This weekend saw the start of the Prodrift 2012 5 round season. I headed to Clare Marts in Ennis to a custom built track for round 1. Saturday started off with over 70 cars for the amateur and semi pro groups.
Adrian Walsh, a former pro who hasn’t competed in an event in a few years was back with his SR20 AE86. This is one well setup car with a more than capable driver. He spent the day making everyone wonder why he ever stopped competing.
During the day Saturday a few drivers didn’t have the best runs possible. The above photo shows Keith O’Shea making contact with the outer wall.
Although John “Boost” Hickey had the worst accident of the day he still drove back to the pits after.
Adrian went on to go through all the amateur and semi pro group to get in to the final with OMGDrift driver, Mike Fitz. Due to Mike’s tires having enough drifting for one day he spun out on both runs. Personally, I would’ve loved to have seen a proper battle between these 2 drivers but it wasn’t to be. Adrian deservedly took the win.
Sunday saw the pro class competing. A few drivers from Saturday were brought up to battle the pros. Amoung those were the finalists Mike Fitz, Adrian Walsh and Paul McCarthy. They joined pro regulars such as OMGDrift drivers James Deane and Alan Lenihan, along with 2011 champion Alan Sinnott. For those of you unfamiliar with the Prodrift pro series event layout, the drivers get a long practice session followed by qualifying. Once decided, the top 16 drivers then go through superlap. This determines their position for the top 16 battles.
Although the track was tight for some of the high power pro cars the AE86 chassis seemed to suit the layout very well.
During the superlap there were two incidents. One, was Brendan Stone who snapped a throttle cable resulting in him coming in last due to qualifying position. Second, was Duane McKeever. On entry to the first corner the car clipped the outside wall.
MG Crash Repairs teammates Damien Mulvey and Brendan Stone. Damien was top qualifier, Brendan was last. Brendan went through.
This is Mike Deane and Paul McCarthy. They ran two one more times, at which point Paul was the victor.
OMGDrift driver Mike Fitz faced off with Shane O’Sullivan. Shane came through.
Shane went on to come up against Adrian Walsh. Adrian took the win here putting him in the semis against Barry Leonard. Adrian progressed to the final after dispatching Barry.
On the other side, Brendan Stone came through against Paul McCarthy. Brendan took the win but not after emptying his transmission of all fluid all over the entire circuit. Due to the amount of fluid it did take some time to clear it up.
In the third and fourth place battle it was Barry and Paul. Paul took the third place crown.
This left the final with Adrian Walsh and Brendan Stone. It was a great battle and right until the final second, none of us knew if Brendan’s car would last.
So who won I hear you ask? Well the picture above speaks far more than I ever could. Brendan takes the win.
I’ll leave this nice little collection of images from the weekend. Driver blogs will be coming very soon!