donal for the words and also this is just a very small sample of the images captured on the day so please email [email protected] for more of your car.
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