Trackskills at Kirkistown

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We were pleasantly surprised with today’s turn out. I think that maybe after a six week lay off, people were getting stir crazy! Most of the regular guys were there. It was great to watch John Mulholland and Ronnie Brown circulating very quickly in their RS Focuses. I don’t think the stars ever quite lined up to put Nigel Magowan’s R26R with them at the same time but maybe I just didn’t see it!

As often is the case, Conor Loughran had little luck with his Evo but enabled some others to continue their day due to his supply cache of necessary oils, etc. The Locaterfield brigade turned out in force, all-be-it with Paul keys sharing Jeff Rutherford’s ‘Busa. Richard Ford and Gregory Kerr circulated together all day and got steadily faster. Malcolm Bruce has fitted a new exhaust to the Celica. It is much quieter but, if anything, it has made the car faster!

From a variety point of view, we had the addition of Mark Hutcheson’s Atom, which was incredibly quick and disturbingly quiet! Connaire Finn helped Mark make adjustments throughout the day and I think the car’s drive-ability steadily improved. We also had two very quick Mk 2 Escorts with sequential gearboxes. Pat Donegan and Robert Wilton were the registered drivers but both John and Josh Mulholland among others took turns at piloting them. There’s something about a well sorted Mk 2. They are always entertaining. It was good to see Jason Wright’s VW Vento and Colin Irwin’s Golf getting good runs after their disastrous last day. The reliability factor today was impressively high.

As ever, Nicholas Wood circulated rapidly and without incident in his Elise, as did Andy Toland in his 205 Oil Burner. However, if there was an award for the car that stays under the radar but is always very quick, it has to go to Martin McDonell’s Seat Leon (which is also an oil burner!). We has one big incident which involved Stewart Clyde trying to reposition the marshal’s post at Colonial with his Corsa. Stewart lost it under braking, got a wheel on the grass and was a passenger from that point onwards. Amazingly, when we pulled the car from the tyres, both it and Stewart were hardly damaged at all and 20 minutes later both were back on track!

The weather threatened rain for about five minutes and thought better of it. (Possibly, last night’s virgin had been considering a change of view!). As always, thanks to Fel’s team of marshals and to Philip’s St John team, who got to do something medical today, hence the smiles!

The next one is the last for a while. Hope to see you all there!

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