THE 2014 Northern Ireland motor racing season gets into gear at Kirkistown circuit on Saturday.
The 500 Motor Racing Club of Ireland will have an eight race programme which will see Formula Ford topping the bill.
It will be a double header for Formula Ford in that it is not only the opening round of the Northern Ireland Championship but also the All Ireland Championship with two races for the single seater Fords.
With three Formula Ford 1600 Championships being staged in Ireland this year we can be sure of quality grids.
Already the Formula Ford season in Ireland has started with rounds of the new Champion of Mondello Championship at the County Kildare venue where there were race wins for Neville Smyth and Stephen Daly.
Niall Murray, winner of the 2013 Formula Ford Festival at Brands Hatch and the Motorsport Ireland supported driver for 2014, established two fastest laps and set pole position for both races at Mondello Park over the St. Patrick’s weekend and he scored a second and a third.
Missing from the line up will be he McCullough brothers Ivor and David and Jonny McMullan. Ivor has been one of the most successful of the Ulster drivers in recent years while McMullan may be out later in the season.
McMullan cites a lack of budget which is keeping him from racing, but if funds can be found he aims to be back in action.
This opening race meeting brings a variety of cars to the County Down venue, tin top fans will have the low budget Fiestas who certainly have proved they can entertain and the Kirkistown Saloons will be joined by the GTs while Roadsports and Legends will have two races just like the Fiestas and the Saloon/GTs.
Meanwhile Jonny Kane will once again drive for Strakka Racing this season and he will contest the LMP2 World Endurance Championship and the Le Mans 24 Hour Race.
The team have a new Nissan Powered Dome car and this will be the seventh time that they compete at Le Mans.