Supercars from all over Northern Ireland descended on Bishopscourt circuit as part of an annual fundraiser for the Northern Ireland Air Ambulance, the Supercar Extravaganza.
This is a special event for a number of reasons. For many supercars and their owners, it’s the only track event they would take part in, and its clear there was some exclusive machinery brought out for the occasion. And also, the circuit itself in County Down has a restricted calendar of dates normally reserved for motorcycle events, so even for track day regulars its a real treat.
And that’s all as a driver, as I brought along my Lotus Emira. But like all of us I was also a spectator, grinning at what was like a real life top trumps of exotic metal, or is that carbon fibre. Sights and sounds, and the excitement of a live circuit coupled with Italian horsepower among others is an entertaining mix.
I travelled in the supercar convoy numbering almost 50, a sight to behold for casual onlookers early on a Sunday morning, and a spectacle as we pulled up in grid formation on the Lismore Straight of Bishopscourt Circuit. More cars arrived, along with hoards of spectators who could freely roam the paddock and get up, close and personal to the likes of a McLaren 720S or 765LT; a Ferrari F12 TDF or SF90; Aventador or 911 GT3 RS.
Passenger laps were in full flow, helping fund the charitable donations to the NI Air Ambulance, followed by a three car demonstration. Stuart Biggerstaff brought his R5 Fiesta Rally Car, and after some donuts and slides for the crowd put down some quick laps. Andrew Morrow, current leader in the Ferrari Challenge Championship, in 1000bhp of Ferrari SF90, was out next, with Tony Greenan taking up the rear in a Formula 3 Dallara.
Tony of course had the outright advantage and not only passed both cars, but set an unofficial lap record of around 1.02.5s, the bike record sitting at 1.05, the F3 car screams on the start-finish straight delighting crowds.
This was all of course in aid of the NI Air Ambulance, which landed later in the day and in some short interviews we were able to hear about the great life saving work they do daily throughout Northern Ireland.
For more information on the Air Ambulance Northern Ireland and to donate see their website at https://airambulanceni.org
Photos by Graham Baalham-Curry