Lap Record Falls At Season Finale
October 10, 2012 by Tony Gregory
Dromore racing driver Philip Shields made history on Saturday 6th October 2012 as he drove his ex i-Sport GP2 single seater Dallara to a new Kirkistown Race Circuit outright lap record. The large crowd at this final race meeting of the season witnessed Shields set a new benchmark of 51.11s breaking Irishman Dan Daly’s previous best of 51.43s.
The popular businessman was competing in the last 2 rounds of the 2012 Breezemount Magic Bullet Formula Libre Ireland Championship which allows the fastest racing cars in Ireland to compete against each other in a category that is free of all technical regulations and is just split into the two classes based on engine capacity, unlimited and under 2 litre. Both classes race together in one race and have equal status in the championship.
Shields started of the day by taking two pole positions which added to the air of expectation that the circuit lap record could be broken. This was duly delivered in race one with the new record holder going on to win race two in a somewhat more relaxed fashion and with the knowledge that he had become the first driver to lap the 1.5 mile Co Down venue at an average speed of 106mph. Shield’s 580 bhp single seater was originally designed and raced as a feeder category to Formula One and after a year of testing and acclimatisation Shield’s took his GP2 car to its maiden win at round 2 of the championship back in April at Kirkistown.
Shields commented afterwards “I’m delighted with the wins and lap record. It would not have be possible without the efforts of the team. We have been working on the car from the last outing, its still not the finished article but it will be work in progress over the winter. I have been working closely with Richard Lyons over the past months. His role with the team is to help make the car more compliant to what we are doing and develop my skills as a driver. As you can appreciate, the GP2 car is a highly tuned and advanced machine, not easy to run or drive but I feel we are making progress and we will make big gains over the next few months.”
Formula Libre race 1.
1 Philip Shields (Dallara) 12 laps in 11m 06.29s (98.03mph);
2 Eugene Heary (Reynard) + 25.67s;
3 Mark Crawford (Jedi);
PP: Shields 51.81s (105.06mph).
FL: Shields 51.11s (106.51mph) new track record.
1 Shields 18 laps in 16m 39.97s (97.98mph);
2 Heary + 35.36s;
PP: Shields 52.39s (103.90mph).
FL: Shields 52.27s (104.14mph).