I am delighted to show you how the car will look for my first season competing in the Irish Drift Championship
I am also very grateful to announce the sponsors that have come on board to help me compete in all rounds of the IDC.
McKeons Garage, Aughnacliffe,
Corrib Oil Longford & Nationwide
Signs Express (Mullingar)
Quinn’s Supply Stores
Shutterspeed as media sponsor
Huge thanks to Alan, Colm, PJ, Hugh, Patrick, Jason & Rory.
More info on each sponsor to come in the next few weeks.
The car might not have the big horsepower of other competing cars but with the help of my sponsors, family & friends I can push it to the absolute limit!
A few great weekend’s craic to come… #bringthenoise #idc2014 #idc14
IDC Round 1 Update
Went up for Friday practice, second run and the car developed the same problem again, would not rev past 5200 rpm’s. I decided to keep going at practice and see if I could manage to pull of some decent runs.
I was really struggling with power as you need to be going in full tilt on the first corner to carry speed through to get out to clip 3, and then more power to get out to clip 6, I needed the rev range from 5 to 7k rpm’s to do this right.
Anyway it was still a great day Friday and really enjoyed chasing some of the pro lads, DMac among others.
I actually pulled off some great runs on Saturday morning but then qualifying came and it was a disaster.
First run was just brutal, no speed, no angle and only got two clipping points I think, scored a 13.
Second run was much better, speed was still low but got out to all bar 1 clipping point, then just as I was about to come up to the finishing line the car spun out!! I still can’t figure out what happened or what I done, just a lapse of concentration for a split second and I got caught out. I was sickened with myself
Overall it was a great weekend, some seriously talented drivers and epic cars this year.
ECU will be mapped and hopefully sort out the RPM problem for Fermoy in less than a month.
After Mondello I sent the ECU off to get mapped by Dave @ HD Engineering.
Got it back and the car ran perfect again, no RPM issues and full power right from you put the foot down.
Naturally I had to give it a good testing.
After that I gave the car a good checking over and an oil change at McKeon’s Garage Aughnacliffe, again the lads gave me a lift and a hand without hesitation. Thanks again.
We left Longford on Saturday morning at 4am & got to Fermoy just after 7 and got unloaded and set up.
Practice started at 9 but I missed the first twenty minutes as I didn’t realise cars had to get scrutinized again.
Got 3 practice laps in fairly wet conditions, I was reasonably happy with my last run. Tricky bit was coming from the tarmac to the concrete surface, totally different grip levels and tended to throw the car out of shape.
On to the qualifying session, and of course the rain came! I had a great first half of my first run, but then on transition at clip 5 I flicked the car too aggressively and spun.
Second qualifying run I had to try and get around safe, track was like a lake, had a decent run, tapped the wall at clip 3 but keep the car going so it wasn’t a zero, scored a 20 which left me in 45th place overall so I didn’t qualify!
Here’s a quick clip of the second run and the wall tap.
Car came off very safe lucky enough.
So that was my day over, 3 hour drive for 5 runs!! But sure that’s competition for you.
Sunday came and I took part in the NKC barrel sprint challenge, it was actually a good bit of craic surprisingly!
I also got to take part in the team drift. Andrew Welland, Chris Martini, Bart & myself (Team Thrown Together)
It was all very last minute and we only got a couple of practice laps but it was some buzz! The best fun I’ve had in the car since I started drifting. The track was dry, car was running great and it was my first time to really get to chase someone. It really made the weekend for me. Epic!
Lesson’s I’ve learned from this round…
I have stupidly under estimated the importance of tyres and tyre pressures. I have only been using part worn tyres on the rear up to now, mainly due to lack of money for new tyres. For round 3 I’ll hopefully be able to get new tyres sorted and seriously improve my grip and speed levels.
I’m also putting far too much pressure on myself and not really taking everything in and enjoying the experience. Hopefully for round 3 I can let myself just enjoy the craic, reduce the pressure and put in some solid runs!
IDC Round 3 Highlights.
So I got the car off the trailer Thursday night, where it had been since round 2, we gave it a quick check over, all was 100% and we got loaded up for Friday morning.
Friday practice was just a nightmare for everyone, it was a really tough day in tough conditions. I couldn’t get out to clip 2 all day, luckily I got through the day safe and sound with no crashes.
Saturday morning came and I said I’m just going to go flat out for the whole practice session and keep looking at the wall until I was rubbing the thing! Practice was pretty good then and I was happy going into qualifying. Car was running super and felt good. I was adjusting tyre pressure all weekend and eventually got the grip I was looking for.
So here’s my first qualifying run, can’t remember much about it but I would have loved to have an in car camera to see my reaction when I crossed the line! scored 89 out of 100, which saw me through to the top 32 and also secured 2nd place rookie.
On to top 32 battles, up against Colm Carberry, as everyone knows Colm is a serious & experienced driver so I was up against it. I was a little unfocused as I couldn’t believe I had got the chance to battle.
