It was a great start to the season at Mondello Park and it was no different at round 2 as the Irish Drift Championship returned for the second of its five 2016 events. Round 2 took place at the Corrin Events Centre in Fermoy – the venue for last year’s fourth round. The Fermoy event certainly lived up to expectations and this year’s second round will no doubt go down as one of the most eventful IDC events in history.
As day two lay ahead, many questions were posed, would visiting Formula Drift driver Dai Yoshihara finally take down the undefeated streak? Would James Deane overcome mechanical issues to take the Round 2 crown? Would Jack Shanahan finally take top spot on the podium, all in front of a home crowd?
Local sensation Shanahan topped the qualifying list with a score of 98.67, ahead of Round 1 winner Duane McKeever with a 95.00 and Shane O’Sullivan with a 93.00. It looked like everyone was set for a series of great battles, but then right as the Top 24 sudden death battles were about to begin, the heavens opened, absolutely soaking the track and transforming it from the course drivers were used to, into a river.
However thanks to Mother Nature the sun soon shone once again, but as the drivers attempted one run with water still lying stagnant on the track, it wasn’t going to be an option to carry on without the risk of ruining every car. Thankfully a local street sweeper came to the rescue as it began displacing thousands of liters of water off the track. Marshals and staff came together at the water’s edge to discuss possible options, all whilst the loyal IDC fans watched on in hope that the event could continue. And after a 90 minute delay, it did just that!
The Top 24 battles then saw another of our questions answered and perhaps one of the biggest upsets of the day, as advancing Semi Pro driver Charlie Geary took down Formula Drift superstar Yoshihara to keep the undefeated streak alive going into Round 3, Global Warfare on July 2nd and 3rd.
The action certainly didn’t slow down as we ran through the various stages all the way to the Top 4, with Deane’s RX7 – which had already had the head of its SR20 replaced before Sudden Death battles – failing catastrophically and ending in a big fire at the Top 16 stage against John McCarthy.
It was John’s turn to bow out at the Final 4 stage though, as he lost out to McKeever after a smash, which saw the end of his weekend. It also robbed us of the chance to see him face off against his brother Paul McCarthy to see who would get third place, as Shanahan pushed past Paul McCarthy for a place in the final against current point’s leader, McKeever.
So, one question remained. Could Jack do it? He’d done so well all day long and looked almost unbeatable, but in the end, it was an unforced and unfortunate error on his own, on the first corner of his first run in the final that would see the battle go McKeever’s way and make it two for two in 2016 for the Northern Smoke Machine.
With two rounds now under our belt in the 2016 Irish Drift Championship, the series heads to Round 3, Global Warfare on July 2nd and 3rd.
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