Irish Drift Championship - Round 1
by Lorin Gannon
Ireland is known for producing some of the worlds best drivers in drifting. In nearly every major series we've either been dominating the grid or very close to doing so. Back on our home turf is a different story though. This is where the drivers battle against each other for not just championship points, but for their pride and love of the sport.
On Sunday we headed to Mondello Park, Ireland's only International motorsport venue, located in County Kildare. Home to the Irish Drift Championship, it holds a special kind of love in the hearts of the Irish drift fans. They battle the elements just to show their favourite drivers, friends, family and sometimes all three the incredible support they're known for no matter what the erratic climate of Mondello Park tends to throw at them.
The big talk over the weekend was all about two brothers, Jack and Conor Shanahan. Conor who is just 13 years old managed to win Round 1 in the Pro AM Championship a day before gaining himself a Pro license along side John Shine, Ryan Caldwell and Chris Burnett. With Conor gaining the chance to compete, everyone was ready for the big battle, brother VS brother.
Jack Shanahan set the car very high gaining himself the top qualifying run with a solid 98 points, everyone knew he mean't business. Tomás Kiely right beneath Jack with a score of 95.67 and Mitch Larner holding a solid 92.
Mondello is known for having it's own climate, if its the hottest day of the year across the country well then you can probably bet on it snowing at the track. Needless to say the rain didn't stay away for very long. The clouds opened up after qualifying and completely drenched the track but that never stopped anyone, after all we're Irish, well, nearly all of us. Mitch Larner flew in from Austrailia just over a week ago and built an absolute monster supercharged V8 PS13.
Throughout the day, battle after battle it was getting closer to the top 8. Sadly Tomás Kiely was forced to retire due to mechanical issues putting an end to his attempt at gaining a podium position for the first round of the season. With multiple people putting down some huge entries into the first corner completely sideways at over 100km/h and even some slight contact it was clear everyone had their sights set on taking home those valuable championship points. The most wanted battle was yet to come, Jack VS Conor, brother VS brother.
For the first time ever in IDC history, leading into the first corner Jack set a solid line for his little brother Conor to follow, sticking to his door he held his ground but sadly the more experienced brother Jack went on to battle Anthony Galvin in the final. With both drivers door to door hitting each clipping point perfectly, it was a hard battle to judge. But there is only one first place position available on the podium. Jack Shanahan took first place with Anthony Galvin taking second and Conor Shanahan taking third in Round 1 of the Pro Championship of the Irish Drift Championship.
The next round of IDC will be a street style course which is to be set in the picturesque docks of Dun Laoghaire, County Dublin. A one-off track with a seriously unique location, this will be one that you really can't miss!
Location: Mondello Park, Ireland
Words by: Lorin Gannon
Photos by: Lorin Gannon