TrackSkills at Kirkistown

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The final Trackskills track day of 2012 took place at Kirkistown on Sunday 11th November. The weather was kind to us. It stayed dry and wasnt even that cold, for the time of year.

In the end, there was a good turn out but at the start of the week the bookings were thin, as people sized up the weather prospects.

Tony Greenan had a trouble free day in the Bonda. Theres a man who should be asking for a race licence for Christmas.

Current racers Martin Currie and Martin McDonnell circulated very closely in their Evo and Seat Leon race cars. Another racer, Aidan Vance, brought his Civic to play and lit up the scene with his brake discs during the final run. Check out the video on the ReallyMeanSounds web site or Trackskills site.

Only one of the Imprezas had a good day. Patrick Gillian ran quickly right to the end and he also has his glowing discs featured in the video. However, both Tommy Bell and Malcolm Bruce had first lap mechanical troubles that curtailed their day.

Andrew Mercer was a joy to watch in his very rapid Lotus Elise.

It is rare that we get a VW Beetle at our events but Lenny Hutchinson went very well in his. Cormac ODoherty was a first timer in his Ford focus and was very impressive.

Richard Munnis had recently bought a MK Indy R that he intends to race in 2013. His background is in Autograss and this showed with his car control. He will be a force with which to be reckoned on track in 2013.

Ignorance can be bliss sometimes and this was highlighted by Charles Hill, who was going very quickly in his BMW M5. This car has so many information sensors that the driver can get a persecution complex! Charles was able to tell me that the front tyres were over heating, compared to the back. It didnt slow him down!

Sarah Dowling was having her first track experience in her powerful Honda Integra DC5. She dived in at the deep end but was trying a bit too hard. After rehearsing a massive spin at Debtors for three or four laps, she finally achieved it in spectacular fashion! In the next session our instructor, Greer Wray, sat in with her and her style got a lot smoother. She continued without any more dramatics, right up to the final session in the dark!

Paul and Mark Stewart are usually in their fathers Westfield but this time they hired a racing Civic from Andrew Armstrong. They soon got used to front wheel drive although they mentioned something about brake issues.

Sam and Wesley Lyle appeared for this last meeting, bringing both of their Sierra Cosworths out to play.

The final session commenced at 4:40pm in reasonably good light. At this time only a handful of cars were still playing and these included Derek Le Mahieu of Mazda Bits fame in his Puma, John Lyttle and Raymond Grimes in their Toyota MR2, Patrick Gillian who was exercising his Impreza before the following Saturdays Sprint, Sarah Dowling in her DC5, Aidan Vance in his Civic, Steven Whyte in his Westfield and Erann ONeill in her Ginetta G20.

It was amazing how quickly the light faded and by 5:00pm it was no longer safe to run.

The marshals, as ever, were great. A special mention has to go to Nad who provided delicious home made chocolate cookies for all! St Johns were on hand as usual and thankfully, were not called upon. James Higginson and Jacqueline put on a good menu in the caf and seemed to get a grateful response from the attendees.

Thank you to all who supported us during this season, whether by attending, participating or encouraging us from afar. We get messages from people on our mail list who cannot often attend but their good wishes are always appreciated.

As soon as we have the dates for 2013 we will post them on our web site at

We wish you a good festive season. Dont forget to ask Santa for bigger front brakes!


About Author

Graham is a professional photographer and motoring writer with over 15 varied years of coverage from manufacturer press launches to international motorsport and rally events throughout the world. Graham is a full member of the Guild of Motoring Writers. See more at

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