Prize Fight

Last weekend saw a no holds barred battle among the best of Irish (and a few international) drifters as the grid descended upon Mondello Park for the 3rd round of the 2018 Irish Drift Championship. Shane ‘Sully’ O’Sullivan and the Japspeed.ie team were among the pack jostling for the €20,000 prize and top spot on the podium.

Owing to family commitments the team unfortunately would not be able to make the most of the Saturday practice sessions. Arriving on the Sunday morning the team wasted no time getting straight into the game. With the camp setup Shane was straight out on track for Qualifying.

Out for his first qualifying run Shane hit the blacktop hard as he threw the JZ-powered S15 into the judged line leaving a trail of Maxxis VR1 tyre smoke in his wake. A fantastic first outing; Shane’s familiarity with the Mondello circuit was clearly evident as he earned himself a strong 76.7 points for run 1.

Keen to improve on an already strong score Shane pushed hard on his 2nd qualifying run once again covering the gathered spectators in a stream of Maxxis VR1 tyre smoke. Another successful run earned Shane a very respectable 78.3 points placing him in 9th position overall – just missing out on a direct path to the top 16 battles by the smallest margin.

A short break gave Shane some time to reflect on his performance and allow the car some much needed time to cool amid soaring temperatures beating down upon Mondello Park. Coming into the top 24 battles Shane came face to face with Sultan Al-Qassimi and his V8-powered carbon-kevlar bodied BMW E92.

Shane put up a strong performance on his lead run however Sultan was never far behind. Everything was still to play for going into Shane’s chase run. Matching his opponent almost identically it didn’t take long for the judges to make their decision and award Shane a place in the top 16.

Unfortunately the heat along with Shane’s 110% driving style had begun to take their toll on the JZ-powered Japspeed S15 as a post top 24 battle inspection revealed a technical issue which would see the car unable to make the top 16 parade. Representative of the true spirit of the IDC Shane made the parade thanks to a little help from fellow competitor Brendan Stone.

With the S15 ready for action once more Shane headed straight into his top 24 battle against young gun Tomas Kiely. Chasing on the 1st run Shane pushed hard to apply the pressure despite a deficit of around 100bhp compared to his opponent.

Taking the lead on the 2nd run Shane launched the S15 around the judged line in an effort to shake Tomas from his tail. Unfortunately technical issues and a slight straighten from Shane was enough to slide the judge’s decision against him; bringing a premature end to the weekend.

Everyone at Team Japspeed would like to wish congratulations to Duane McKeever, Mitch Larner and Mark McBurney on taking podium at this event. Shane and team will be coming back stronger than ever for IDC Round 4 in a few weeks’ time.