TrackSkills Track Day at Kirkistown Race Circuit

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Kirkistown in March ’07 and it was like the opening round of the All Ireland Ice Racing Championship (if there is such a thing). I feel a whole year older today. It wasn’t my birthday yesterday. It’s just that, in one day, we had all four seasons at Kirkistown during our first track day of the year. We had blue skies and warm sunshine, horizontal snow, hail stones like marbles and rain.  The whole slide show was accelerated by strong winds. The virgin we sacrificed on Saturday definitely lied!

However, loads of cars arrived.  The selection ranged from a variety of Lotus Exiges through some very quick hot hatches, a beautiful orange RX7 belonging to Shane Rabbitt and even a Westfield Megabusa and a Sylvia Phoenix. Dave Wishart and Marty Mounce, respectively, deserve medals for driving topless(!) in such weather.

Most drivers kept it on the island and there were no major offs.  Darren Cook customised his Astra turbo a little. It was a nice speckled brown colour when he got back to the paddock.  I think it was mud!  It did wash off but, unfortunately,  the damage to the front bumper didn’t.  Kaman Lo won the “Who can get furthest off the track?” award.  Three ropes later we got his MX5 back on the circuit.

At 12.25pm a blizzard attacked us and with visibility down to a few feet and snow lying on the circuit, we called lunch. Twenty minutes later I received what must be the ‘quote of the day’.  Nicholas Wood (Audi S3) came up an to me with the request, “Can we get going again soon before the snow goes away?”

We ran through to just after five o’clock. Particular thanks have to go to Fel’s great team of marshals who, having braved the elements all day, agreed to stay on post to give Jack Mc Neice an extra three last laps before he left us for at least two years of pilot school in Oxfordshire. Good luck Jack from all of us.

The record for the most miles run probably goes again to Sam and Wesley Lyle in their quick MR2 but they were run close by the John Le Grange team in the GTi Polo.

We would also like to thank the numerous guys who offered the use of their 4×4’s if we needed them to extricate stuck cars.  Thankfully, we didn’t but the offers were appreciated.

The next Trackskills track day is on 29th April and is booking fast already.  Don’t forget your sun tan lotion!

Donal & Keith


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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