Sunday 17th April was a day blessed with wonderful weather and a great selection of cars and drivers arrived at Kirkistown to enjoy trackskills. This event clashed with the BTCC at Donnington so we had some new faces on the marshal’s posts.
The selection of cars was eclectic, particularly among those attending a Trackskills event for the first time. It was arguable as to which was the more beautiful between the Mk 1 Escort of Brian McIlmurry and the Alfa GTV of Bryan Pearson. Both were a joy to watch and hear.
Ross Hompstead ventured out for the first time in another of the increasingly popular Clios, a 182 in this case. He went well and without incident. Mel McLaughlin circulated quickly in his Corsa, as did Paul Gray and friend, Adrian Patterson in a Honda S2000 and MX5 respectively. Paul’s brake pads were nearly gone in the later part of the afternoon. Stephen McLaughlin drove his Toyota Corolla very smoothly all day.
Of the Impreza Brigade, Lyle Simpson and Andy McCrea went quickly and reliably all day but Colin McDonnell blew his turbo on his first run. Sympathy was not forthcoming from his dad, Martin, who maintained a “Told ya so!” stance. His own Seat, a car not without a troubled history, went faultlessly, which he attributes to removing the giant turbo that he had fitted previously.
The D.D.C. (Dundalk Dancing/Driving Collective) had an emergency on the road up to Kirkistown. The truck carrying Damien Moran’s Lotus Elise developed an overheating hub and had to be abandoned en-route. Que David Cousins and the #22 MX5 to the rescue! David delivered the car to the circuit for 11:30am and Damien had his fun all day, along with Brendan Cumiskey, who damaged his Clio in an off at the Hairpin.
I am amazed that this #22 MX5 was available, as it is a wonderful car and can be hired from David for an extremely reasonable fee. Part of this fee goes to The Simon Community, so you can have an extra feel-good factor, knowing that you are directly helping the Homeless as you hammer round Kirkistown!
David has also informed me that the #33 MX5, an altogether more challenging version of the #22, will be making an appearance at our May event. After this shakedown, this car will also be available for hire to suitably selected individuals.
The trusty “Quiet” MR2 of the Cosgrove Brothers motored reliably and quickly all day, regardless of whether it was being danced or driven!
The Locaterfield Legion was limited to Andrew Parkinson in his MK Indy and Michael Campbell in his Reiss Hayabusa. Both showed their experience and went very quickly.
Jonathan Christie made a welcome return in his Honda prelude. It developed a noisy exhaust during the day, which threatened to curtail its activities. Once again, David Cousins to the rescue, this time with welding gear. David also welded a turbo pipe for another participant.
The Weir family were out in force. Joe’s Sierra V6 makes a very pleasant noise and it goes well. Ciaran’s Cosworth version was quick but seemed to be a handful at times. Ryan’s BMW looked really well and went well too.
I noticed Ryan’s Beemer jumping at slow speed in the paddock and later enquired about his diff. He went into considerable detail about ratios while his female companion looked at my face and said, “It’s welded.” Female nous! Perfect!
The most unusual looking car in attendance was Adrian Smyth’s Honda powered, space frame Mini. It was his first time out in it and it seemed to go very well.
As mentioned earlier, Clios are becoming increasingly popular for track days. Chris Carson, Ross Hompstead, Colin Meegan and Mark Mooney entertained observers all day in their machines. Unfortunately, Conor Doherty blew his engine in his 172 during the first session.
Kirkistown Fiestas were there in numbers, with Mark Stewart getting mileage ahead of his Dad, Roy. Brendan McIlvenna is getting up to speed in his model but Ricky Hull blew his engine in his.
The Mazdabitz Focus went well as did David Marshal’s Puma. The last run of the day still had around ten cars, such was the enthusiasm of the participants.
Thanks to the marshals and welcome to the new ones. Thanks also to Philip Brooks for his ambulance and his assistance on the gate. Our next Trackskills event is on Sunday 15th May and already many of this weeks participants have rebooked.
Photos Thanks to Stuart Hannah