TrackSkills Track Day at Kirkistown Steam Boat Circuit

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"Crikey!” said the ghost of Steve Irwin, “Was that a shark out there?” No, it was Allen Erskine’s Locost splashing through Fisherman’s at our last track day!

On a day more suitable to water skiing we had a respectable turn out. Allen had to be the most determined. He wanted to hone his wet weather skills for future racing and he certainly did that. Yet even he took to the comfort of an Audi Estate eventually! Special mention should also go to Andrew Parkinson (whom I called Dave all day!) and Kirsty Forsythe who also braved the water in their Indy Blades.

Rainmeister Alan Edgar seemed to be having a ball in his Renault 5 GT Turbo while Paul Keys and Gareth Dillon amused themselves and everyone else in their one eyed Sierra.

The Lotus contingent, smaller than usual, aptly demonstrated how good these cars are in the wet. I think Peter Gerachty from Linders actually sold one on the day on the strength of this alone!

As usual there were “hard luck” stories. Tony and Stephen Traub brought their Cosworth Mk2 Escort down, only to discover that the wheel nuts for the drys would not bolt the wets on! Jim Wilson had no wets for his Cossie. Aaron McGowan drove through a lake just south of Greyabbey and stopped. I don’t know who rescued him – probably the Coastguard! The worst one of all has to be our long time supporter Micky Dardis, who brought his Dad with him for the first time ever. Micky travels from Enniscorthy (Put it this way – Edinburgh is closer!). They took the car off the trailer, started it up, revved it up, it spluttered, it died. End of day!

Driving standards, generally, were excellent. There was only one occasion when I had to have a word with an errant participant.

The award for the stupidest action of the day was jointly given to Keith and myself. In our defence I will say that everything was waterlogged, from the radios to our brains! It was the last session of the day and it had just been red flagged because Clarke Frazer’s Corsa had expired at Colonial. At this stage the rain just got harder. We debated whether to restart the session as we were standing in a two inch puddle that covered the whole pit lane exit. As there were only three cars waiting to go, we let it run. A few minutes after the restart, Ricky Griffiths in his Lancia Delta came slowly down the pit lane to join in. There was a good gap in the traffic so we both waved furiously at him to ‘hurry up’. He did. He passed us at, perhaps, 40 miles an hour. The resulting tsunami washed us away! Nobody’s fault but ours!

Once again we wish to thank all of our marshals. It is no fun standing in the rain all day with a flag for company. We do appreciate you. Also please check www.ni-motorsport.co.uk for information on how to purchase images from the day.

‘Til the next time..
Donal.

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