Dermot Nolan: You know you want to do it!

November 29, 2012 by Dermot Nolan  

So a week into November, Simon Mc Kinley calls me & says “you know you want to do it”.

I have no idea what he is talking about, after he explained that The Kirkstown Sprint on Nov 24th was the last opportunity to have a good run in my Reynard 913 for 2012 I readily agreed !

I called Richard Young at Kirkstown and as usual he facilitated us “Southerners” by letting us in late on Friday night which meant that we didn’t have such an early start from Dublin on the Saturday morning.

Myself, Mc Kinley & Rory “Granddad” Stephens headed up for a last blast in our cars – a nice array – a Radical with almost 450 bhp, an F3 with 300 + bhp and the magical McKinley Escort with 305bhp.

The track layout Richard & his team were running was, standing start from the pit lane, Debtors, Colonial, Fishermans, Chicane & cut through the kart track halfway down the back straight, then repeat the same series of corners except 2nd time around it was flat out past the kart track to the finish line 150 yards from the hairpin at the end of the back straight – Nice !

As we stayed up at the circuit on Friday night, we had 1st hand experience as to the real weather over night – 5C ! Naturally enough this produced frost & ice everywhere…… The 1st practice run was very interesting, 300+bhp, 390kg car on slick tyres & ice ! if that mix wasn’t enough my car ( reasonably new to me ) has a high revving engine with the power only really kicking in at about 6000 rpm so at low revs it sounds & feels like it is running on 2 cylinders when trying to tip toe around on a slippery track.

By 11am there was only a small bit of slippery stuff to catch you out, but I went for it anyway !

Run 1 was slowish at 104.97 seconds. By run 2 run I was getting the hang of it & I took 4 seconds off my first run. My 3rd & last run was my best, taking a further 2 seconds off and leaving me just 2/1000’s off a podium ! Average speed was 118mph & speed over the 2nd speed trap was 128mph…. not bad for a car that Iam still getting used to !

Winner on the day was Seamus Morris in his Philbeam with Rory Stephens a fine 2nd place. 3rd went to Ricky Mc Gimpsey. Mc kinley finished a very credible 9th overall despite having breaking issues and useless set of tyres ! He was 1st saloon car home outclassing some very modern & high BHP machines.

As mentioned earlier, the F3 is relatively new to me & I am still getting used to it, having had an earlier 873 model Reynard F3 with a red top engine, I thought that the transition would be easy, boy was I wrong…. The 913 has a Peugeot MI 16 alloy ex BTCC engine delivering max power in a burst between 6000-9000 revs, & believe it or not, this is quite difficult to get used to as you have to have the revs right at all times.

The F3 has now been “Winterised” & the red Chinky is ready to roll for winter motorsports…

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