Circuits and Runaways in Ireland

Owing to the love for motorsports in Ireland, there are quite many racing circuits where enthusiasts can watch the action go down, and drivers can work on sharpening their skills. The two most significant racing circuits in this regard are the Mondello Park and the Kirkistown Racing Circuit.

  • Mondello Park, Ireland - Overview
  • Timeline
  • 1998 to date
  • 1969 - 1997
  • 1968
Mondello Park
Mondello Park Curcuit Now
Mondello Park Circuit untill 1997
Mondello Park Circuit untill 1968

This park is the sole international motorsport venue in Ireland. It lies in Caragh, County Kildare which is off the R409 regional road. You will cover approximately thirty miles to get here from Dublin. Martin Birrane owns the venue.

The park has quite a history. The circuit came about in 1968. Since then, it underwent many developments which saw it get FIA international status in 2001. In the past, events such as the British Superbike championships as well as Pickup Truck Racing took place here. There were also a large number of rallycross and GT events taking place in the park at the time. The track was also in play during the Irish round of the British Formula Three Championship and the British Touring Car Championship. At present, the park is home to events in the following categories: car racing, kart racing, motorcycle competitions, and the Irish Championship car racing. It also hosts Jap-Fest which is currently the only Japanese car show in Ireland. Other than holding races, the park is also home to a museum which contains track and rally cars that were in use decades ago, thus allowing people to take a walk down memory lane during visits.

The park occupies one hundred and ten acres. Of this space, the race track takes up three and a half kilometers while the off-road driving trails and the off-road activities center take up three kilometers and five acres respectively. Circuits fall in the following categories: Short, International, Intermediate and National. The rest of the park houses twenty-four race garages and twelve hospitality suites. The design of the circuit is so good that it has inspired game developers to incorporate it into their video games which have a large number of players. Examples include Need for Speed: Pro Street and TOCA Race Driver 3.

Kirkistown Racing Circuit

Kirkistown Racing Circuit

This circuit is a permanent racing track located between Portavogie and Kirkiston in Northern Ireland. 500 Motor Racing Club of Ireland (500 MRCI) not only owns but also operates the activities in this circuit which came to be in 1953. Space on which the course lies was once an airfield. As such, there are parts of the circuit that incorporate the runways and roadways that were in place. At present, the track measures 2.46 kilometers, and of all permanent race tracks in Ireland, it is the only one with an MSA license.

500 MRCI has hundreds of racing events which take place on the circuit. In addition to this, people also use the space for kart racing, rallycross competitions, and rallying, supermoto and motorcycle classes. Other events also take place at the venue such as running and cycling, owing to the flat courses in play. The first race in the circuit took place in 1953 where Dickie Lovell-Butt emerged the winner. The fastest lap around the circuit stands at 50.782 seconds, a record held by Phillip Shields. Each year, there are seven car race meetings, a single venue rally as well as four sprints. There are also at least two motorbike race meetings per annum.

These two venues make it possible for budding motorsports enthusiasts to not only watch professionals competing, but they also allow for people to practice on their driving skills. As such, their existence has created a foundation on which racing lovers can work to get to the big leagues.