For the past 2 years we have had the honor of being able to assist Dean “Karnage” Kearney with helping him grow his fan base here and abroad. We have done many a “Clipping Point” interviews but never have done one with our man Dean. So we finally got the opportunity to do so earlier this year, so we can run it right before the finals to help you all get to know him some. As well we love to give him exposure! Check out what he had to say about the Viper and what drives him.
EverythingDrift: Dean, we have known you for some time. We wanted to ask you, what do you love about drifting?
Dean Kearney: I love that each car and each driver is so different. As opposed to like WRC or NASCAR, it’s all like, FIA sanctioned that you all have to have the same size restrictor, the same size tire, and all. With Formula D there’s such a variance of chassis, tires, horsepower, engines–V8s, V10s, 4 bangers, it’s just crazy man.
ED: Being from Ireland which is your home. What do you drive back in Ireland?
DK: I drive daily a van just like any normal person, But on track I don’t have anything really. Just what we do over here in the States.
ED: So you have 2 competition Vipers?
DK: Yeah 2 Vipers. We have the 001 car, which we’re running here at Long Beach and the 002 car that we’re debuting around Road Atlanta time. The 002 is a very different car. It’s the same chassis more or less, but its everything that I’ve had to learn over the past 3 and a half years. It’s a super updated version. This one is like version 001.5 but the 002 will be another big step forward.
ED: We are a fan of your livery, care to tell us a little bit about?
DK: The livery was designed with a guy called Andy Blackmore, and the guy who owns Oracle actually was really hands on. So between the three of us we came up with this and we all have our own takes and inputs and designs on it and I’m really happy with how it came out.
ED: We actually thought you were going to change up the colors, I mean your helmet is blue and white.
DK: I actually kinda like to keep the helmet completely different than the car. I kinda think [the helmet] is distinct of each driver. I don’t think you have to fit your car or your suit or whatever. I think it’s cool to just have a different style helmet. Regarding to the livery, we normally keep any livery for around 2 years. This is year 2 on this one and if things go well, we’ll hopefully change it up next year.
ED: What size tires do you run in the rear of the Viper?
DK: It depends on the track and weather conditions and all that, but it ranges anywhere from a 275/40 to a 315/30.
ED: So how much does this car weight then!?
DK: She’s a big girl actually. She weighs about 3100 pounds. It doesn’t look like a heavy car but it’s got a big motor. It holds 11 quarts of oil and then its got that supercharger, twin turbo on the 002 car, but that’s 80 pounds. And then a rear mount radiator that holds 17 litres of water. So stuff adds up pretty quickly.
ED: So what’s the weight balance for the Viper with that much weight then?
DK: It’s exactly 50/50. The only car on the grid with 50/50 weight balance and that took a lot of time to figure out. But from the factory a Viper is basically a race car so they had the chassis a long way where it should be. Whereas if you’re in a 240 or a Mustang or Camaro, you kinda have to start from scratch and figure all that stuff out. We definitely got a head start in that acpect and that was definitely one of the reasons behine picking this car in the first place.
ED: If you had unlimited budget, what is your dream drift car?
DK: Gen 5 Viper
ED: Any special thanks before we wrap up?
DK: Yeah, a huge special thanks to all the sponsors, people, and crew involved in this program. There are definitely a lot of moving parts that all need to come together and without that we wouldn’t be here. So i definitely want to give a special thanks to all of them. Especially Oracle Lighting, they’re our main sponsor and they have been a big part over the last few years.