At the start of October, just before the second lockdown, myself and several other RMS members made the run down to Mondello Park Race Circuit for a trackday run by trackdays.ie.
Mondello is about 2.5hrs from Belfast, a straightforward run down the M1, round the M50 about half an hour from Dublin itself. Having competed in drift competitions there years ago I was excited to get back out onto the technical international circuit. Sun and clear skies as we neared Dublin helped build anticipation for some great track conditions.
The trackdays.ie events have been run by Rob King and Stephen Kershaw for several years and it was clear from arrival that there was a well honed setup in place, especially considering the extra steps forced upon all events due to Covid-19. All paperwork was carried out online advance and there was a driver’s briefing video to watch from the comfort of home, saving time at the track as well.
I had booked the afternoon session – a nice choice to have and avoided an early start leaving NI. Sessions generally run 10-1pm and 2.30-5.30pm, or you can of course book the whole day. One of the main differences between this event and the likes of Kirkistown is the open pit lane, so within reason you can come on and off track as often as you want. I know I ended up with stacks of track time.
Mondello International Circuit
Mondello is blessed with several different layouts, trackdays.ie using the excellent 1.8 mile long international configuration with its technical infield and elevation changes as you head down to 7a above making it a hoot to drive and with corners in both variety and number there’s always lots to learn.
Arriving just before lunch we were greeted with pizza in the rooms above the pit garages and got chatting with the organisers and other drivers. Everything was fairly relaxed and we got a socially distanced briefing before going out on track. At the start of each session there is 10 minutes reserved for novices and newbies to follow the instructor for sighting and orientation on track. I tagged along and it was a great way to refamiliarise myself and warm up the car without going out in attack mode on lap one.
I was out several times during the afternoon session along with getting out as a passenger and generally the standard of driving was very good apart from those few who either didn’t use their rear view mirror often enough!
Being dry and in Mondello’s sizeable paddock there was plenty of space to spread out and set up, and is usual with any track events I’ve been to everyone is eager to help each other out. One of the reasons I love track days for sure.
A brilliant circuit and well run track day has me thinking without a doubt I’ll be back to another trackdays.ie track day at Mondello.