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17 Oct 2015



Text and Photos: Reinis Babrovskis

After a very exciting and eventful season, it was time to face the final round of the 2015 Irish Drifting Championship (IDC) at the Mondello International racing circuit in Ireland. The boys and girls had been working extremely hard throughout the season, and it was time for the final showdown before the well-earned break over the winter months.

It was all building up for the ultimate round – the undecided IDC 2015 title, the huge entry list and the special guests of course, including Daigo Saito himself. IDC is most certainly one of the best drifting leagues in the world and this round showcased that perfectly.

More than 12 000 people walked through the gates of the venue on Sunday; it was the highest attendance recorded at the Mondello circuit in years. It didn’t stop there: thousands of people worldwide followed the action via the live stream, even causing the stream to crash  during the practice runs and semi-pro final.on Saturday. It was all back up and running for the big day though! 
We left the hotel early in the morning, and by 9AM the track side was already overflowing with the fans. There was not a single seat left in the Grand Stands as it all sold out weeks prior to the event. As usual "Japfest" car festival was ran alongside the drifting event, click here to see the report for it.
The success of the IDC league comes from the skillful drivers and the quality of the show they produce, but it is also popular for the insane machinery these guys bring along. As always there were some bonkers cars present at the event, including a retro Celica and RWD Nissan GT-R R35.
James Dean brought along not one, but two cars. It was the S-Chassis he opted for in the end.
A personal favourite of mine was Marcin's 600hp 2000 powered by a 2JZ. S2000 are notoriously known for being hard to drive sideways, having an 2JZ in it must be a handful. So much love for this car.
The Japanese Professional drifter Daigo Saito brought along one of his (many) drift cars. The chaser in fact was pretty standard compared to his usual D1 cars and by no means would have been as competitive; having a flu on top of that certainly didn't help him with he chances of any decent result this time.

The season had taken its toll on the drivers but more so the cars. Following the Thurdsay, Friday and Saturday practice runs, some of the cars were pushed to the absolute limits, and sadly a number of drivers were forced to retire their cars or borrow one if they were lucky to be offered one.
Sunday morning began with the Pro qualification runs where each driver was given a chance to perform two judged runs.
Once all the drivers had completed their qualification runs, the drivers were given an hour break. The action on the track; however, didn't stop- a dozen of cars were out chasing the best lap times in the Time-Attack racing.
Also Team Japspeed's Shane Lynch was eager to finally take his Rolls out for a spin and the spectators were loving it.

TOP 16

Battle #1

It was sadly never going to be a fair fight as the Hachi Roku of the French man Jerome Vassia was simply too under-powered compared to the insane S14 of Tomas Keily, and even though Jerome did great runs, it was the young Irishman that outperformed him. 

Battle #2

Martin Richards (Skyline R33) went head to head with Paul McCarthy (BMW E36) in the Top 16 battle #2. Both of the drivers were able to keep up with each other and a "one-more-time" was called. It was Martin Richards that advanced as the judges decision was based on Paul's shallow angles on the second time through.

Battle #3

The first battle of the title contender James Dean was against the Northern Irish man Mark Luney in his Lucas Oil 1000bhp Toyota Supra. The pressure was on and Mark made a small mistake on run 1, whilst James "pushed" him off the track the second time through, thus allowing James to advance to the Top 8.

Battle #4

The freshly built Toyota Corolla AE86 powered by a monstrous V8 of Adrian Walsh went head on with the Dealtwidth R32 of Brian Egan. It was Adrian Walsh that pulled a gap on the first run, when the R32 lost the momentum and despite the second run being closer, it was Adrian in his AE86 that made it through.

Battle #5

The Reigning IDC champion from Northern Ireland, Duane McKeever was up next against Scottish William Rolls in his M3 powered BMW Compact. The smoke of Duane McKeever's beast was too much for William and his first run ended in the sand pit. On the second lead run from Willian the 180SX of Duane never left the side of the Compact and William was eliminated.

Battle #6

The Semi Pro driver Charlie Geary (BMW 3 Series Touring) was facing the 180sx of Nigel Colfer. The EDC driver left the BMW in a cloud of dust on the leading run, whilst Charlie made a mistake on run two, eliminating any chances to go through.

Battle #7

During his very last run at the IDC the Irishman Alan Lenihan was battling Team Japspeed driver Shane O'Sullivan, despite giving his all it just sadly wasn't enough, and Shane proceeded to the best 8. Was it really the last time we will see Alan drifting? 

Battle #8

Anthony Galvin had just been crowned the new Semi Pro Champion and was out to battle Paul Conlan in his S15. Both of the runs were very close; however, Paul Conlan dropped a wheel into the sand trap just oustide the second clipping point, and it was enough for Anthony to advance.


Battle #1

Tomas Kiely was up against Martin Richards first. Tomas nailed the racing lines and hit the clipping point textbook perfect. It was enough for the judges to make a decision and they let him through. 

Battle #2

James dean was facing Adrian Walsh. With James having a lead run first, Adrian had to be pushing to the very limits and it showed - the V8 AE86 nearly span at the finish line. In the chase run James was glued to the side of the Corolla and it was James that was closer to the title now.

Battle #3

It was the duel of the highly powerful Nissan 180sx's - Duane McKeever vs Nigel Colfer. Despite his best attempts Duane couldn't replicate the chase run of Nigel and the Northern Irishman's hope for another title was gone.

Battle #4

Anthony Galvin was facing a very tough battle with Shane O'Sullivan and it just proved too much this time. The Japspeed Maxxis S15 never left the side of Anthony's 180 and Shane got through. 


Battle #1

The battle of Giants. "One more time, One ore time, one more TIME"...
It seemed there was nothing between James and Tomas as they "danced" around the track for what seemed to be dozens of times. Judges just could not decide and sadly it was the cars that did it for them.
Whilst James Deane was able to return to the track, a terminal engine failure and a broken conrod left on the track meant it was all over for Tomas. It was the MOST INSANE drift battle I've ever witnessed.

Battle #2

Shane's Maxxis S15 vs Colfer's Tri-Ace 180sx. Despite having to call a "5 minute" rule due to a fuel pressure issue, Nigel was able to battle Shane; however, it was Shane to claim the victory as judges felt that Nigel missed the 3rd clipping point.
James Dean, aged 23, claimed his 4th IDC title during the final battle, as the pressure of James got to the "Sully" in his final battle and he made a mistake - touching the sand with his S15. It was all over.
It was an unforgettable final and amazing weekend at the Mondello!

Bonus Images:

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