Friday 23rd and Saturday 24th August sees the biggest car racing meeting of the year at Kirkistown Race Circuit in County Down. As well as the four domestic championships, we also have rounds from major visiting championships including BOSS Ireland, Formula Sheane, Ginetta Junior, Formula Vee, Irish Seats, Fiesta Ireland and the National British Avon Formula Ford 1600s.
The Ginetta Juniors will only be racing on Friday. Matthew Nicholl, from Limavady, will be trying to reverse his bad fortune from the July meeting. If good luck prevails, he should be at the front of a small field.
The first of three races for the Avon Tyres FF1600 British Championship will take place on the Friday as well. Ross Martin, from Alexandria in Scotland has a good lead in the Championship over Spike Kohlbecker, from St Louis, Missouri in the U.S.A. Interestingly, this is also a battle between Irish teams, as Martin is part of Team Dolan and Kohlbecker races for Cliff Dempsey Racing! Another Scottish driver, Neill MacLennan, from Inverness, is third in the championship. He has previous experience of the Kirkistown Circuit as an advantage, so he will be hoping to close the gap in the points to first and second. Cliff Dempsey’s second driver, James Clarke, from Suffolk in England, is best of the rest, having built a substantial points gap over London driver, Rory Smith and his team mate, Jonathan Browne, from Ratoath, County Meath.
The first race on Saturday will be a combined affair for the Kirkistown Fiestas Zetecs and Modi-5 Mazda MX5s. Megan Campbell, from Strangford, has really blossomed this year and she will be troubling Belfast brothers, Paul and Mark Stewart, in the Fiestas. In the Mazdas, expect tight racing from Nutt’s Corner lady, Eórann O’Neill, Ballywalter driver and founder of the series, David Cousins and Tandragee driver, Stephen Murray.
The NI Saloons are combining with the Irish Seats. Dromore driver, Matt Lynas, is debuting his recently acquired Renault Clio Cup car and he will be giving Nutt’s Corner driver, Donal O’Neill, a difficult time in the Saloons. Greer Wray, from Lisburn and Gavin Kilkey, from Derry, will be renewing their rivalry in their BMW 330i Championship cars. Brian Berry is making a comeback in the Irish Seats and he will be trying to trouble Darragh McMullen, from Castleconnell and Shane Murphy from Ovena.
The Formula Vees always provide nail-biting races at Kirkistown. Expect no less this time as Anthony Cross, from Bohernabreena and Paul Heavy, from Kilmeague, renew their rivalry. In the middle of this should be J-B Farrell from Newry, Philip Sheane from Wicklow and any one another half dozen potential winners!
BOSS stands for Big Open Single Seaters and these cars will be the fastest at the circuit this weekend. Expect seriously quick laps from Newcastle driver, Eamon Matheson in his self-built MM3. Donal Giffin, from Shannon, will be bothering Matheson, in a 5.0 Reynard Rover. Barry Rabbit, from Tara, is usually at the sharp end in his Tatuus Renault, while the Dallara marque will be well represented by Fergus Faherty, from Navan, Michael Roche, from New Ross and Joe Courtney, from Galway. Bangor driver, John Stewart, will be upholding Ford’s honour in his Mygale. The Formula Sheanes will also be sharing the grid. Brian Hearty, from Dundalk, will be the man to look out for.
The first of the Dawson-WAM NI FF1600 Championship races takes place around Midday and this is not to be missed! Expect close and exciting dicing from Ballymena brothers, Ivor and David McCullough, along with The Randalstown Rocket, Alan Davidson. Further down the field should be more close action between, David Nicholl, from Markethill, Allan McBurney, from Newcastle, Trevor Delaney, from Carrickmacross and Henry Campbell, from Ballymena. Lisburn driver, Chris Paul, is making a rare appearance and, while he probably won’t be troubling the McCulloughs and Davidson, he should be at or near the front of the chasing pack. Nutt’s Corner driver, Robert Johnston, has been finding his feet steadily in his first year of racing and making steady progress. He should also be amidst these cars. The Roadsports field is boosted by a large Class B entry but the overall honours will be fought over by Dundrod’s Ivor greenwood, Newtownabbey’s Jim Larkham and Holywood’s John Benson. In the Class B group, keep an eye on Graham Moore, from Newtownards, and the Francis brothers, Mark and Richard, from Donaghadee. Qualifying starts on Friday at 13:30, with the first Ginetta Junior race at 16:10. The first Avon Tyres FF1600 Championship race should be at 17:20.
Saturday racing commences at 9:30.