Last weekend saw the triumphant return of the Irish Drift Championship to the now iconic Kartworld venue in Cork, Ireland. A favourite venue of both national and international drivers from around the world – many of whom would descend upon this green isle for a tyre-smoking, adrenaline- fuelled weekend of drift action.
Representing Maxxis sponsored Team Japspeed Shane ‘Sully’ O’Sullivan and the Japspeed.ie crew would not be alone for this round as current British Drift Championship front runner and teammate Matt ‘Doorhunter’ Carter made the trip to battle it out alongside the IDC Dark Horse.
With the sun shining and the cars in tip top condition both Maxxis drivers Shane and Matt wasted no time making the most of practice to check and dial in settings to ensure maximum performance in the dry conditions.
Having learnt a few lessons from previous rounds Shane was more comfortable than ever behind the wheel of the faithful Japspeed S15. Alongside Matt and his 900bhp R32 Skyline things were looking good for the weekend ahead.
Full of confidence both drivers put in spectacular qualifying runs; filling the air with clouds of smoke from the new Maxxis VR1 tyres and the ears of spectators with the sound of screaming JZ engines. Qualifying saw both drivers perform exceptionally – earning Shane an incredible 5th place and Matt a very respectable 17th going into the battles.
Drawn against Brian Egan in the top 24, Matt knew he would have to lay everything on the line to claim a victory. Unfortunately for Matt the Irish don’t go down without a fight and Brian is as tough as they come.
With no quarter given both drivers pushed hard; creating an amazing display of car control for the gathered crowd. Unfortunately for Matt there can only be one winner and today was not to be his day – a premature end to the weekend for the Doorhunter.
Having qualified 5th, Shane found himself straight into the top 16 and heading out on the circuit face to face with IDC veteran Denis Murphy. The dry conditions held out and Shane was on top form. Neither Shane nor Denis were going to give up easy – after the first run points were split down the middle at 5:5.
As they made the return journey to the start line for their 2nd battle, the heavens opened and within a matter of minutes the conditions on track were transformed. The dry, grippy surface was now more akin to an ice rink. With no time to adjust the car’s suspension Shane would have to push hard to break the stalemate.
Eager to take the advantage both drivers risked it all in the increasingly wet conditions. Unfortunately for Shane, the conditions would be his undoing as pushing just that bit too far caused him to spin out in the 2nd run; handing the advantage and the battle to his rival.