Kirkistown Race Circuit Northern Ireland

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Although the Kirkistown circuit is owned and maintained by the 500MRCI, whose main activities are car and kart racing, there are lots of other things taking place at the track on a regular basis.

Championship Sprints are organised by the club on three occasions per year with Larne Motor Club and the Ulster Automobile Club also organising one event each, towards the end of the season.

The UAC also runs the New Year Stages rally in January at the circuit and North Armagh Motor Club run the opening round of the Northern Ireland Stage Rally Championship in February.

Naturally, being a racing circuit, Kirkistown is regularly used by teams and individuals for the testing of cars, karts and motorbikes. This usually takes place during weekdays, rather than weekends.

Car track days run from February to November. The main provider of these is Trackskills although the Lotus Club of Ireland, The Porsche Club and the Armagh Motor Association also run one or two.

There are usually three big motorcycle race meetings every year. These are hosted by the Belfast & District Motor Club. Their Easter Monday meeting generally has huge crowds, depending on the weather.

Motorcycle track days are catered for by ML Events and run at least once a month, from March to October.

Eddie Irvine's Race School Ireland run race schools, which are mainly Formula Ford race car experiences, on a monthly basis from April to September. They also provide race tuition for budding race drivers.

On the motorcycle front, Woolsey Coulter, on sporadic occasions, brings his Advanced Rider Training Academy to Kirkistown.

The Northern Ireland Duathlon organisation run duathlons at the circuit on a very regular basis.

What is a duathlon? Well, at Kirkistown, the competitors run for two miles, followed by a ten mile cycle before a further two mile run, all within the confines of the track.

The age range seems to be from ten to seventy. There are some top class athletes, who put up marvellous times but there are also family groups who are just out to improve their fitness in a safe, friendly and well-organised environment.

The profit from entry fees goes to purchasing tandems for the Belfast Tandem Cycling Group who assist disabled athletes to get into cycling.

Throughout the Summer months the North Down Cycling Club run Closed Circuit cycle races at Kirkistown on various Wednesday evenings.

The circuit is also used from time to time by Peninsula Healthy Living for 'fun runs', one of which took place last year - with much hilarity – in the dark!

And there are some one off events that visit the circuit from time to time, including a schools-based race for electric cars run in June by the Green Power Education Trust, a tractor run with over two hundred tractors, various running races and the Rusty Nuts Rally, a charity event for cars costing less than £500!