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One Crazy Weekend

Last weekend saw the Irish Drift Championship return in an assault of tyre-smoking adrenaline-fueled mayhem which saw some of the best drifters Ireland have to offer alongside an array of international intruders descend upon the Mondello Park Circuit.

After a season of mixed result in 2017, hopes were high for Shane ‘Sully’ O’Sullivan and the team. Arriving early on the Saturday, Shane couldn’t wait to take the JZ-powered Japspeed S15 out for a shake-down ahead of qualifying the next day.

With the record-breaking heat baking the Co. Kildare venue Shane put in not one but two spectacular qualifying runs; scoring 84.7 and 87 points respectively. Despite fierce competition Shane had earned himself 5th place qualifier. Starting the weekend as he meant to go on Shane was in a strong position; advancing straight into the Top 16 for his first round of battles.

In his Top 16 battle Shane found himself face to face with Chris Burnett in his RB25-powered Nissan 180sx. Both drivers pushed themselves and their cars to the limit, all in the name of putting in an incredible performance for the gathered spectators. Daylight could scarcely be seen between them as Shane and Chris transitioned through the clipping points in a haze of tyre-smoke and screaming engines. As the smoke cleared and the judges deliberated; Shane would be pronounced the victor and advance through to the Great 8.

High on his success so far Shane would be pitted against fellow Irishman Paul McCarthy in his Great 8 battle. Tensions built as both drivers lined up at the start line. Leading on run 1 it was clear from the outset Shane would have difficulty shaking the 550bhp BMW E36 M3 of his competitor from his rear and side views. Eager to give as good as he got; Shane gave chase and firmly positioned himself on the door of McCarthy’s car for the 2nd run.

So close was the battle, some time passed before the judges could call a decision. So much so that the only fair way to settle this was with another battle – One More Time was the call from the judging tower and both Shane and Paul lined up once more.

Just as before Shane lead the way on the 1st run. Eager to gather points early on Shane launched the Japspeed S15 into the first transition with such ferocity that the front bumper simply couldn’t hold on any longer. Unfortunately Paul was right on his tail as a trail of fuel-infused tyre-smoke engulfed the Mondello Circuit.

A similar story would quickly unfold as Shane began his chase run. Keen to apply the pressure on his opponent Shane fought hard to keep the S15 on the judged line – so much so that a particularly tight transition would raise the question of whether he made contact with McCarthy’s rear quarter. Despite his best efforts the judge’s decision fell in favour of his rival bringing a premature end to the weekend for Shane and the team.

Everyone at Team Japspeed would like to congratulate Duane McKeever, Conor Shanahan and Mitch Larner on taking podium at this event. We can’t wait for Round 2!

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