Sunday 15th was our first day of 2005. The usual virgin sacrifice took place on Saturday night (this is getting more difficult every time!) and the gods obliged with beautiful weather the following day.
We were worried with only ten cars booked prior to the event. The trepidation increased on Sunday morning as by 10.30 a grand total of six had arrived and one of those hadn’t booked!
We got under way to the beautiful sound of Ray Dowds TVR. Ray planned to sell this car over the winter but just couldn’t bear to part with it. Des Cullen had borrowed Paul McLoughlin’s slicks for the day and thought somebody had fitted a new turbo to his Scooby when he wasn’t looking, such was the improvement. Gareth Logan’s Mk 2 Escort blasted round, eating everything in its path for most of the first session before retiring with a burst radiator. So began an epic repair job with a radiator being dispatched from Carrickfergus. Chris Atwell proved the rule that smooth is fast by flying round in his M3 Evo whilst looking like he was not even trying. He got my vote for ‘most impressive driver of the day’. Ernie Skillen put on his usual polished, rapid display and deserves some sort of award for self control, as I know that he really loves to be going sideways!
By 11.30 Kaman Lo had arrived from Dublin with a replacement Charade for the one that he blew up last year. This one is bog standard but he still seemed to enjoy himself all day, which proves the point that, it’s not what you have but how you use it. Isn’t that right , girls? The quiet man, Andy Wallace, had arrived with his WRX Scooby to much banter of , “It’s out of warranty then?” from Keith. Amazingly, Derek Lattimer arrived well before lunch with his trusty Legacy. As usual, he had the entire contents of his garage in the back seat and boot and he managed to get on track about 12.30!. Meanwhile, John Leckey and friends were being impressive in their semi-competition Pug 106. Do I detect a karting background there?
Shortly before lunch, two beautiful machines arrived at the gate. Pat Boal in his Ferrari Testarossa and David Frazer in his Mercedes SL 500. I thought they were there to spectate but, no, they wanted to play. David had to take the roof off so that he could get a helmet on! Both cars were beautiful to watch on the circuit and I thank both gentlemen for bringing such toys to Kirkistown.
After lunch, a wagon-train of vehicles on trailers arrived along with Hayley Rowley and Leo Nulty in Hayley’s Elise. Joey Greenan was towing his left hand drive 1967 Cooper S with his Scooby SR1. Gary White had his Mk3 Rally Escort Turbo. By 2 o’clock the fun was in full swing with Joey doing impossible things in the mini, Leo adding to passenger, Des Cahill’s stress levels by spinning while exiting the chicane, Gareth Logan flying once again in the Mk2 and Pat Boal running out of brakes!
Unluckiest man of the day was Gary White who blew up the Escort turbo on his first run. Silliest man of the day was Joey Greenan’s protege who forgot the keys for the trailer. Somehow they got it unhooked and Joey duly thrashed the Scooby round the track as well. Second most unlucky man was John Lecky who had to be towed in, leaving an ominous trail of oil in his wake. Glamour was provided by Leo Nulty. We could see the reflection of the very talented Hayley Rowley on his bald head!
All in all, a great day was had by nearly all who were there.