A sport with it's origins 6k miles away in Japan drifting has a new spiritual home in Ireland. David Egan's vision over the last couple of years has taken the IDC to the top of the competitive drift world and once last season was put to bed David and his guys moved into Mondello to enable then to work long hours to keep taking the competition forward. Details had already been released showing big changes to the track layout for 2016 but arriving for the Friday practice sessions it was still an impressive sight seeing a whole new corner along with a couple of walls to rub against.
After looking good during practice James Deane had to compete in a borrowed car
Another driver still having car issues was Jack Shannahan who for the second event in a row was driving his younger brothers car
During practice Forrest Wang looked like a serious threat to the Irish unbeaten run but on his first qualifying run he appeared to have a brake binded on and went into the second qualifying run bottom of the table with 0 points. With no mechanical problems on his second run he scored an 87.83 which took him through in 5th spot.
After coming 4th in the semi pro class Dan Moorhead went on to qualify 6th in the pro class putting him straight through to the knockout stage. He had stripped everything out of the r32 to get as much as possible out of it's 300hp and he needed to when he came up against Brian Egan in the top 16. After putting in a great lead run Dan had to throw caution to the wind to try to keep up with Egan with double the horse power, unfortunately he pushed it a little to much and made contact with Brian's rear bumper and ended up spinning out into the gravel.
Another semi pro driver playing with the big boys was second placed Joe Doyle. After knocking out Anthony Galvin in the sudden death Joe had the unenviable task of battling youngster Tomas Keily. Joe went out hard in his chase run, and he had to against Tomas, but this resulted in a couple of mistakes and then as expected Tomas sat close on Joe's door from the start in the second battle and Tomas went through to the top 8
In the battle between Shane OSullivan and Mike Fitz there was a hard knock in the first battle, and a hard decision for the judges. In the end they decided Mike had slowed slightly not giving Shane any time to avoid hitting him. In the second run with Mike chasing he made a couple of mistakes and went off track on the final corner after tagging the wall making it an easy decision to put Shane through
In the top 16 Wang was up against the lowest power car in the competition driven by David Hobbs. David knew he had a battle on his hands against the FD driver and pushed so hard he ended up with 4 wheels off in the gravel on his chase run. With the advantage of being able to control the speed he put in a much better lead run but with a 0-10 from run 1 and Forrest putting in two great runs it was always going to be the American that went through
Duane McKeever made it clear from the outset this weekend that the youngsters were not getting it all their own way
It wouldn't be drifting without car issues and both James Deane and Sean Galvin ended up in borrowed cars. James driving Dennis Murphy's car and Sean in Ian Galvin's. Sean had car issues right at the start and called a 5min rule. They got the car back to the start line and Sean put in a good solid chase run in the first battle giving James a lot to do in a car he wasn't just to driving. They don't call him the machine for nothing though and on his chase run Deane was right on Galvin's door through the first corner and going into Mobil 1 corner Galvin lost it and spun out While they worked on Sean's car in the pits the crowd watched an epic first run in the battle between Jack Shannahan and Nigel Colfer. In the second run Nigel lost his rear bumper and after rewatching the video feed the judges decided Jack was to aggresive and clipped Nigel. After an even first battle this was enough for the judges to award the win to Nigel.
With two amazing chase runs the battle between Shane and Tomas was a great opener to the great 8. The first half of Tomas's chase run was about as good as you will see but he made a big error on the last corner nearly losing it and going way off line to correct, and this give Shane the win through to the top 4
With the unbeaten run still at risk Forrest Wang was up against Paul McCarthy. With a lot less power Paul couldn't get close to Forrest on his chase run but was putting in a great line until he clipped the wall in front of the stand throwing his run. Both drivers made a couple of errors on the second run and the judges marked it even, putting Forrest into the semi against Shane OSullivan based on the first run.
Daune McKeever and Brian Egan put in awesome runs and the judges couldn't decide between them and called a OMT. With Egan chasing in the first run McKeever opened up a lead which Brian pulled back. In the second run with Brian leading he lost a tyre coming out the first corner. Full credit to Brian he still managed a decent full run but the round was now easily Duane's
Nigel Colfer was the next one to go after James Deane's long unbeaten record at Mondello. In the first run James ran a perfect line while Nigel made a couple of small errors. In the second run James missed a gear giving the run to Nigel so the judges called a OMT. After a great first run James made a couple of errors and Nigel when through to the top 4
The first of the semis was Shane OSullivan against Forrest Wang, and that unbeaten Irish streak was still at risk. Forrest lead in the first run and both drivers threw their cars in from the first corner driving hard with some incredible driving. Forrest almost put in a perfect lead run but missed clip 3, but he also opened up a slight gap towards the end of the run and Shane had it all to do. In his lead run Shane was 100% committed and foot to the floor not lifting from the off but with Forrest stuck to his door out the first corner. Wang pushed a little to hard going into Mobil 1 and there was a slight bit of contact with Shane and Wang had to straighten slightly as he backed off, this was the only mistake and enough to put Shane into the final, Forrest fighting for 3rd spot and the unbeaten Irish run continues
In the other semi Duane McKeever was up against Nigel Colfer. McKeever had been on it all weekend and the past champion was a good bet for the top spot. In the first run Duane screamed through clips 2 and 3 and Colfer pushing it to keep up spun and stopped with 4 wheels in the gravel. with a 10-0 going into his chase run McKeever could have sat back and had a safe run but that was never happening and he pushed Colfer around the first corner. The Low Brains car had been having issues all weekend and half way around it was oblivious Colfer wasn't going to finish the run and McKeever went into the final against Shane
In the battle for 3th place Colfer continued having issues nad after 2 false starts called a 5 min rule. Once the car was in the pits they discovered the clutch had gone and Colfer was forced to retire giving Wang 3rd spot
And the final battle. The 2014 champion Duane McKeever wanted to make a point that he was back this season and Sully had his work cut out to take the top step. McKeever led the first run and both drivers put in great runs but Shane couldn't match his speed. Which Shane leading the second run he drove outstandingly going flat out from the start but mcKeever matched him for speed and stuck to his door the entire run even rubbing the wall with his rear bumper.