All Ireland Air Cooled Drag Day

As summer winds to a close we start to tick off the last remaining shows of the year and look back at the crazy show season that is now behind us. August bank holiday weekend was an ideal time slot for a refreshingly brand new event organised by a two men who had a dream! Fuelled by a persuasion for fast, air cooled cars they sought to tempt the normal show-goers into putting their money where their mouth is and challenging the 1/4 mile times, all before packing the cars up for the year.

News travelled fast with people travelling the length and breadth of Ireland to attend, meaning Bishopscourt Airfield in Downpatrick was filled as far as the eye could see with a vast array of air cooled machines. With a show and shine competition being held alongside the drag racing there was something for everyone, from fire breathing drag monsters to show stopping buses. Seeing a Karmann Camper drag race against a Porsche is something we don’t think you get the opportunity to see too often!

Among our highlights from the day was Paul & Stewart Horner’s 1967 Splitscreen Microbus. Recently finished as a full restoration, the Horner brother’s painstaking attention to detail shone through as they deservedly picked up first prize in the show and shine. The number of cars that had been built specifically to run at this event really showcased the dedication and ability of the owners. It’s always great to see people supporting events such as these, especially when it means throwing a car together in a few days!

Ben and Dave Wheatley, the masterminds of this event, are men of many talents. As well as organising the show they built a car before the event using spare parts lying around the garage, commentated on the racing, kept the day running seamlessly and Ben managed to run a 12.4s 1/4 mile! All in a days work for these guys and we wanted to offer our congratulations for executing a truly successful, original event.

Photos: Ross Hompstead & Andy Murray

Words: Ross & Ruth Hompstead

Location: Bishopscourt Airfield, Downpatrick