Trackskills at Kirkistown

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Sunday saw the final day of our calendar for 2008 and what a day it was! A grand turn out from our regulars plus the launch of Lotus Club Ireland made for a fairly full paddock.

There were a number of aspects that really stood out on the day and I would like to give them a mention here.

Firstly, the arrival of the plastic cars en mass at 9:30am was a truly great sight. Judging by the photograph I have seen, the Strangford – Portaferry ferry never sat so high in the water with a full deck of cars before! The Lotus contingent put on a great show, especially Bob Montgomery who demonstrated how to rallycross a 2 – Eleven at Debtors.

Secondly, for such a busy day, the standard of driving from everybody on track was amazing, especially considering it was wet all day. Everyone observed the flags and used their mirrors. There were a few offs but these were mostly folk out-braking themselves with no unfortunate consequences. On the two occasions when I had to have an advisory word in a driver’s ear, the advice was taken on board and the driving improved immediately. A big thank you to everyone for their consideration and co-operation.

Thirdly, our marshals (and I include Philip from St John in this group) were brilliant. It was wet and seriously cold all day and they persevered without complaint. At one point Fel couldn’t push the button on her radio because her fingers were so frozen! We do appreciate their effort and know that we and motorsport in general, would be lost without them. Thank you all once again.

Fourthly, we tried to run until 5:00pm and would have succeeded, had it not been for a dirty great rain cloud that took away whatever light was left at around 4:50pm. We had to call it a day because the flag marshals could not see each other, the drivers could not see the flags and we lost all ability to differentiate between the speeds of approaching headlights to see who was catching who. Having mentioned all that, I thought an active Kirkistown “at night” was a fantastic sight! Observing the moving stream of lights from Colonial One to the Chicane was wonderful and watching the brake rotors glowing on Sam Lyle’s Cossie reminded me of standing at Arnage at dusk. An emotional high and a great way to finish the year!

As ever, there were a couple of hard luck stories. Graham Alexander’s Pulsar begged for mercy for a few laps before having a strop at being ignored and throwing a leg out of bed at the top end of the circuit. Gary and Stephen Shields now know what an Integra with shot mains sounds like. The unsung hero here is the guy, who’s name I never got to know, who came up from Dundalk, at a moment’s notice, to Belfast and back down to Kirkistown with a flat bed to carry their stricken Honda away.

On behalf of Keith and myself, thanks to everyone involved during the season for helping make this Trackskills’ best year. We appreciate everyone’s input and look forward to seeing you in 2009.



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