Team Japspeed driver Shane O’Sullivan claimed 3rd place at the first round of the 2013 Irish Drift Championship at Mondello Park over the weekend after pushing himself and the car to the limit amongst the highly competitive competition.
With the first round of the British Drift Championship having taken place just a week before there was a big rush to get the car prepared and shipped back to the Emerald Isle in time for the event.
Saturday was reserved for practice for the Pro class drivers while the Semi-Pro drivers ran through their qualification runs and top 32 battles.
Come Sunday and the weather had decided to show its hand and unleash the heavens across the picturesque Mondello circuit. With the rain being on and off throughout the day it made for a continual challenge for the drivers in order to adapt to the conditions each time they hit the track.
Sunday’s itinery included a final practice session…
…and was quickly followed by qualifying. With Shane suffering from a minor fuel cut/boost issue some quick thinking in the pits was required in order to make sure Sully could complete his runs safe in the knowledge that the car would be completely under his control. The result was 13th place – not the best that Shane could have hoped for but at least he was safe inside the top 16.
Next up for the top 16 drivers was the Super Lap competition, where the drivers have just one lap to score as many points as possible in order to confirm their positions for the battles. Sully took no prisoners and a storming run found him at the top of the leader board, securing 1st place from a very competitive James Deane by just one point.
The first top 16 battle saw Shane line up against Mike Deane in his PS13 (sporting a very unique S14a front end conversion). A victory here saw Sully progress through to the top 8…
…where he then had to fend off the attentions of Nigel Colfer. Another victory for Shane saw him progress to the top 4…
…where he would face Gavin Lenihan. A brace of nail biting battles resulted in a victory for Gavin, meaning that Shane had one final battle left in order to decide the third place finisher. Unfortunately for Brendan Stone an engine failure meant he could not compete in the battle which resulted in Sully automatically securing third place on the podium.
Considering the pressures that the team had to face in the run up to the event and the mad rush between getting the car back from Lydden Hill to Japspeed HQ and then over to Ireland (with a last minute turbo swap in between!) we couldn’t be happier with the result.
The next round is at Punchestown on May 24th-26th, and with the second round of the Maxxis British Drift Championship taking place just two weeks afterwards we know it’s going to be another mad rush!