In fact it was the 2013 Cannonball Run, roaring into town and across the finish line at Lapp’s Quay where anyone enjoying a quiet bite outside The Club Brasserie probably got more than they had bargained for.
Instead of aromatic smells from the kitchen, the air was thick with exhaust fumes, and the garlic butter that came with the Brasserie’s sirloin steak had no chance against the smell of burning rubber.
Still, it was all for a good cause — money raised on foot of Cannonball 5 goes towards LauraLynn, a charity that supports children with life limiting conditions and their families.
The first car across the line to the soothing sounds of the Roaring Forties was a not-so-exotic Garda traffic corps vehicle, but that was soon followed by the kind of souped-up specimens that leave most men feverish — Lamborghinis, Ferraris, Rolls Royces, Bentleys, Jaguars, Porches — and Lisa Murphy. Cork’s most famous and pneumatic blonde joined diners at The Brasserie after disentangling herself from the cavalcade that included Batman and Robin in their Bat Mobile, Star Wars Clone Troopers in their space mobile and, among the highlights, uniformed beefcakes driving a vehicle emblazoned with NYPD. There was no sign of chart-topper Bruno Mars, but our own Shane Lynch of Boyzone was at hand, along with models Rosanna Purcell and Nadia Forde, and of course Ms Murphy’s on-again boyfriend, solicitor and socialite, Gerald Kean.
The cars parked at Cork Port giving enthusiasts a chance to take photographs while the drivers headed to the Clarion for a costume change before kicking off the celebrations at Gately’s Boardwalk Grill and Restaurant.
It was a night of testosterone and horsepower and popcorn (thanks to Manhattan Popcorn, Cannonball’s main sponsor) and horsepower.
Don O’Neill of Manhattan Popcorn said they were proud to help raise funds for LauraLynn and to have the opportunity “to bring this mad cap movie to life”.
The madcap participants continue on their way today leaving Cork at 10am and heading for Kenmare, then over Molls Gap and onto Limerick at 6pm. Sunday will see them head for Killaloe in Co Clare and later onto Cashel and then Tullamore, Co Offaly, at 5pm for the finish line.
Cannonball has already raised nearly €500,000 for children’s charities. The cost of entry for each car is €500. This year there were 50 supercars from Italy, Germany, the US, UK, Monaco, Russia, Switzerland, and the Caymen Islands. Those wishing to donate to the cause can do so along the route where collections are taking place.