Redbull City Limits - David Coulthard's visit to Belfast
By Bob Hume, 22nd March 2010
Belfast City centre was alive with the bellow of a V10 Red Bull RB6 F1 car piloted by David Coulthard on Saturday night.
An estimated 15,000 turned out to see the Scottish former F1 driver at the Red Bull City Limits event.
The spectacle lasted half an hour, under specially flood-lit streets. The F1 car took to Wellington Place, Donegall Square and Chichester Street on three occasions, pitting in at the City Hall to allow the engine to cool.
Earlier that day Coulthard, now a consultant for Red Bull Racing, as well as a BBC Formula One pundit hosted a press conference at the City Hall and later went on a walk-about, to the delight of fans.
There was a carnival atmosphere in the city at eight o'clock that evening, as the crowds waited to see the Scot in action.
Reaching speeds in excess of 150 mph on his final run, he made more than a few detours from the straight run from the Black Man statue to the Courts to please the crowds with displays of precision doughnuts.
DriveWire had a great vantage point inside the VIP paddock at the front of the City Hall where he put on a display of doughnuts that left near-perfect rubber circles, the edges of which were inches from the curbs.
In between sessions, the car's telemetry was examined and the maximum speed announced.
It was a great day out - City Hall and Red Bull staff were very helpful and David himself couldn't have been nicer.
He signed autographs, stopped to talk to admirers and press - even going as far as signing the T-shirts of a passing stag party.
After the high-speed driving in the F1 car, Coulthard was driven at a more leisurely pace in the back of an Audi A4 Cabriolet to wave at the crowds, before retiring to the after-party at Ten Square Hotel.
I may have been awe-struck by Coulthard's driving but I was just as impressed by how friendly and approachable he was.