For the last couple of years there has been a special buzz around IDC events. David and the team delivered with some amazing venues, guest drivers from around the world and all topped off with lots of epic driving to equal or better any drift event in the world. But come round one this year, while I was still excited on the trip over to Dublin, it wasn’t giving me the same anticipation that previous rounds had. This wasn’t anything to do with IDC directly but more to do with the epic opening round of BDC a few weeks earlier, IDC suddenly had a lot to live up to.
Po-AMs kicked off the event on Saturday morning and some great driving through out the day finished with youngster Conor Shanahan taking 1st place. This put Conor through to the PRO class on Sunday with his brother Jack. Along with Tomás Kiely and Ryan Caldwell the youngsters have defiantly shaken things up the last couple of years with Jack taking the BDC Pro title the last two yearsSunday morning and the PRO drivers started preping the for qualifying runs and they hoped battles ahead. Many of the PRO teams now use the garages at Mondello giving a more professional look to the setup compared to when it was all done in the top paddock and making it easier to work on the cars.
It’s an impressive sight seeing a line of high powered drift cars lining up ready to shred some tyres.
As practise continued through the morning the track marshalls also help out returning bumpers which have made a break for it during a run
With the top eight going straight through the to the last 16 there is a lot of play for.
The youngster revolution continued on Sunday with jack qualifying 1st with an epic run scoring 98 points and Tomas 2nd with 95.67. Conor got a respectable 12th with 83.92.
With a fridge full of drinks, sofas and multiple TVs Team Monster do it in style
With the top 16 decided the drivers came out for a line up and quick interview with David
The first run in the top 16 was Jack against Chris Burnett. Jack showed why he’s two times BDC champion and put in an awesome chase run going through 40-20
Conor’s first battle in the 16 was against Mark McBurney. With both drivers going from amateur to Pro in a single year this should be a great battle and after a great lead run Mark couldn’t keep up with Conor in the second while the youngster put in a near perfect drive.
Tomas v Nigel Colfer produced some of the best driving of the weekend with the first run leaving the score level Colfer put in a near perfect lead run but Tomas matched it and it came down to Nigel going off the line slightly and the youngster went through 33-27
The other youngster in the top 16 was Ryan Caldwell and he was up against Brian Egan. Egan chased in the first run and after a great start by both drivers there was some contact going into the Mobil 1 corner and Caldwell went into his chase run 25-5 up. Though only 15 Ryan has been competing since he was 12 and his experience showed when he did a safe chase run and easily went through to the last 8.
Into the top 8 and Jack was up against Peden Nielsen. The first run started with Jack’s rear window flying out causing a small swerve by Nielsen. The judges marked the round 15:15 based mostly on the second part of the run. Jack took the second run due to his proximity and on to the top 4
Against Paul Conlan, Conor put in a perfect lead run following the line and Paul never really managed to close the gap. In the second run Paul did a great run pulling a gap on Conor up to Mobil 1 but Conor closed the gap from there to the final and with Paul making a small straighten towards the end Conor progressed to the last 4 and a battle everyone wanted to see against his brother Jack.
Gary Dunne knocked out Ryan Caldwell to take the next spot in the top 4 and would be battling Anthony Galvin.
The fight for the final spot in the last 4 was between Tomás Kiely and Anthony Galvin. Tomás shut down as the first run started and headed for the pits calling a 5min rule. As he was on the start line he lost that run giving Galvin a 30-0 lead. Kiely finally had to retire and Galvin moved on the the last 4 against Dunn.
And so to a battle everyone expected to come at some point. If a couple of years ago someone had told me that a 17 year old would be starting the year with 2 PRO drift championship titles under his belt I would have laughed. If they then told me his 13 year old brother would be battling him for a place in the final of a PRO round I would have told you to bugger off but after watching these two kids competing for the last couple of years I would have been more surprised if this didn’t happen this year.
In the first run jack led putting in the expected perfect run. Conor got the proximity but run a shallow line to get close and missed a couple of clips giving Jack a 16-14 lead. The second run was great from both drivers with Jack getting the same close proximity but also running a great line and angles. Because of the angles the judges give the victory to Jack and he went through to the final.
In the other battle Galvin put in an almost perfect run and took an 18-12 lead. In the second run Galvin took out the cone on clip 2 knocking his bumper loose but it didn’t effect his run still putting in a great chase. The judges couldn’t decide between the drivers and it went to a one more run. Galvin was the highest qualify and picked to chase. The judges give Galvin the win and put him into the final against Jack Shanahan.
in the first run for 3rd spot Gary Dunne drove a good line chasing Conor but couldn’t keep up and there was a large gap after the first corner. In the second run both drivers drove well and Conor sat on Gary’s door. Despite a small straighten from Conor the judges give him 3rd spot and one Shanahan was on the podium.
And the final. Galvin chased in the first run and the aggressive way he threw the car into the first corner after Jack showed how much he wanted the win but Shanahan pulled a gap until Mobil 1 corner and with a couple of small errors they went into the second run 15:15. With Jack now chasing he almost pushed Galvin around the first corner while Galvin totally missed clip 3. From there both drivers put in great runs but the mistake was enough for there to be two Shanahans on the podium.
I doubt this will be the last time we see both brothers on the podium and I wouldn’t bet against Conor having the top step at some point this year, this 3rd place spot secured his PRO spot. If Tomas hadn’t retired it could have been a podium with a combined age of 47 and that can only be a good thing for Ireland’s drifting future.