Last weekend saw the start of the drift season here in Ireland with the first round of the NI Drift Series based in the North West region of Ireland. Drifting is very much confined to the southern part of the island with the Irish Drift Championship (IDC, formerly ProDrift) taking place as far north as Dublin which is probably 4 to 5 hours from the most northerly tip of the country. Now for our American readers that will sound absolutely normal but over here it just simply is not! Earlier this week I posted just a overview of my trip to the NI Drift Series which you can catch on Autolifers.com. Here we will have a quick look at how the battles panned out.
First battle up was between Evan Black in the Toyota Supra and Steven McAllister in the S14. Evan was top qualifier but unforunately he lost out to Steven after he made a big mistake and ended up hitting the tire wall. He was actually very lucky not to have ended up putting the Supra on it’s roof. This would be as far as Steven would get as…
…Liam Devlin in his E36 M3 battled Arty McMullan in his RB engined Lexus and went through to the Top 4 after dispatching the S14 of Steven McAllister.
Dom McMullen (E36 M3) and Jonny Irwin (AE86 Trueno) met in the Great 8 after knocking out Harry Kearney and Robert Simpson. During the entire day both drivers seemed to be totally on it but it was the BMW of Dom McMullen that would make it through to face fellow E36 M3 driver Liam Devlin.
On the other tier of the Top 16 Mark McConnell in his S14a and Rossco Connery battled it out for a place in the Great 8. The R33 of Connery proved too much during the battle and went through to face…
… the Black BMW M3 of Shaun Watt who managed to stay close enough to the similarly mounted M3 of Jonny Bleakly to get through to the Great 8 where he got the better of the R33 Skyline to move on to the Top 4.
Daryl Barnett was in attendance shaking down his BMW M3 for the IDC season and had just fitted his new body kit and when I say “just fitted” I mean it. The car wasn’t even painted! Daryl was able to progress past Simon Muldrew and his Nissan S13 during the Top 16 but, after big gearbox issues, was thwarted…
… by the aggressively driven M3 of Andrew McFetridge. This was as far as Andrew would progress as he was taken out by Shaun Watt during the Top 4 and unfortunately for Andrew during his battle for 3rd he ended up catching some tires and got pulled up onto them thus putting him into 4th place against Liam Devlin who finished 3rd. So, as it always does, it came down to just two men to fight it out for top honors.
The event was a totally dominated by the Bavarian marque which was really surprising as generally Ireland is S-body heaven, from 13’s in every shape right through to 15’s, but not so in the North West. Shaun Watt in his saloon E36 M3 and Dom McMullen in the Coupe M3 battled it out for top spot in round 1 of the N1 drift series and Shaun after some seriously consistent driving all day proved victorious at the Eglinton track taking home 1st place. Round 2 will be taking place at Aghadowey, I wonder can the Japanese drift machines take back the top 3 podium places. After such a dominant display by the M3’s it is going to be tough work!