IDC round 2 was back at the old ferry port in Dun Laoghaire for a second and final time and the unique location was perfect for one of the strangest events I’ve ever attended.
South of Dublin the ferry port is right on the edge of town in a built-up area, next to a marina full of yachts and running the event here brought a whole lot of issues to get over. Noise is the obvious issue so close to a residential and commercial area and the local council had official monitoring it the whole weekend. Tyre smoke was also a worry due to the event being so close to busy roads. Then due to ferry port authority restrictions, there was also a ban on all gas bottles, angle grinders and welding torches. Anyone that’s spent any time around the paddock at a drift event will know what a major restriction that was, though I doubt if anyone would realise it would contribute to one of the most bizarre scenarios seen in the sport.
The location makes all the hard work from the IDC team to stage the event here worthwhile though and having it so close to a town centre pulls in people who wouldn’t normally attend events.
There were enough car issues over the weekend to cover a whole season. One of the early victims was BDC driver Kirsty Kerbs Widdrington. Kirsty broke a shaft on Saturday morning and was unable to fix it in time to compete.
If it wasn’t shafts breaking then there seemed to be a constant stream of bumpers coming off along with a few hard knocks to the tyre walls
One of my favorite cars in IDC is Stuart Gilmour’s Ps13 pickup. I really like the look of these conversions, I’ve seen some good Skyline pickups as well, and Stuart’s really catches the eye and the camera well
The walls all around the circuit made from plenty of paint rubbing clipping points with the crowds in the stands having a perfect view
Lee Scott took the win with Ryan Caldwell seconds and Lee McFadden third. That’s Lee sitting on top of the Pro-AM table with a perfect 100 points
Sunday started off bright enough with a dry track and lots of smoke during practice and qualifying
With a closed paddock the cars were lined up and track was opened to the public so they could get to meet the Pro drivers and have a better look at the cars
As everyone were preparing for the battles the heavens opened and totally changed the game for the afternoon
With fans doing what they could to stay dry in the downpour everything changed out on track with the surface soaking wet, zero grip and puddles everywhere
First battle in these conditions was Jack Shiel v Shane O’Sullivan. Shiel, running only 260hp, finshed 4th in his first Pro-AM round giving him a place in the Pro lineup today. The rookie v veteran battle started one of the craziest afternoons I’ve watched in drifting. Sully spun on a particularly wet part of the track in the first run giving Shiel a 10-0 going into the second run. Sully put in a good run but with Shiel making no errors he went from starting his first event in Pro-AM on Saturday to make it through to the top 16 in Pros today.
From there the slippy track, walls, smoke and car issues all contributed to a total of thirteen 10-0 runs and a number of drivers having to drop out
The list of drivers going out with issues grew over the afternoon including
In the battle between Alan Hynes and Kevin Quinn there was contact between the two cars after Hynes shut down.
Kieran Casey went through after Dennis Murphy shut down with engine trouble
Mike Fitz got into the top 16 after Joe Doyle broke a shaft
Paul McCarthy lost a wheel in his battle with Conor Shanahan
Mike Fitz’s day finished with a bad smash in his battle against Jack Shanahan. Following through thick smoke, Mike appears to transition a little early smashing the car through the tyres and off the concrete base of one of the lamp posts on track.
The impact left Mike shaken and he spent a long time with the medics before they finally released him with a case of concussion. We all know motorsport is dangerous and it’s incidents like this which show how vital professionally built roll cages, harnesses, helmets and other safety features, some brought in this season by IDC, are. Mike will be back after working on a very poorly looking car at round 3.
With Mitch Larner knocking out Conor Shanahan in a OMT battle the top four battles lined up as McKeever v Larner and Jack Shanahan v Kevin Quinn.
This is where round 2 decided to play it’s final joker on everyone. With what should be two awesome battles lined up leading us into the final we ended up not seeing either of them. As Larner warmed up his tyres before rolling onto the start line next to McKeever the line marshal suddenly ran towards his car waving for him to switch off. He had seen a puff of smoke from the engine and with Mitch out the car it became obvious something was majorly wrong. It turned out his engine had blown and much to everyone’s disappointment he had to retire and Duane went through to the final. Then in what was the craziest thing of the weekend news came through that Quinn had called a 5min rule from the pits as they couldn’t get a wheel off his car. With everyone watching on the screen, and live steam, the team struggled with a single stuck bolt. After everything else failed they would normally have used an angle grinder but as they were banned from the pits at this round they ended up running out of time and Jack went through.
The Shanahan McKeever final went without hitch with epic runs from both drivers. With Jack chasing in the first run he had to make a couple of dives to keep up with Duane’s pace and then McKeever’s chase run was another level sticking to Jack’s door from start to finish
Another top step for Duane, that’s 3 out of3 in IDC and BDC in 2018, can anyone beat this guy this season?
Round 3 of IDC is back at Mondello at the end of June with an international line up competing for €20,000 in a prize fight battle.