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

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 and is one of the biggest events of the year.

We cater for the Motorcycle track days and try to help promote motorcycle activities at the circuit. For those interested in four wheel track time the car track days are organised by Donal and Keith through their longstanding company Trackskills.

A Guide to Conquering Kirkistown Race Circuit: unravelling the Thrills of a Lap

Nestled in the picturesque countryside of County Down, Northern Ireland, Kirkistown Race Circuit stands as the only club owned and operated circuit in the British Isles. With its rich history dating back to the 1950s, this circuit has been a playground for racing enthusiasts on both four and two wheels, offering a unique blend of challenges and thrills. 

Kirkistown Race Circuit is a high-speed, 1.53-mile (2.41 km) track boasting six challenging corners and two lengthy straights. Known for its fast and flowing nature, the circuit demands precision, skill, and nerves of steel from riders. From the hair-raising approach to Debtor’s dip to the heart-pounding exit of Fisherman’s, every corner presents a unique test of bravery and technique.

The Lap:

  • Start/Finish Line:  Accelerating swiftly down the main straight, riders reach exhilarating speeds, laying the foundation for a blistering lap.
  • Debtor’s Dip:  Is a rapid and challenging left-hand corner. Here, riders must maintain a smooth line to avoid unsettling the bike and prepare for the subsequent braking zone. This is a very fast and highly challenging corner which has no run off. This corner demands huge respect from riders.
  • Colonial One:   For some the entrance to this corner is the fastest part of the circuit and one has to brake heavily for the right-hander. In the early seventies this corner was modified to cope with the rising approach speeds. It was brought forward and eased slightly, making it faster and giving a longer run-off for those having difficulties getting slowed. The old track is still there and when riders talk about, Going the long way round at Colonial.” they mean that they couldnt get slowed enough to make the corner. sweeping right-hander, beckons riders to carry as much speed as possible while delicately balancing the car’s weight transfer. A slight lift of the throttle aids in positioning the car for the upcoming sequence of turns.
  • Colonial Two: A left hand bend commencing on the exit of Colonial 1 which is taken under hard acceleration causing the bike to move towards the outside of the track.
  • Fisherman’s: This corner marks a critical point in the lap, demanding precise braking and a well-timed turn-in. Turn-in for this corner is later than anticipated due to the double apex.
  • Crosslé Chicane: Negotiating the Chicane efficiently sets the stage for a strong exit onto the back straight. Under hard acceleration when exiting the Chicane the bike can become ‘loose’ and riders accelerate hard along the back straight
  • Maguire’s Hairpin: This right-hander awaits at the end of the back straight, testing the rider’s braking prowess and nerve. Careful modulation of the brakes is crucial to avoid overshooting and running wide. Superbikes are well in excess of 165mph prior to braking so caution must be shown. A very tight corner initially, before easing onto the front straight 180 degrees later. Short shifting gears on the exit of the hairpin can be necessary on larger machines to avoid any potential wheel spin.

A lap of Kirkistown Race Circuit is a thrilling journey on a fast and challenging track. From the high-speed straights to the technical corners, it’s a unique blend of speed and excitement offering enjoyment to riders of all abilities.