The final round of the 2016 British Drift Championship was held at Anglesey Circuit on the Welsh coast, it was all set for an explosive end to the year with both championships still to be decided.
The Shanahan brothers had a good chance of taking both the Pro and Pro-Am championships with Jack looking to retain his Pro championship and Conor looking to take the Pro-Am championship in his first season despite missing Round 1 as he was too young to compete.
Danny Grundy was leading the way in the Pro-Am class coming into the weekend with 151 points over Conor’s 145, if either of them had a bad weekend it would hand the championship away.
In the Pro class it was a similar picture, Jack Shanahan came in to the weekend with a decent lead of 182 points over Marc Huxley’s 148, a good lead but with 50 points available for a win it hadn’t been decided yet.
The track layout for this round was similar to the championships previous visits here, a fast first corner with an outer clip on initiation and another toward the exit of the turn, keeping the cars wide and fast enabling the chase driver room to close up on the lead car.
A fast transition down the short straight before slowing the car for the left hand hairpin, it was the run down through this section of the track that caught the most drivers out through the weekend, too slow and they straightened, too fast and the tyre stacks awaited them on the outside of the corner.
The Pro-Am class took to the track on Saturday morning for their practice session, the drivers quickly getting the track dialled in and pushing for that perfect line.
The championship rivals of Conor Shanahan and Danny Grundy were both driving well, along with many other drivers.
The battles would show who was really pushing at this end of the championship, hoping to improve their final placing.
Danny Grundy battled hard getting as far as the final four before being stopped in his tracks but it was enough, at this point he has secured the championship.
Conor Shanahan had been on form all day making it through into the final where his rear left wheel separated from the car as he entered the first corner ending his day but a strong second place none the less.
A visitor to the championship for this round would take the top spot, Kieran Casey, surprising himself and everyone with his performance throughout the day.
The drivers all took the opportunity to celebrate on the podium but for us the focus was on Danny Grundy, he has worked so hard all year and we are pleased to see him become the 2016 Pro-Am Champion.
Sunday and it all started over although this time with the Pro class, the speed were higher and the pressure was on for everyone to get a good final result in the championship.
Marc Huxley was pushing hard on the off chance that he could take the championship, he has been an underdog every year and more so this year with a car that many thought wouldn’t work. It was great to see him get as far as he has this season.
Jack Shanahan was on usual form, showing everyone how it’s done with his smooth, consistent driving style.
It was all lining up to be a great finale for the season as so many drivers were looking strong.
The battles would see Gary Dunne make an uncharacteristically early exit from competition, he had been getting good results all year up until this point.
Simon Perry would borrow his son’s car to compete for the afternoon after some problems with his own R35 GTR, It didn’t appear to be too much of a disadvantage as he still finished with a strong result.
Dean Barber was one of the surprises of the day, dispatching Aleksandar Kantarovski amongst others on his way to a top 4 finish.
Jack Shanahan would end the day early with more car issues, it’s the second year it’s happened but it would still be enough to take the title as he made it further through the battles than championship rival, Marc Huxley.
The podium spots would be a complete mix up this round, showing just how competitive the championship has become. Richard Grindrod would stand on the top step, Jay White on the second and Fraser Stark on the third.
It was a great way to end the season and we can’t congratulate Jack Shanahan enough for not only winning another Pro Championship but winning his second in a row.
Bring on the 2017 British Drift Championship, until then enjoy some more photos from this round.