The latest staging of Red Bull’s F1 Showrun drew more than 30,000 fans to the streets of Belfast at the weekend.
The free urban event, which centres on stunts demonstrating the capabilities of Red Bull’s F1 car, attracted more than double the numbers that turned out in 2010 – the last time the brand took its global fan showcase to the Northern Irish capital.
Former Red Bull Racing Formula 1 driver David Coulthard proved the star attraction on a damp evening in Ulster, displaying his expertise behind the wheel of RB8, Red Bull’s 2012 double title-winning car.
The Scot wowed the crowds with power slides, donuts and the famous V8 engine roar a course that encompassed Belfast City Hall, Donegal Square and Chichester Street.
Coulthard, who was joined on the night by a roster of fellow motorsport legends, specialist stunt riders and drivers on both four and two wheels, commented: “The reaction from the people of Belfast has been absolutely fantastic.
“The warmth of the fans has been amazing and there’s been a huge amount of people that have been coming over to say, ‘thank you for bringing the F1 car here to Belfast,’ so big thanks to Red Bull for making this opportunity possible. It's not easy to get all the permissions.”
Coulthard, who raced for Red Bull Racing for a three-year spell between 2005 until 2008, continued: “I believe that not a lot of people live in the city, with most living in the suburbs and outside of town, so to have them come here at night is a testament to the huge level of support for motorsport there is in Ireland.”
Alongside Coulthard, fans were treated to plenty of local talent in the form of road racing heroes Jeremy McWilliams and Ryan Farquhar on KMR Kawasaki Supertwin bikes, Galway Street Bike rider Mattie Griffin and Red Bull athlete, Cork’s Conor Shanahan, a promising 15-year-old Pro Drifting talent.
What a night! Belfast you were amazing! Here's a quick look back on the madness- stay tuned for more footage! #F1Belfast @redbullracing @VisitBelfast @DiscoverNI @lovinbelfast pic.twitter.com/KDPqook8KJ— Red Bull Ireland (@redbullIRE) November 3, 2018
“There’s no question the Irish love F1,” Coulthard added. “There’s a huge motorsport tradition here – on two and four wheels, circuit racing, rally – so it was really special. I’m not sure if we wait another eight years whether I’ll be able to fit in my race suit, so we’d better come back again soon.”
Belfast is one of four of non-race cities globally to host a live demo from the Red Bull Racing team in 2018.
The event has travelled worldwide, taking in the likes of Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam, Marseille’s docklands and, famously, the roof of a 62-storey skyscraper in Miami.