IRISH AMATEUR DRIFT CHAMPIONSHIP - ROUND 1
by Lorin Gannon
Day 2 of our Irish Drift Championship coverage and we're going back in time, all the way back to Saturday where the first round of the Pro AM Championship kicked at Mondello Park. Pro AM, also known as Semi Pro is littered with underdogs and budget builds that will blow you away with the sheer commitment from these drivers. Running low horsepower and scoring high, these guys are a force to be reckoned with.
One of these forces is a young man called Conor Shanahan. You might recognise his name from our previous report on the Irish Drifting Championship. At the age of 13 he sits into a 600bhp Nissan 180sx sponsored by Westlake tires. By no means is this car lacking in power but it takes a lot of skill and determination to control it all and this guy sure can do all of that and more! A Northern local, Shea Rodgers taking third in his first ever Irish Drifting Championship event with a score of 88. Young Conor put down a qualifying score of 89.70 taking the second spot with a well known driver Chris Burnett taking first with a huge solid score of 94.00.
A rare thing that can be said for Mondello Park is that it didn't rain, this however hindered a few of the lower horsepower cars sadly, but some prevailed. Putting on a solid competitive show for the fans each battle was door to door, nailing each clipping point with smoke pouring out from the rear wheels, it had the fans cheering for more. As the day passed we got a clearer look at who would be in the top 8. Some fan favourites, some underdogs and some extremely determined drivers. We knew it was going to be a good end to the day!
Battling hard all day the Northern youngster Ryan Caldwell placed high up on the podium taking third place after Chris Burnett, who had some serious mechanical issues causing him to miss out on the podium. Second place was taken by John Shine with first being taken by Conor Shanahan.
Next up is the street circuit based in a one off location in Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin. Shutting down the picturesque docks and letting loose some of Ireland's highest competitive drift cars, needless to say, it's going to be one crazy event.
Location: Mondello Park, Ireland
Words by: Lorin Gannon
Photos by: Lorin Gannon