It was my first trip to Kirkistown and I was looking forward to it. It was to be a joint event with PCGB Region 27 (Northern Ireland) which helped to keep the costs down. I had hoped we had put together an interesting event, and the feedback on the day was very positive. I think this is an event that we should run again in the future.
Departure point was the City North Hotel in Meath just off the M1 (J7) on the Friday evening. Neil Lane and Shane Murtagh were already there. Fellow committee member Mick Burke was there to see us off, he was traveling up on Saturday morning. At the appointed time of 18:30 we headed off for the dash to Belfast, As we were leaving I got a call from Sheila Merrick, she was on route in her husband Robin, very nice white 911 SC. They never did manage to catchup with us, but I say that was more to do with our lead driver Neil. It was a nice evening and we got to Belfast without incident and checked into our Hotel, The Park Inn. Neil negotiated a special rate for PCI members and also secured car parking in the basement the hotel. It is always a pleasant sound hearing our cars in those confined spaces.
We were soon checked in and off out again to meet Allen and Adrian from Region 27 and our fellow PCI members who travelled up earlier that day. We were joined by Aidan Farrell, John Smith, and Hugh Maguire and Dave Whelan. We met in the Crown Pub for some “refreshments” and after a while, departed for some grub, splitting up and going to an Indian and Chinese restaurants. The food was good, and it was nice to meet up with old friends make new ones.
The next morning, we headed off early to the track, our club president Dave Whelan took the lead, but soon we were on a scenic tour of Belfast. He blamed his sat nav, but we were soon back on course courtesy of Bill Cashman. We got to the track in plenty of time and looked forward to a full day’s track time. The weather was good and I must say I really enjoyed it, I like this track very much, it is a fast track. I first went out with Dessie from Region 27, who knows the track very well, and gave me lots of very useful advice, though it will take me more trips to get to the speed and smooth driving of other members. We were also joined by other members who traveled up for the day, some took the ferry from Strangford to Portaferry to the track. I believe we had over 40 cars in total on the track, with over 25 members from PCI, which was a great turnout.
No real incidents to report, apart from one rear tyre on Bob Cameron’s 993 turbo, nothing to do with this spirited driving I’m sure (see the pictures in our gallery), but this was more than compensated for him passing James Jordan in the Mclaren SLR while driving his Westfield. You really have to hear the sound from the McLaren at full tilt, nothing like a Porsche sound, but terrific anyway. For myself, I think I have a fuel pump problem, which prevent me getting the maximum out of my car, but Mick was happy as he was keeping up with me. We had sessions of about 10 minutes in duration, with about 12 or so cars out at a time, which meant folks had plenty of opportunity for track time.
Dave had his racing car there as well as Denis Collins and his son Mark in the Mallock. Dave’s was doing some serious testing in the RSR. Having the whole day allowed them to go through many permutations and record what effect each had, not necessarily to time but to the way it felt. Richard Chamberlain ( google 935 porsche open champion, his has 780 + BHP ) was providing Dave with some expert advice. We were also joined by Paul Rankin, whose restaurant, Cayenne we were going to eat in that evening. There was a number of trade stands and Porsche Centre Belfast, brought down 3 lovely cars all of them white!
That evening, we ate in the Cayenne restaurant, and I believe well all had an enjoyable night, till early morning in the various establishments we visited.
Great track day, great weekend. I for one am really looking forward to our next track day at Kirkistown.