During the lunch break at the last race meeting of the year the Safety Car and Les Kirk's Fisher Fury, in which he competed in for most of his races, were paraded around the circuit before stopping on the grid for one minutes silence for Les and Phil.
Please find below words remembering both Les and Phil from the meeting's Raceday Guide :
It was with great sadness that recently we learnt of the sad passing of Les Kirk who had been a regular of the Championship over the past few years. We shall all miss seeing, and chatting with Les at race meetings. In memory of Les the front row of the grid will be left empty for the first of the CNC Heads races today. Below are some words spoken by Graham Saul at Les’ recent funeral :
Les was part of the CNC Heads racing family. He started to race with the BARC NW Championship in 2014, previously he’d done track days and he’d decided to take it to the next level and make the step up to become a club racer. He was a cracking, down to earth, witty, straight talking guy. He always had a smile on his face, and the banter at race meetings was great fun.
At his first race meeting he turned up with his Renault Clio that he’d done track days with. Racing is very different. You want to strip everything out of the car to make it as light as possible, as it makes it quicker. But Les still had the floor mats in the car, and even the stereo in the car. Maybe listening to Radio 2 as he raced round Donington. He soon changed his car and came out racing in the yellow Fisher Fury, without a stereo!
As a typical club racer he turned up at the track in his van and with his race car, and he had everything in that van, all his spares, and cable ties big enough to hold a spare engine hanging from the roof. He brought his food with him, and was always quick to offer round his usual ham and piccalilli butties, but don’t dare take the ones made from the crusts.
He became well known for his dubious race starts in the yellow Fury. Often stalling the car on the start and being passed by the ambulance. Either that or he got a flying start. At one race at Rockingham he jumped the start and was in first place even before anyone had moved, as the lights hadn’t yet gone out to start the race.
One year at Anglesey he started from the pit lane and flew past a number of cars on the first lap, then had a spin and they all passed him, but he got back on the track and passed them all over again, only to have another spin and they all passed him again before he re-joined the track. At the end of the race he wanted the rules of the Cam Forbes trophy changing so he would win, as he was adamant that he’d overtaken the most cars in the race….which he had…but that wasn’t the rules of the trophy, no matter how much he protested. That was typical Les, and all done with his usual smiley manner
Les then bought the Honda Civic, and had some great fun racing that along with some of the other guys who were running Civic EP3’s.
Les started 57 races in the championship over 5 seasons, and finished in 52 of them, loving every one. In in two of those five seasons he competed in every single race.
There isn’t anyone that had the pleasure to meet Les that would have a bad word to say about him, from his hilarious stories of what had happened to him over the years, to the way he just spoke his mind…no matter if it was completely inappropriate at the time. It truly was a laugh a minute with Les.
The CNC Heads family had lost a legend, and we’ve all lost a friend. Les, enjoy your time racing on that heavenly track in the skies. I’m sure you’ll be sharing some laughs with some of our other departed friends and sharing a ham and piccalilli butty. In his memory the races have been named after Les today and the front row of the grid will be left empty for the first race.
Phil, better know to his friends as Bunny, first started marshaling on the 23rd May 2015 following on from hanging up his race suit (he used to drive an old style Mini).
His taster day was at Deer Leap. Now in life, that is not such a long time, but from day one he fitted right in, anyone that met him will tell you that he had a calm laidback manner and nothing seemed to fluster him. He quickly learnt the ropes and became a monitor to newer marshals. 3 years ago when we were looking for more people to join the Safety Car team Phil was an obvious choice and jumped at the opportunity. Since last year he took over the duties for all the BARC meetings at both Oulton and Anglesey.
Always reliable and dependable he volunteered for duties at Donington and Caldwell to name a few, he also continued the don the orange overalls at every opportunity. It came as a great shock to all of us when we heard that he has been taken ill and even more when we heard the sad news of his death last Saturday
When you join the family of Marshals you become that; family. When we lose a family friend it hurts. We want to remember the great time we had. Having a tribute on circuit is the way the marshaling families says goodbye to them. Everyone having their own memory of that lost friend. Phil was taken far too soon, which can make it so much harder on everyone.