Round 2 of the Irish Drifting Championships was one for the history books in this little green country. Transforming a well known equestrian center, Glens Arena in county Cork, Ireland into the home for the worlds first fully indoor competitive drifting championship is no easy task. Walking into the arena on Friday night was an incredible experience. From the spot lights turning the entirety of the arena completely green to the highway crash barriers and massive fencing to protect the 2000 seated drifting fans we all knew it was going to be a weekend never to forget.
Looking at the track layout it seems very simple to drive but after talking to some of the semi and pro drivers they all agreed that to hit all the clipping points without having the rear of the car literally shredded by the unforgiving highway crash barriers was very demanding. To make sure all drivers hit the clipping points successfully they lit up green every time they were passed through making the visual side of this event even better. Many drivers found the surface was actually very high extremely grip and ended up running high tire pressures all weekend.
Sunday was the main day for Round 2 of the Irish Drifting Championship. Starting early the lights, cars, and tire smoke came out in full without any compromise. Since the pro series ran Sunday day there was a significant amount more smoke and dust in the arena, but this didn’t put the fans off whatsoever. For the fans, being just over six feet away from a screaming 700bhp drift car coming full throttle towards some crash barriers and fencing was enough to keep them on the edge of their seats. 15 year old driver Jack Shanahan scored a very impressive full 100 points in qualifying. He was the only driver to out qualify James Dean who had a 97.8 score. The crash barriers weren’t as forgiving to some drivers though, Lluis Lopez had some more bad luck in practice and had the hardest hit of the weekend.
The top 16 parade was a little bit different this year at Round 2 of the Irish Drifting Championship. Spot lights lit up each car that rolled in with fire breathers throwing flames. After a crazy build up to the final few runs the atmosphere was alive in the arena. In steps James Dean to battle Jack Shanahan, Master VS Apprentice. Ending up in two “one more times” and three incredible runs from both drivers everyone from IDC staff to the 2000 seated spectators gave the two drivers a standing ovation. James Dean took 1st place with Jack Shanahan in 2nd and John McCarthy in 3rd. Next event up is Round 3 – Global Warfare where Team Achilles will be visiting us here in Mondello race track with their cars already on the boat and ready to compete along with many other international drivers. Will the 11 year undefeated Irish streak be knocked down? We will soon see.