Belfast Telegraph

Kirkistown makeover looks ideal

By Sammy Hamill

Development work on the Kirkistown circuit will be in evidence tomorrow at the first motor race meeting of the season.

The Co Down track, home to the 500 Club for over 50 years, has benefitted from a share of the £2m injected into Ulster motorsport by the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure.

Six double pit lane garages are being built together with a new building for scrutineering and a new headquarters for marshals is being constructed to provide changing, rest and other essential facilities. A new tarmac run-off area and gravel trap have been installed at the hairpin section of the circuit.

Sports Minister Nelson McCausland visited the earlier this week to view progress and said: “Kirkistown has been the acknowledged home of motor racing in Northern Ireland since it was first used as a race venue in 1953.

“Over the years, it has been the proving ground for drivers who have gone on to compete at British, international and world-class events.

“This investment is about securing a future which can match this circuit’s distinguished past.”

Circuit manager Robert Barr commented: “The provision of pit lane garages puts us in a good position to attract visitors from the UK mainland for testing throughout the year as well as providing excellent facilities for our competitors on race days.”

Tomorrow sees the first of seven championship race meetings and the programme includes an appearance by the Irish Fiat Unos and Puntos as well as Formula Fords, Formula Vees, roadsports and saloons.

Qualifying begins at 9am with racing from 1.30pm

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