It is amazing what difference great weather makes! Kirkistown Circuit enjoyed two days of glorious sunshine and two days of great motor sport with a full card of racing on Saturday and our track day on Sunday.
We were pleased to welcome a number of people attending for the first time. Philip Kerry came up from Dublin in his Mini JWC and ran well all day. Seamus Jennings circulated well all day in his beautifully prepared Caterham. It was great to see Chris Hatton and Paul Ferry from the NI MX5 club keeping MX5 regular, Nigel Averill company on track. All three ran without a hitch. Norman McNaught, although chairman of the NI MX5 Club, brought a very tidy Peugeot 205GTi and went very well indeed.
Variety was supplied by James Wright in his Falcon space-frame Mini, which looked and sounded brilliant, although he had to keep his sessions short to avoid rising temperatures.
Gerry Magennis took his son’s racing GMS Seven round with some authority, in close company with Steven Wright’s similar machine.
Regulars, Thomas Bell and Richard Bloomfield piloted their Imprezas well all day while Gareth Talbot entertained the spectators in his Dimma Peugeot. He was a victim of failing brakes towards the end of the day, as was Stephen Pickering in his Integra.
Returning Porsche 911GT3 pilot Ali-Reisa Afrasaibi circulated very rapidly. There were three drivers in this car during the day and all entertained the marshals with skillful and tidy driving.
New man, Peter Brannigan, showed a lot of maturity by driving well and seeking advice from ourselves on improving lines. We would expect to see Peter getting the best out of his Civic on a regular basis.
Hard luck story of the day goes to Nathan Hogg’s faithful mechanic, who didn’t get a run last time down because the clutch blew in the Celica when Nathan was on his first run. Having worked hard to fit a new clutch he watched dutifully as Nathan headed out for a shakedown run before coming in to hand the car over. Unfortunately, history repeated itself and the clutch blew again!
It is no secret that Trackskills is run by racers and the we have always encouraged talented participants towards that path. Aside from the two aforementioned NI Seven racers we also had experienced racer Godfrey McCartney on track with his beautiful Lotus Elise. Regular marshal Nad Haigi was also out in his VX220. Mazda RX7 racer, Craig Davidson was showcasing his rapid RX7 to potential buyers while Ian Baxter was gaining valuable experience in his Westfield before venturing back out into the Sprint and Hillclimb end of the sport.
Past Trackskills participant, David Morrison, turned up in the paddock, fresh from his maiden win and “Driver Of The Day” award at the 500MRCI race meeting the previous day. David is a great ambassador for track days and racing. His display of enthusiasm and exuberance was wonderful to witness on Saturday. Having won the second saloon race, he stopped at the Chicane on the slowing-down lap, got out of the car and saluted the spectators on the bank, in Valentino Rossi style! We need more like David in our sport!
As six o’clock approached we still had four cars circulating, including, as usual, Paul Keys and Roy Stewart in their rapid Megabussas.
Thanks, as ever, to the marshals and St John crew.
Only three weeks until the next one!