King of the (Watergrass) Hill

17 August 2016

What a weekend it has been for Shane ‘Sully’ O’Sullivan and Team Japspeed’s Irish division! With the Irish Drift Championship now in full swing, Shane and the team descended on Watergrass Hill for the 4th Round of the 2016 series.

Following the same format as previous rounds Shane and the team were able to take full advantage of the practice time available on the Saturday ahead of the Semi-Pro competition later that day and the Pro Class competition to follow on Sunday. This meant Shane could fine-tune the RB25-powered Japspeed S15 perfectly for the judged course. Having case a layer of Maxxis Tyres smoke over the surrounding area Shane was able to sit back and take in the sights and sounds of the Semi-Pro Class.

The following day Shane and team arrived on site with steely determination. With the car ready to go and a dry track, conditions were perfect for a day of smoking tyres, close proximity and screaming engines. Practice clearly paid off as evidenced from a set of impeccable qualifying runs and a personal best of 89.6 Shane secured himself 4th overall in qualifying and a strong position for the coming battles.

Heading into the top 16 Shane found himself against John McCarthy in his BMW E36. Both drivers keen to claim a top 8 place Shane had to push hard to progress. Following his performance in qualifying Shane had little trouble taking his place in the top 8. In the top 8 and Shane came face to face with IDC veteran Mike Fitz and his RX7 FC3S. The competition soon began to heat up at this point and the judges had a tough call to make. With both drivers pushing hard for the win the gathered crowd were soon covered in a cloud of tyre smoke. A tough call for the judges fell in Shane’s favour placing him into the top 4.
Coming into the top 4 Shane came up against Duane McKeever who would actually be piloting Richard Bradley’s S14. Pushing just that bit too hard Shane unfortunately made contact with his opponent…a minor misjudgement which would unfortunately cost him the battle.

All was not lost as this meant Shane now faced Tomás Kiely in the 3rd/4th place battle. Both drivers had everything to play for. A hard fought battle from both drivers and a tough decision to be made from the judges meant Shane took home 4th place overall…only narrowly missing a podium place.

All in all it was a fantastic weekend and one of Shane’s top competitive performances so far in 2016. Everyone at Team Japspeed would like to congratulate Jack Shanahan, Duane McKeever and Tomás Kiely on taking podium.

We’ll be back in action 20th-21st August for the British Drift Championship at Lydden Hill. We’ll see you there.

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