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ALL GO FOR IRISH FESTIVAL OF SPEED By Brian Foley

The first Irish Festival of Speed in 2011 attracted a record crowd to Adare Manor in Co.Limerick. Now its all systems go for the 2nd Irish Festival of Speed which will be bigger and better at the new permanent venue of the Limerick Racecourse at Greenmount to be staged over August 2nd- 4th of the Bank Holiday weekend.. The spectacular event is being run in association with the Dublin Porsche Centre in celebration of the 50th Years of the iconic Porsche 911, and will also celebrate the famous Limerick Grand Prix races of the 'thirties.

The Greenmount venue has excellent facilities for viewing, paddock, camping catering, toilets and generous car parking, plus a new dedicated track for speed events. Three different tracks will be used: Greenmount for hillclimb and sprint cars, Infield for rally cars and the Oval for demonstrations and parade laps- adding up to lots of action in addition to the various static exhibits. Air displays, motorcycle stunt riding and live music will add to the entertainment. Clubs already committed include Porsche, Ferrari, Maserati, Jensen, TVR, BMW, Mini and Honda S2000.

Historic racing cars and supercars will be driven through Limerick City streets on the former Grand Prix circuit on the Saturday afternoon, with an exhibition of supercars in Limerick's Potato market.

A major attraction especially for older enthusiasts will be two ERAs which raced in the Limerick Grand Prix in 1936, the 3rd placed car which was driven by Peter Whitehead and the car crashed by Prince Bira on the last lap when in sight of victory. The cars are owned and raced by Irishmen Paddins Dowling and Charles McCabe who both live in San Francisco. The racuous sound of the supercharged 1/5 litre engines is guaranteed to thrill the crowds at Greenmount and in the City, especially with the flambouyant Dowling at the wheel.

For more details of the event, tickets/timetable etc. log on to: www.irishfestivalofspeed.com

Limerick is a great sporting city, famous for Munster rugby, Gaelic games, rallying and horse racing in particular. The motor racing tradition goes back to the Limerick Grand Prix of 1935, '36 and '38. The cars raced over a 2.76 miles street circuit before a huge crowd estimated at 50,000, and many of the leading drivers of the era competed in Limerick including Bira, Tony Rolt, Peter Whitehead, Arthur Dobson, Pat Fairfield and Buddy Featherstonhaugh winner of the 1934 Albi Grand Prix in a Maserati. First Limerick winner was Luis Fontes driving an Alfa Romeo, fresh from his victory in the Le Mans 24 Hours co-driving a Lagonda with Johnny Hindmarsh. Fontes was born in London to Brazilian parents in 1912. He was killed when he crashed a Vickers Wellington bomber in South Wales in 1940.

Alan Hutchinson beat the handicappers to win the 1936 race in an MG PB (or Midget). Sadly the race was marred by the death of the young Duke of Grafton who did not survive a fiery crash in his Bugatti. There was no racing in 1937, and the final Limerick Grand Prix held in 1938 was won by Donald Maclure in an MG Midget.

New! Festival Timetable

FRIDAY (2nd Aug)

09.00 – 21.00 Arrivals – Competitors, Car Clubs and Traders
15.00 – 19.00 Scrutiny
18.00 – 18.30 Stewards Briefing

SATURDAY (3rd Aug)
07.00 Stewards in Place
07.15 Gates Open
Location: Irish Festival of Speed Circuit
07.00 – 09.00 Scrutiny
07.00 – 09.00 Marshalls & Drivers Briefings
09.15 – 09.30 Motorsport Ireland Track Inspection & Red Flag Check
09.30 – 13.00 ** Day 1 Sprint Competition STARTS **
13.00 – 14.00 Competition Halts for Lunch
13.00 – 14.00 Track Demo’s – Drag Bikes, Supercars, F1 Demos, Classic Bikes
14.15 – 16.00 Second Timed Runs/Sprints
17.00 – ** Day 1 Sprint Competition ENDS **
17.30 – 18.00 Prize Giving (at Grandstand Rear Podium)
Other Locations:
12.00 – 12.20 Mattie Griffin Stunt Rider (Grand Stand area)
15.30 – 15.45 Mattie Griffin Stunt Rider (Grand Stand area)
16.00 – 16.05 ‘Gentlemen Start your Engines’ - all competitors and attendees
16.15 – 16.30 Flash Mobs , but where will they be..?
16.30 – 16.45 Supercar Parade on ‘Oval Track’ (Public Grandstand viewing)
16.45 – Supercars Departure to City Expo (at Limerick Potato Market)
17.00 – 18.00 Supercar CIty Expo at Limerick Potato Market
18.00 – 18.30 Supercar 1930′s Grand Prix Revival – Parade via 1930′s GP Route
18.30 – 19.00 Return to Greenmount Park for Overnight Parking
20.30 Festival BBQ! at Limerick Milk Market

SUNDAY (4th Aug)
07.00 Stewards in Place
07.15 Gates Open
Location: Irish Festival of Speed Circuit
07.00 – 09.00 Scrutiny
07.00 – 09.00 Marshalls & Drivers Briefings
09.15 – 09.30 Motorsport Ireland Track Inspection & Red Flag Check
09.30 – 13.00 ** Day 2 Sprint Competition STARTS **
13.00 – 14.00 Competition Halts for Lunch
13.00 – 14.00 Track Demo’s – Drag Bikes, Supercars, F1 Demos, Classic Bikes
14.15 – 16.00 Second Timed Runs/Sprints
17.00 – ** Day 2 Sprint Competition ENDS **
18.00 – 18.30 Awards Presentation (at Grandstand Rear Podium) ‘Dunraven Trophy’ – Lifetime Achievement Award ‘Rosemary Smith Trophy’ – ‘Contribution to Irish Motorsport’
Other Locations:
12.00 – 12.20 Mattie Griffin Stunt Rider (Grand Stand area)
15.30 – 15.45 Mattie Griffin Stunt Rider (Grand Stand area)
16.00 – 16.05 ’Gentlemen Start your Engines’ - all competitors and attendees
16.15 – 16.30 Flash Mobs , but where will they be..?
16.30 – 16.45 ‘Oval Track’ Demonstrations (Public Grandstand viewing)