Christopher Doherty happy with debut Kirkistown Fiesta Zetec Championship races

Derry man Christopher Doherty said he was “living his dream” after finally getting the chance to compete in the Kirkistown Fiesta Zetec Championship race and is already looking forward to the next series of races.

Sunday, 16th August 2020, 7:00 am
Christopher Doherty pictured at the Kirkistown circuit for some testingway back in March.

Thanks to Creative Motorsport, the 32-year-old recently drove at the Kirkistown track in the first of eight series of races and says he enjoyed his first motorsport experience.

“I went out to the qualifying session in the morning, the Fiestas qualify and race along with the faster Mazda MX5 Championship. Usually the Mazda’s go out first and then the Fiestas but there was an issue with three of the Mazdas,” explained Christopher.

“We got six laps to set our fastest lap time and on three of those laps I got blue flagged to let the faster Mazdas past, so qualifying didn’t go to plan and I lined up 11th for race one.

“Race one started around 1pm. I spun the wheels up a bit off the line and was about three car lengths off the pack but after getting passed a few cars, myself and Dan Keelan, we were nose to tail and door to door for about five laps but in the end when we crossed the line side by side with only 0.027 of a second between us, Dan just piping me into seventh spot.

“Race two was a slightly wet race and I lined up seventh on the grid this time. I got a better start off the line and was staying with Ricky Hull for the first few laps.

“Ricky made his way through the field which put me onto the back of Dan. We battled away with each other as we did in race one but unfortunately this time I did not have the pace to pass but we still crossed the line bumper to bumper with 0.169 of a second between us this time, Dan sixth and myself in seventh.”

Doherty, who lives in Butlers Wharf, got his motorsport licence to drive in the Kirkistown Fiesta Zetec Championship way back in January in preparation for the season, but the coronavirus pandemic meant the season was put on hold and he had to settle for driving on the XBox.

“Up until a few weeks ago I had only really been practising, as this is my first year after getting the motorsport licence,” he added.

“I literally got my licence in January and I did a test day at the start of March and then the first race of the season was meant to be around March 23rd but obviously that didn’t happen and we were all put into lock down.

“So since then the only racing I have been doing was playing the XBox, before I finally got behind the wheel a few weeks ago and really enjoyed it.”

Doherty is now looking to improve on his first few drives and can’t wait for the next two races on Saturday, August 29th.

“All in all it was a fantastic race meeting,” he stated.

“I am delighted to come away with seventh and eighth place finishes on my racing debut. I was also delighted with my fastest lap of 1:18.5 in race one which was only a second off the race one winner.

“I would not be able to live out my dream of competitive racing if it were not for my sponsors, Friendly Financial, Maiden Detail Car Care and DW Print House, so a big ‘Thank You’ to those guys for their continued support and also thanks to Creative Motorsport for providing me with such a good race car.

“I can’t wait until the next two races in a few weeks time.”

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