It was Sunday 20th September and against all predictions, bar that of the virgin, the sun was shining! However, we were still wary that the weather may change (She was thirty!) and so a special effort was made to get off the mark sharpish.
The first group were experienced drivers in quiet cars. David Marshal led away in his Ford Ka. Luciano Saia is now classed as experienced and he went very quickly in his BMW M5. James Smart was back is his aging but quick Golf. Brendan McIlvanna was the first driver in the family Astra. Tom Gaughran brought a smile to everyone’s face as he took off in his Peugeot van!
We had a large group of new drivers and these made up the bulk of the second session. John Piggott and Damien McGrane had hired the #22 MX5 from East Engineering. By all accounts, they had a great day. The two Pauls, McNulty and Campbell brought their Toyota GT86s and it was great to see these cars on track. Jamie Graham went well in his Clio 182, as did Alastair Whitten in his Impreza.
Unfortunately, newcomer Damien Dixon’s Mazda RX8 did something bad in the engine department on his first run and he had to limp off home.
The third group had some tasty machinery, including Tony Greenan’s new toy, an Ariel Atom with a supercharged Honda engine. Reliable sources say that he was lapping two seconds faster than his best time in the Bonda and that was on treaded tyres!
Chris Rooney was going so well in his Civic that he had to go out in search of four star after three sessions! Eamon Connolly’s Civic went extremely quickly. He has a very unusual wastegate pipe coming out of the bonnet, just below the passenger windscreen. The flames coming out of it will look great during our November meeting!
Arnold Gibson was on his own, in more ways than one. Usually, he has his son with him and in the past, the dices between him and Tony Greenan were legendary. This time he had nobody to run with but he continued to lap very quickly, especially in the late afternoon when the rain did finally arrive.
The Cosgrove brothers, as ever, danced their MR2 rapidly all day. Theirs was the sole MR2.
Richard Kee was another unfortunate whose car let him down in his first session.
It was great to have Tom Horan back after a number of years. He still lapped quickly in his Honda engined Westfield.
Saloon racers Andrew Armstrong and Aidan Vance put on a great display in the StreetRacer BMW and Civic respectively. Unfortunately, Aidan’s overheating problem returned in the afternoon.
Shane Murray went very quickly in his MK2 Escort as did Stephen Campbell in his Civic. Stephen really should be racing.
One of the nicest looking cars was Gareth Blaine’s Nova Hot Rod and it went as well as it looked.
A fate decreed, this was the last ever outing for the McIlvanna Astra as it had a big off at the Crosslé Chicane and Brendan has informed me that it is not an economically viable fix. Possibly, there may be a Kirkistown Fiesta on the way!
At 4:10pm the rain began to fall and it didn’t stop. However, that did not seem to deter most people. In fact, some people positively revelled in the conditions. One such was Cormac O’Doherty in his BMW 116. He was driving away from Arnold Gibson’s 3 Series!
By 5:45pm everyone had had enough and we called it a day. Our thanks go to our damp marshals who did a great job of keeping things rolling.
The next date is Sunday 11th October and this is our penultimate date of 2015. For more information and dates see the Trackskills Website.
Photos thanks to Jaime Graham