Anyway, I lead off, had a decent entry, got clip 2 I think, transitioned across, changing from 4th to 3rd I changed from 4th to 5th, then had to change back to third so by that time I had slowed and straightened. Finished the run OK after that.
Chase run, I actually surprised myself that the car kept up close with Colm, think I rubbed the wall and washed wide, then also had a dirt drop after clip 3. That meant that Colm went through to top 16, well deserved.
IDC Round 4.
The car never moved from round 3 until 2 days before round 4 when I brought it down to McKeons Garage for a quick check over. Gotta love reliable and hassle free cars.
We left Longford at 4am Saturday morning, passed through Loughrea at about 6am and I noticed one of the trailer tyres was completely shredded! Then I realised I had forgotten the spare for it.
Ended up unloading everything from inside the drift car into the Jeep and limping the trailer to Ennis on three wheels.
I felt good going into the early morning session and after a few runs and a few pointers from my great spotter (the wife!) I was fairily happy with my line and felt confident going into the qualifying stage.
Qualifying run 1 I scored around the 65 mark I think which I was happy with for my first run.
Qualifying run 2 I scored a 65.7 which saw me taking 22nd place, happy days, into the Top 32 for the second event in a row.
Here’s the qualifying runs from the livestream and also from inside the car.
In Car Footage;
On to the battles and of course it started to piss rain!
Top 32 battle was against James Spillane, he lead out and I followed reasonably well, straightened a bit at clip 2 but finished out the chase okay from there. My lead run was solid, got out to the walls and I think James spun so I got though to top 16!
Top 16 battle was against an on form Tom Murphy. His power and grip just left me sitting from the start line and I couldn’t reel him in so I stuck to a good line along the walls and completed the run. On my lead run I went in to fast and washed a way out after clip 1 allowing Tom to pass me on the inside, I knew I had lost the run then so for the craic I went on a very inside line and passed him out and finished off across the line Tom got though of course.
My goal was a top 16 finish at IDC and I’m delighted to have done it. Now really excited about round 5.
IDC Round 5.
After round 4 the car was looking pretty rough but as usual I didn’t get a chance to work on it until last week.
Few raps of a hammer, new lights, bit of a sand and spray and it was a bit tidier looking.
I decided to try using new tyres for round 5. Ended up getting Hankook 195 50 15’s at a good price from Nallys Tyres in Ballymahon.
Morning practice on Friday went great, got the track fairly well dialled in early on and loved the high speed entry, I really just had to throw the car in as hard as I could with as little use of the handbrake as possible to allow me to get out to clip 3, there was a few hairy moments!
The best run was when myself and Stephen Coakley ran together, two of us nailed it and it was good close drifting, pity I hadn’t the go pro mounted for it.
Friday afternoon came and I put on the new tyres. They really changed the car & it took some getting used to, a lot faster speed through clip 2 & out to 3 so I had to learn to drive the track again.
On the last run my throttle pedal got stuck down and wouldn’t pop back up, spring must be broke.
On Friday morning I ended up parking beside David and Barry, only for these lads for the two days I would have been f**ked, so thanks for all the help lads.
Barry ended up making me a new throttle pedal and fitting it during briefing on Saturday morning so I could get out for the practice session.
Morning practice was going great after I adjusted tyre pressure in the rear tyres, I put in a few solid runs and was really feeling confident about qualifying. Near the end of the session I cut clip two a bit to tight and when I got back around to the start line I realised that the car was pissing out water.
So I flew back around to the pits before it boiled and we realised a stone had gone through the radiator and also through the electric fan and the bottom of the radiator had got a bad hit from the kerb.
This was half ten, qualifying started at 12, so I was running around the pits like a mad man looking for a radiator! Nobody had one so I rang Dave and he got me a number for Valdas in Dublin, he had one so I sent my brother racing into Dublin for it.
In the meantime with the help of all the lads we took out the radiator, realised that it was only a fairly small pin hole in it, the lads luckily had some sort of putty that set like concrete and once that set it sealed the radiator!
So back in with the rad, fixed the electric fan and we were lined up for qualifying at 12.05!
Qualifying run 1 was reasonably OK, I dropped a wheel and was shallow on clip 4, and had the wrong line coming at clip 5 so scored 54.5 which I knew wouldn’t be enough to get into top 32.
Qualifying run 2 I pushed way too hard, little early on initiation which meant I jumped across clip 2 and the car just bounced across the track and hit hard into the dirt!
Here’s both runs;
The car seems to be ok after it, haven’t had a chance to get it off the trailer yet but it drove around the pits and onto the trailer no problem.
So that’s the year over, I have to say it was just epic, I never expected that the car would do what it has done and I think it surprised a few people and put a few smiles on faces.
I achieved far more than I had set out to achieve on a basic car & budget so I am more than happy.