TrackSkills Track Day at Kirkistown Race Circuit

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After a fairly miserable week of weather the sun came out on Sunday morning and remained with us for the rest of the day.

Aaron McGowan finally got his ex-Richard Dempster Clio 182 out and was moving more and more quickly as the day went on. It was nice to see two VX220’s circulating very rapidly in the hands of Mark Angus and Simon Walsh. I noticed a blue one turning up to watch. Perhaps he’ll come out to play in the future! Miles McDonagh seemed to be enjoying getting to grips with his new Exige.

The most unlikely car of the day has to have been Stewarty’s Volvo T5 Estate Automatic. The pendulum effect it was displaying at the Chicane was giving the flag marshal, Jenifer, a near heart attack every other lap! Stewarty was joined by David Maxwell in a Volvo 850, which lapped faster as the day wore on.

One hard luck story concerned Tom Mulready who was trying to run in his racing Uno before the first race in a fortnight’s time. Unfortunately, the engine had other ideas and it blew up in the afternoon. However, Tom got further than Kevin McNamee, who had engine woes in his BMW from the very start.

Steve Mitchell brought his Seat Leon Challenge car over from Scotland. That beastie is quick in a very controlled way. Most of the time, that is. Once again the luckless Jenifer witnessed David having a couple of "moments" at the Chicane as he searched out his limits.

Paul Keys capped an expensive week (he was seen in Ernie Skillen’s Jewellers shop buying an engagement ring on Wednesday!) by burning out the clutch on the Megabusa.

Make what you like of this one! The following conversation was overheard by me between Ray Dowds ( who was rumoured to allegedly have hurt his back last year whilst leaping from some bedroom furniture in a Superman cape!) and his wife, Audrey, who has nerves of steel (Well she would have, wouldn’t she?)

Ray: "Look at the state of those tyres. I’m only getting a track day and a half out of a set!"
Audrey: " That’s because you are driving so hard!"
Ray: " I am not going any harder than usual!"
Audrey: "You are. You are much more agressive! You are too agressive!"
Ray: "You enjoy it!"

At that point I left!

A big "Thank you" goes from us to everyone who took part, be they drivers or marshals. The standard of driving in most cases was excellent. No time was lost having to pull anyone from the scenery and the new, later start and finish times seemed to work well. The new catering facilities seemed popular and this arrangement will remain for the foreseeable future.

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