Hillsborough International Oyster Festival 2014 - Supercar Sunday
Somebody said Supercars?
Text and Photos: Reinis Babrovskis
The charity event Supercar Sunday was held on 7th September at Sprucefield’s Park & Ride, as part of the five day Hillsborough International Oyster Festival. The Park and Ride location ideally explained the concept of this event – people arrived, parked their cars and took a ride; however the Ulsterbuses were replaced with some of the world’s most expensive and fastest supercars. An incredible sum of £5800 was raised for Autism NI making this a truly successful event.
A very early call on Sunday morning from my friend woke me up from my slumber and reminded me about the event we promised ourselves we wouldn’t miss – Supercar Sunday! A quick breakfast and shower later and I pushed the button to fire up my S2000. I knew for a fact that even though the event’s official start time was later that afternoon, that such was the popularity of the event the keen passengers and owners of the cars would be there well before that.
Since my friend is not exactly what you’d describe as the most punctual we were running a bit behind. Following a brisk drive down the motorway, we were stunned with the amount of spectators that were already present. Once escorted to the designated car parking space by the marshals we got out to walk around the car park. The spaces that would normally be filled with nondescript commuter vehicles was now packed with high end sports cars including this mean wide body R35 Nissan GT-R and a beautiful BMW M3.
The turnout of the cars for the auctioned passenger runs was unbelievable; there were cars to accommodate every petrol heads taste - supercars, grand tourers, kit cars, vintage cars and some big American muscle.
The star of the show undoubtedly was the Bavarian BMW supplied supercar – BMW i8. This futuristic design is based around eDrive technology – electric motors and a conventional combustion engine working in tandem to give low emissions and high performance. The hybrid supercar costs a whopping £100,000 and is capable of speed up to 155 mph with a 0-60 time of just 4.4 seconds. It certainly is engineering magic. Many people admitted they visited the event just to see this car alone and I must admit it certainly has some presence. If Darth Vader were to design a car, I reckon this is what it would look like.
Amongst the supercar stand there were Bentley Continental, V10 Audi R8 Spider, Ferrari 430, Porsche GT3 a.k.a. the widow maker, BMW M5, Mercedes Benz AMG and many others. The selection didn't end there – if Supercars really didn't excite one, there were kit cars, Mitsubishi Lancers, Ford Focus RS and many other high powered sports cars that owners were ready to let loose on motorway.
The fleet of Charles Hurst Specialist Cars was recently updated with a couple of former Liverpool football players Corvettes and they were happy enough to supply one for the day. Finished in stunning red along with an American muscle heart it certainly is a supercar in my books.
A huge line up of sports cars on display was brought along by the car trader Hollybrook Cars, including the stunning Lotus Elise S1 and Exige, Honda S2000 AP1 and Nissan 350Z.
Momentum Motorsport presented some of their most immense cars including the K20 supercharged Lotus Elise and their rapid R35 Nissan GTR producing well over 700bhp.
After a quick driver’s briefing from the organisers the first of the supercars started to queue up. The bidding for the passenger runs began at 1:30 and while some of the passenger rides cost as little as £10, the more exotic supercars were making over £60 a run, which was all great news for the designated charity Autism NI.
As soon as the first car took off, the action never stopped; cars were auctioned without a break and it was such a pleasure to hear all these screaming engines and see the glorious supercars driven around. The faces of kids, and sometimes their dads, just said it all.
The busy carriageway coupled with the speed guns of PSNI was a reminder to the drivers not to get too excited on their spirited runs. Hopefully next year a part of the carriageway could be cleared for this awesome cause to make the experience safer and more fun for everybody.
The event was a huge success, a very creative and interesting way to raise money for a good cause while allowing the kids and adults to experience the ride of their life.