Random Snap>> On The Street

During the boom era, Ireland was a hotspot for street racing. Organised illegal events were run on practically a nightly basis and it wasn't uncommon for hundreds of cars to show up. One of the most infamous spots in Ireland was 'the port road' a dead end route that lead into Waterford harbour. As far as illegal street racing goes, it was about as safe a spot as you could get. The systems and signals in place to ensure the safety of those in attendance were simply fascinating to watch.

Skip forward to today and although it has quietened down considerably, the port is still a hotspot for local drivers to meet up and race. Even as I write this, I can hear the sound of a vanishing VTEC in the distance through an open office window.

Most will condemn these people for racing on the public roads and although it's not a water tight excuse, Ireland still has no facilities to accomodate those who want to race a friend or to quench that thirst for speed and acceleration.

But there is a light at the end of the tunnel. In a yard somewhere in the midlands, a group of like minded people have gotten together to create an area for people to let off steam and burn rubber. It's not pretty but it's a start.

Over the next two weeks I'm taking to the road to seek out street racing and to try and examine why it's still happening. Likewise I'm going to be attending an organised meeting at one of Ireland's first legal drag strips to see the future of drag racing in Ireland.

What sort of questions would you guys put to the illegal / legal racers ?

Can you condone street racing if there is no legal alternative ?

It maybe a controversial / taboo subject but I reckon it's time we stood up and really took a closer look.


Paddy McGrath



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I've seen an article about street racing somewhere in the carribean (where they also didn't have a local drag strip). The event was fully staffed, with marshals watching the course and everything. The cops only came by around sunset, just to say "time to leave, guys. It's getting late." The event had about as good a safety record as any legal, sanctioned race at a drag strip.

So I guess what I'm saying is yes, I can condone street racing, --legal alternative or not-- as long as the organizers take the necessary safety precautions (which these chaps seem to be doing). People shouldn't group all street racers together, it's only the ignoramuses that race in traffic that need to be shot in the face.


Is it dangerous? HELL YEA! Do we live for it? HELL YEA. No regrets


no you really can't condone it.. but there is a need to provide a safe outlet! take what they've done in Dubai for instance.. a purpose made track, government funded/subsidised "to stop fast car owners racing on the public highway" it has all the appropriate safety measures in place - and its still fun!


It's all fun & games until someone puts an eye out.


As i live in ireland i know of this that there is no place where you can go and just race in a safe environment, their is only one proper track that supports this but to be honest its not what u call cheap!

street racing is ok once its done properly and no people are put in harms way, yes racing is dangerous it self but c'mon, it can get even more dangerous if not done properly, i say we need a place to race!


Plenty of fun had down the port and plenty more to come.

I've raced the port countless times myself and i'll continue to race it !


You cant condemn it, not even when there "on the paper" is legal alternatives. Look at sweden for example. A couple of times a year unless you want to travel extreme distances.

I wont condemn streetracing untill there is legal alternatives within a 1 hour radious on a weekly basis.


"The systems and signals in place to ensure the safety of those in attendance were simply fascinating to watch."

So if this is true... who cares that its on a public road? I would rather race on a public road if i had the chance. It would be sweet dragging down a public road like this, it just gives you more of a thrill.


Desktop please...


Even Mahatma Ghandy said that rules have to be good enough for people to overcome them...

This is not the way to anarchy, but it means that if we HAVE to overcome rules, because of the lack of a legal way, we must do it the civilest way possible, and we have to have knowledge of all the risks that may occur.


Im in my 30's now and live in waterford...

i loved this when i was younger and i know it is still happening today..

most nights i hear the sound of a janspeed or a rough sounding clutch kicked sr20/ and everytime it makes me smile...


nice write up paddy ;) that da6 on the left was good little car to go wasnt she ;)


It's an awesome spot, and well known for it's streeto too. :-)


Walkinstown Ive heard has racing on a friday. . .


i only ever race illegally on one specific stretch of road on an industrial estate that is known inside-out by myself and every other competitor who attends, we only ever race on a sunday evening (least chance of unsuspecting traffic) and we have a flashlight communication system with start line and finish line supervisors as well as radio communication all round. we try to limit the risk involved for all, but at the same time all who attend respect the risks they are facing. that is the one and only way street racing can, and will survive


Im a ususal down at the port... theres the unwritten rules of how it works down there.....

