Just back from the 2015 Circuit of Ireland Rally with Tuthill Porsche, doing team media and shooting some video of the Porsche 911 R-GT rally car. As the first contemporary Porsche 911 rally car to take part in ‘The Circuit’ (as we call it in Ireland) for almost thirty years, this was a proper weekend, worthy of my volunteer status!
Circuit of Ireland Porsche drivers
Robert Woodside and co-driver Allan Harryman were in the car for this event: two great guys whose fathers have both won previous Circuits. Having set fastest stage times in the production class last year, they would be quick and precise. Testing went well and Robert put huge effort into sorting out some great sponsors for the event, including Karcher UK and Rushmere Shopping Centre: Ireland’s second-largest shopping mall.
I flew in on Thursday and went straight to service in Belfast’s Titanic Quarter. It’s eleven years since I was last in Belfast and it looks pretty different now! Titanic Quarter is based around the docks and slipways where the most famous ship in history was constructed. It’s super interesting and a great place for the rally HQ. We were right by the entrance, so our tent was surrounded by spectators throughout the weekend.
As soon as I arrived, we were off: the car was due in scrutineering and we had to make tracks. I’ve just started using a Sony HXR-NX30E camcorder (awesome device), so I had a little play with that as the car went through technical inspection and received official approval to take part. The Sony’s complete lens and sensor unit is internally stabilised – check out the video at the bottom.
Once back from scrutineering with permission to compete, we had a short while to change tyres and get the car ready for shakedown. Robert and Allan took over the Porsche from here, and did two runs on a closed course to see how the car felt (top pic). That all worked out fine, so then they headed off to Belfast City Centre for the ceremonial start, while we retired to the hotel to make preparations for the following day. More of this story tomorrow!