Irish Drift Championship - Round 3
by Lorin Gannon
What do you get when you put 52 pro drivers, 40,000+ combined BHP cars and 13 clipping points together? Round 3 of the Irish Drift Championship thats what! With drivers travelling from Peru, Finland, Australia, Cyprus and many any more just to compete in Global Warfare 4 at Mondello race track everyone knew this event was going to be one of the best competitive drift events that has been held in Europe so far. Global Warfare has a name for itself for international drivers fighting to take down the undefeated Irish winning streak of a whopping 13 years! This year featured not just the Irish Drift Championship but ran along side a round of the European drifting series Drift GP. Has the streak been defeated? Continue reading to find out!
The Irish Drift Championship wouldn't be drawing in new drivers or fans each round if they had the same track layout each time. The guys running this incredible event have put in many man hours not just testing each layout with a real car but simulating the layout virtually creating a challenging track for the drivers and a visually pleasing track for the spectators. This year Global Warfare featured a very large amount of clipping points, 13 in total. With a rough speed of 95+ mph entry speed into the first clipping point under Mondello's iconic bridge in front of the permanent grandstand it sure was a spectacle.
With the incredible and huge grid of pro drivers being impressive in itself watching each one put down a heavy score in qualifying never mind getting into the battles. Topping off the list in qualifying was Duane McKeever with a score of 88.83, Tomás Kiely taking second place with a 88.58 and Marcel Uhlig, a Drift GP driver taking third with a qualifying score of 84.75 but this is just the start. The real test is still to come for every driver competing!
With drifting being so intense on both the drivers and cars something is bound to happen. Theres never a weekend where something doesn't break on a car or some slight lapse of judgement from a driver causes their car to clip a wall just a bit too hard. With the new layout holding 13 clipping points and a slight jump on clip two, something that has never been featured in a Mondello layout before, it really put a lot of stress on every car competing combined with the extra length of the track itself.
Brian Egan, a driver for team Dealtwidth was one of the victims of this jump when he broke a hub on clip 2 causing him to spin not far after. He called his 5 minute rule where drivers get a chance to repair any issues with their cars during the competition but get deducted championship points as a result. Pulling everything out of the bag and a little bit more he managed to get his Nissan Skyline R32 back on track but sadly didn't advance through into the next battle.
Underdog Chris Brady who claimed second place on the podium in Round 2 also succumb to this jump causing his rear drivers side tire to rip straight off the rim coupled with low pressure to get more grip during the high speed entries required for clipping points 1 and 2.
Taking a hard fought victory Duane McKeever took first place on the podium with Tomás Kiely taking second place and third going to Jack Shanahan. Next up is Round 4 of the Irish Drift Championship - King of The Hill at Watergrasshill in county Cork, Ireland. We'll see you there for the next instalment of our coverage from the Irish Drift Championship.