The weekend just gone has seen two major events happen in Punchestown, Ireland. Firstly Prodrift round 2, secondly sun shine. We don’t get sunshine here all too often. Temperatures even hit a high of 27°C (80°F)! Now to folks in the US that may not seem very high but last week our high was 15°C (59°F). These two factors resulted in some great drifting and lots of sun burn.

Here is a nice little shot of Paul McCarthy showing how sunny it was and also how good an E36 M3 engine looks with no air box.
There always seem to be set trends when it comes to certain cars. Take the AE86 as a perfect example, how often do you see them with anything bigger than 15″ wheels? Occasionally 16″ wheels get on there. This weekend due to the track being so fast Alan Sinnott had to run 18″ on the back. I think they looked a bit too narrow but actually seemed to work OK on there!

Now down to business. A round of Prodrift follows a slightly different pattern to most other series world wide. You get practice first, qualifying next and then usually you’d go to the top 16. Prodrift runs a little different, they run superlap before the top 16 to work out who will battle who. During superlap each of the 16 qualifying drivers get a single shot at the track to do the best lap they can. No warm up, no second chances. Highest qualifier goes first, then it goes from 16 down to two. The driver with the highest score stays in a safe location on track until they’re knocked off the top, then the new highest scorer stays out. Each run is judged by the 3 judges with a maximum score of 10 from each judge. Once the 16 drivers have gone through we move on to top 16. Usually at this point there is a break in the day for lunch etc.

James Deane was top qualifier. Gavin Lenihan took second. Gavin is well known for being very fast while carrying plenty of angle and still being very aggressive. On this particular run he decided his wing was slowing him down and that he didn’t want me to take his picture so he very skilfully used the clipping point marker to remove the wing and throw it at me. Fortunately his wing aim isn’t great and it landed a missive 2 feet from me. Apparently I’m not one for flinching while under wing attack.

There must be something about that spot. Only a few minutes later Damien Mulvey attempted the same attack. This time the clipping point marker was too small and didn’t have the desired effect.

We also had Formula D driver Dean “Karnage” Kearney is a loaner car. Despite giving it his best effort, Dean didn’t manage to qualify.

Here is James watching sitting on the back of his SR20 FD RX7 watching Michael Swan completing his superlap. We’ll have a blog from James very soon as well!

Brendan Stone took the superlap victory with a score of 25.

Gavin Lenihan and Paul McCarthy battle it out, Paul takes the win.

Wesley Keating and Damien Mulvey. Damien won.

Alan Lenihan and Alan Sinnott, former Hankook team mates battled it out as well. Unfortunately Alan Sinnott clipped the outside a bit too hard at clip two and spun out handing the win to Alan Lenihan.

James Deane and Duane Mckeever gave us probably the best battle of the day. They were seriously close on Duane’s following run. When James was following they were right against each other when Duane straightened. James gave him a little love tap as they were so close. James goes through.

Down to the final four.
Damien Mulvey vs Paul McCarthy. Damien takes the win.

James Deane vs Shane O’Sullivan. Shane goes through due to James straightening. Turns out James was having mechanical problems. Its such a pity this battle went like this. I can’t wait to see these two in a full on battle with a straight up winner.

Final time. Damien Mulvey vs Shane O’Sullivan. Shane leads first.

Damien leads second. Damien seemed to have a bigger gap.

Damien takes the wins. Shane put up a great fight to make an amazing battle.

Damien really was walking on air!

This is Damien and his dad. It one of those moments that more often than not get bypassed by everyone at an event.

Finally, the obligatory podium shot. First, Damien Mulvey. Second, Shane O’Sullivan. Third, Paul McCarthy. Fourth, James Deane.

That’s it for now. We’ll have a driver blog or two over the next few days. Stay tuned!