Casey's Yard in Tullow has taken over from it now... maybe its a good thing or maybe its a bad thing...

i think its safe down there. for the reason that. theres no traffic that late at night and if someting does come down everything stops and that person or vehicle is left to go home safely and the racing resumes ,its nice and wide and with the unwritten rules its grand...... it was the place that if you had a fast honda for the streets, you prove it down at the port road.... or any drag street car for that matter..


keep drifting fun


im from new zealand and i do agree with street racing and i go out almost every fridaya nd saturday to.

there is nothing better than racing down a moterway at 1 am or watchin my mate sit sidways in his s14 racing anyone and everyone, andpretty much winning evrytime.

the racing is all fun and is never done around traffic or streets, it is kept to empty moterways


Nice report... and Desktop please


this article and all the feedback is fascinating, also desktop would be awesome


like sex, drugs and rock and roll, street racing has a time and a place.

stoplight drags in the middle of the day are quite retarded.

dead end access roads or failed housing developments make for a much safer environment.


I do not condone illegal street racing and yet I remember being young and "racing" other vehicles. However I always braked before getting close to another car, I never made rapid lane changes, and always used my signals still. Yet in those times I remember the kind of disregard other drivers would give to the world as they would almost take out anything and anyone just to get ahead. It's dangerous, reckless, and has cost lives. I see no problem with racing on a public road that is shut down from all outside traffic, but I do not condone a live active road being used for racing purposes. I have no problem with wrecking there own cars and endangering there own lives but when it starts to interfere with the lives of the public your crossing a slippery slope. I would hope these events keep an airtight watch on traffic and have a safety system in place. However from some of the comments I'm reading it's just all "unwritten" rules were people will "try" to spot a car coming, and try to stop the race before anything harmful can happen. You don't need a public track built, you just need to approach your local government to allow you the road for a allotted amount of time, you need volunteers, and you need a good purpose and backing of people to help you get it approved. Don't be an idiot. Do it the right way, you'll be a greater person from it. Most likely you'll earn more notoriety in this scene that way then you would running an illegal public road race.


Monkius, you may be talking about St Martin (SXM) in the French West Indies... The authorities say there will be a dragstrip, but they keep sayin' it for 7 years now...

Before 5 O'clock on sundays on the road along the french airport in Grand Case, there you go !

Not always "fully staffed" tough... And the cops are not ok, but they can't do much in fact, there are around 20 of them for the french side of the island so...


Legal events will never have the ''atmosphere'' of illegal ones. When racing the streets you are free to choose your own ''track'' because you have millions of possibilities, you can choose the environment like city, highway, loops, mountain pass, you can race the street yearround, you never know who you gonna race with, what car will have. Every single racing discipline was born in the "street". Its the same thing like I would always prefer oldschool cars instead of new ones because of the feeling and fun. When talking about the problem of streetracers (and I mean real streetraces not kids driving dangerous pretending to be streetracers) being threat to public I am sure that problem of people who have driving licence and cant drive and dont know anything about traffic regulations is the problem to be solved at first.


Sou contra, muitos pilotos podem ser bons, mas sempre há a chance de ocorrer algo errado, alguma hora pode acontecer, sou mil vezes correr num local apropiado com todas as medidas de segurança; se de repente eu sofrer algum acidente será que o socorro apareceria rapidamente, talvez possa ser tarde demais...


Bonus points if you can name the model of the cars in the pictue above.


da6 and a dc2 that looks very like a levin


street racing is another form of racing not just for the feeling of acceleration and speed like track days and stuff but for the thrill of not knowing if there will be an oncoming car as you double clutch into the next turn its a different culture. There will always be street racers (true street racers) for this reason but our numbers will decrease if there is any legal alternative.


I mean i live in LA and can go difting @ willow springs without difficulty but instead i just head out to santa monica or downtown and drift with buds or just race with some ricers in the morning before class and work.


A little bit out of topic, but is there a possiblity to get that pic as desltop?


I havent raced down the port but im down there a good bit, there is one or 2 other places to race but it has be organised and only 2 cars maybe 3 at the max can be on these roads. The Port is pretty safe like, you can see cars coming from about halfway down and even if your not racing its still a grand place to just park up for a while. Nice write up aswel.


ive raced down the port a few times but its fairly shit, theres never anything fast down there, like its actually a good spot but its just that theres never anything worth racing down there, i always go down thinking there will be somthing new down there to have a run with the scooby but its always the same cars :(


nice write up, if there were more legal drag strips maybe it would take it off the roads...but...im sure them drag strips would have closing times and fees ect... and its mainl night time racing is done and the road is free...... im not saying its right just showing that saying more drag strips is the answer is wrong...

if stuff is done with a bit of cop on and well watched u wont have problems...but the sad thing is...u always get one ejit dont ya....