Kirkistown

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Circuit Map

Kirkistown.gif

Google Maps

At this time (May 2012) Google do not have a high resolution satelite image of this area/circuit. Annoyingly they have of the house across the road! Streetview works nicely around the perimeter too.

Link to Google map

Getting There

How to get there - Kirkistown circuit is situated Southeast of Newtownards on the beautiful Ards Peninsula, take the A20 from Newtownards and it is approximately a 20 minute drive, or, if coming from the south, take the A25 to Strangford, then the ferry to Portaferry, which is five miles south of the circuit.

On Arrival

Check in at Sign on (see below) and then head to the restaurant (base of the clubhouse) for a fab brekkie! Parking is on a park where you can basis.

Signing On

Marshals have their own room provided, it's part of the main toilet block.

Circuit Usage / Configurations

Circuit has some variations for sprints and rally stages but for races it is used "as is". It's an old airfield circuit so the usual warnings about wind apply. The back straight is long enough that one regular used to land a Piper aircraft on the back stage and then park it on the grass inside the hairpin (this area is also used as a heli-pad)

Posts

All posts now have huts for marshals, some of these are on raised concrete bases. They all have fold down fronts and benches inside.

It is theoretically possible to flag from the huts but flaggers will find their own points.

Debtors

The first bend/corner in the track after leaving start finish.

Great views of the Start/Finish line and the first big corner at Colonial One

Flag post is with the Incident Post

Speed should be slightly slowed for the bend, but isn't always!

Quote:

"Things rarely happen at Debtors - but when they happen, they happen BIG!"

Rescue Crew Chief

This is absolutely true!

Colonial One/Colonial Two

Sharp right hand corner.

Effectively two posts as it's such a large corner, but Incident control post is usually on the inside, which is also a spectator area.

Opposite the Incident control post is a large run off area which allows cars to slow down and rejoin if they overshoot - or retire if necessary.

When moving cars to a safe position, wherever possible, get them into the centre at the Incident control post as they can then be retrieved by their own crews and return to the pits without interfering with racing.

This is also the place where Rescue Unit leaves the track after chasing starts.

Excellent view coming up from Debtors and going around to Fishermans.

Competitors should be slowER and there is usually lots of fun in the practice sessions when competitors are trying to play with braking points!

Flag post is on the outside of the track at Colonial One.

BEWARE - behind the flagpost is what can only be referred to as a bog!

On dry days, or when it hasn't been raining heavily, there is about a foot of standing water in the grass. When it has been raining heavily, this can get a lot deeper!

Quote:

"it's not fair - everyone brought a chair except me"

Me!

Bring a chair for resting when there are breaks!

Fishermans

Another sharp right hand bend.

Tricky corner this - cars have a tendancy to either come off instead of taking the corner (large run off on the left hand side), slide onto the grass on the far side - or even bounce their way down the straight.

Flag post is at the left hand side deep in the run off just before the corner. Marshals post is run from the bank on the drivers left just past the corner.

Word of advice - if cars come off in the long grass on the other side of the track - take a foam! Hot exhausts have a tendancy to set the long grass on fire - even when it's damp!

Spectacular racing view with some rather nerve wracking dices going on into the corner. Great racing when they go right......and some scary stuff if they go wrong!

Chicane

A chicane!

Put into the track to slow competitors down slightly as the straight between Fishermans and Hairpin is a long one.

Marshalled from both sides of the track.

On the outside of the track there is a flagpost and this is usually where the Incident control post is located as well. There is a large run off area here where cars can be put for safety during live traffic. There is also rumble strip here which is sloped and quite high.

On the inside of the track there is a concrete spectator area (which is the far end of the same area at Colonial) There are two gaps here where cars can be moved into the spectator area, and as with Colonial, cars can then be moved directly to the paddock without interfering with live traffic.

Whilst the chicane is designed to slow competitors down, the usual approach seems to go through it in as straight a line as possible - which leads to a lot of flying grass and the occasional spectacular spin!

Brush up on your hand signals if you're going to be marshalling this post as you won't always be in contact with your radio operator!

Also a post to bring a chair to!

Quote:

"oh no don't do that"

Me - every time a car comes past and either climbs up onto the rumble strip on the inside and looks like it's going to launch or starts sliding on the grass on the other side....(so far they've all been lucky!)

"Do you like my flag post - I built it"

If you're lucky, you'll get Jim as a flagger. And he really DID build the flag post! :)

Clubhouse

Flag post on the inside of the circuit at the clubhouse, provided to break the back straight in to two flag sectors. Extremely handy for the toilet/tea/food.

Quote:

"Can I send you to Clubhouse?"
"WHERE???? Oh, it's a new post!"

Hairpin

Very sharp right hand bend and the last corner before Start/Finish

Broken into Hairpin Flag and Hairpin, with additional flag cover provided at the Hairpin Incident control post when necessary. Incident control post is run from the outside of the track near the entrance to the circuit. There is a bank here running up to the run off at the corner which is where you are most likely to have "customers"!

View of circuit is not brilliant but if you like fast cars then this is the place to be!

Competitors come into this corner at speed, and misjudging the braking point can cause serious problems.

Large run off area on the outside of the track where cars can be put for safety during live sessions.

Quote:

"holy £$%^"

Everyone on post in response to a V8 hitting the tyres at about 150mph (driver was ok - car wasn't!)

Lunch / Circuit Customs

Lunch is provided, it is ordered at sign-on and when the lunch break is called head PAST the queue in the restaurant and pick yours up from the end of the counter.

Marshal's Perspective

Fire Extinguishers are the heavy thick ones so make sure you do some weight lifting before you go if you're not used to them!

Kirkistown is a very fast exciting circuit and great fun to marshal.

BMMC (NI) is the marshalling club for cars and welcome marshals of all levels. If you are a member of a UK marshals club, bring your card as the majority of marshals are qualified to give you a signature.

The marshals are friendly and welcoming. The majority of the Kirkistown marshals have many years marshalling experience and are happy to pass on what they know to anyone willing to learn.

Marshals are respected and well treated by the marshals club, organising clubs and drivers alike.

If you are a connoisseur of good breakfasts, make sure you get to the circuit a little early - the restaurant does a great fry up!

All in all - highly recommended! :)

Scanner Frequencies

Marshals, Rescue and recovery operate on the standard MSA frequency of 169.3375. The Safety Car uses a different frequency.

How to Marshal Here - Contacts

For car racing events, contact the BMMC (NI) Race Coordinator: http://www.marshals.co.uk/regions/northern_ireland/committee.htm

Local Accommodation

Camping

For other camping the vast majority of the infield is now hard standing, electrical hookups (16amp) are available and there is also chemical toilet disposal and shower facilities in the toilet block.

Circuit Contacts

http://www.kirkistown.com