Fresh from a 2nd place finish at Round 1 of the BDC and a relaxing week of drifting demonstrations at Top Gear Barbados, Team Japspeed driver Shane O’Sullivan returned to his native Ireland with a score to settle at Round 2 of the Irish Drift Championship.
With Round 1 having taken place at the internationally renowned Mondello Park, Round 2 took place at a built-for-the-event circuit in Fermoy, Cork. Consisting of a number of fearsome walls, hard to reach clipping points and an undulating surface the track was definitely not for the faint hearted and would punish those who were lacking in commitment.
Thankfully Sully is not lacking in bravery and, despite missing all of Saturday’s practice sessions, quickly got to grips with the tricky circuit in time for qualifying. The S15’s new RB25 engine had pulled some highly impressive figures on TDP’s dyno the day before and certainly helped Shane to secure a very impressive 6th place once the qualifying dust had settled.
The Super Lap competition followed where Sully showed no sign of letting off the gas, taking 5th place and a good haul of championship points in the process.
The long-awaited Top 16 battles were up next and, considering the field contained numerous past champions, European event winners and even a Formula D driver tensions were running high. Shane’s first battle saw him drawn against the hugely popular Wesley Keating in his WKD Imports 180SX. After a brace of extremely close battles the judges called two One More Times. Both drivers called for a 5 minute rule prior to the third running of the battle but unfortunately Wes was unable to make it to the line in time, gifting the win to Sully.
Sully’s Top 8 battle saw him drawn against Formula D driver Dean Kearny in the MG Crash Repairs S15. A determined Shane stormed away in his lead run securing a mighty advantage; a fairly equal run from both drivers second time round saw the victory awarded to the Team Japspeed driver.
The Top 4 battle pitched Shane and Duane McKeever against each other in a fight for a position in the final. Despite a fairly even first run Sully unfortunately made a few errors while chasing, gifting the advantage to Duane. Nevertheless we were through to the battle for third!
Nigel Colfer was to be Sully’s opponent for the final position on the podium and what a stormer of a battle it turned out to be! Sully managed to remain close during his chase run but with the roles reversed Nigel managed to get that slightest bit closer, nudging Sully into an eventual 4th place finish.
Despite not making it onto the podium the team were hugely pleased with the result considering the relative lack of practice and last minute engine work. The new RB25 powerplant has provided the S15 with a huge increase in power and response which will prove to be highly advantageous in the long run. Sully’s next event is Round 2 of the Maxxis British Drift Championship at Knockhill – considering he took the top qualifying spot there at last year’s event we have definitely got high hopes!