British Sprint Championship: Kirkistown Sprint - Northern Ireland August 6-7
The latest British Sprint Championship round took place at Kirkistown race circuit in Northern Ireland last weekend, writes John Loudon.
This is one of the events that I most look forward to as it’s an epic road trip of circa 720 miles, a ferry trip a fun filled few days away run by friendly accommodating people from the 500 Motor Racing Club of Ireland Ltd. and fellow competitors.
Setting off early on Thursday morning we stayed overnight in Scotland a short drive away from Carinryan where we were to catch the ferry the next morning to Belfast. We eventually arrived at the circuit around 3:30pm on Friday and got setup and walked the track. Later in the evening, scrutineering opened earlier than expected so we joined the queue to be passed ahead of schedule.
Before the weekend, the 1100cc single seater racing car class record prior to the event stood at 118:36 seconds, set by myself in my previous car on the very last run of the weekend last year. Saturday practice started well and gave immediate hope of bettering the record as I posted a time of 118.71 straight of the box in the new Force TA racing car. The first timed run gave immediate success and I set a new class record of 115.08 which shaved a huge amount off the previous record. Subsequent runs saw me beat the old record several more times and secure 6th and 4th place finishes in the championship runoffs plus gain a bonus point for breaking the class record.
Whilst changing the wheels for fresher tyres I noticed that the right side rear inner rim edge was fouling on one of the wishbones. Investigations led to reveal that the wheel bearing had moved in the upright requiring an overnight strip down and remedial action taking. Thank you to those who assisted in the operation in one way or another.
Sunday had a lot fewer competitors that the previous day and the runs came round rapidly which made keeping the engine temperatures to an acceptable level difficult. The circuit also seemed hard on tyres and both of my sets of tyres were looking considerably second hand from the previous day. Despite this I managed to beat the record again and secure another 4th and a 7th in the runoffs plus a bonus point.
I left the circuit placed 5th place in the championship and feeling very happy. I did mention at the start that this is one of my favourite trips of the year!
The next round is a Knockhill in Scotland on Sunday 4th September.
A big thank you to my sponsors Laser Tools Racing.