I have been lucky enough to be involved in Irish drifting from pretty much the beginning. This means that I have been even luckier to watch the rise of some of the best drifters to emerge from this green isle. For drivers month I'm going to be preparing two stories for you all to read. The first of which is the story of a man who surely needs little introduction; Darren McNamara …
Going back to 2004, I got to cover my first ever drift event. Armed with a Fuji 'point & shoot' camera I was introduced to the rising sport of drifting. The event was an amatuer event, guys were showing up in their own road cars, sliding around until the sun set and driving home again. Back then the trend of cars was towards E30 & E36 BMWs, Vauxhall Senators and Irish / UK spec AE86s. There was just this one guy who decided to use a matte black FC RX7; you have to understand that this was when nobody here would go near a rotary engine as nobody really knew anything about them. That one guy was Darren …
Skip forward a year and that matt black FC RX had been turned into probably the most famous Irish drift car of all time and arguably one of the most respected AE86s on the planet; the MCNSport SR86. Darren had swapped from the FC quite a while before that into a DX Corolla, but this AE86 was his magnum opus. It was first unveiled at an event called Autofest, where D1GP drivers Nomura-Ken and Takahashi-Kunni put on a display in the Blitz ER34 and Top Secret S15. But the talk of the paddock was on Darren's new car. He had just built one of Irelands first ground-up, purpose built drift cars. Not only was Darren quite a capable pilot, he was also a talented mechanic and had (still has) no problems getting dirty.
The event however that launched Darren's career was the 2005 D1GP Exhibition at Silverstone. Japan's best had been invited to the home of British motorsport, to drive their own cars against the best the UK and Ireland could offer. Eliminatiing Fukuda in the Top 16, Darren went into Top 8 against Kazama-san in the Kei Office S15. Nobody expected what was to happen next, the still amatuer Irish driver against the reigning D1GP champion. This was surely to be a walkover for Kazama but Darren put up the fight of his life. Some say that it needed to be run again, others said that Darren was the victor but the judges chose the humbled Kazama to go through to the Top 4. Needless to say, Darren had made a impact that would pay dividends in the future for him.
Following on from his success at Silverstone, Darren returned home and throughout the course of the next year, went on to secure the Prodrift Series 2006 title.
In late 2006, Darren was invited to Irwindale to compete at the D1GP World Series and season finale. The event was a double header, day one saw the final of the D1GP series and day two saw the All Stars event. The final of the D1GP series saw Darren finish as the highest non-Japanese entrant, finishing fifth overall at his first Irwindale event. The All Stars proved even more succssfull, against a tougher mixed opposition, Darren again finished as the highest non-Japanese entrant, finishing sixth overall after being eliminated by Nomura-san after a OMT. The same event saw JR and Millen finish 9th & 10th respectively. For 2007, Darren finally saw his dream come though, a fully sponsored drive with team Falken in Formula D.
As the SR86 transformed into the Falken AE86 for the 2007 Formula D season, Darren built this super light Trueno for the Irish series. Weighing in at under 650KGS, with beautiful WORK wheels (think they were Meisters but am open to correction) and a screaming 16V. The car did struggle with such little power but plans were afoot for an interesting conversion …
2008 saw the Falken car return home as Darren tackled the Formula D scene in the Saturn Sky which he still pilots today. The SR86 made appearances at most of the 2008 Prodrift European Series events …
Today, the car currently sits at the back of the MCNSport workshop, I wonder will we ever see it in action again ?
Back to the Trueno; We have a spotlight in the pipeline for this as the car underwent an engine conversion recently …
… from 4AGE to a 13B Rotary.
As 2009 draws to a close, Darren has taken his first win in Formula D, debuted his RE86 and is looking for an outright series win in 2010.
Hard to believe that just five years ago, Darren was sliding an old Mazda around a karting track in Tipperary …
For those of you interested, Sony released a documentary following Darren 'back in the day', it's definitely worth a watch. Look out for cameos from 'amatuer' drifter Martin Ffrench, Hankook pilot Alan Lenihan and Rockstar driver Eric O'Sullivan …]
that boy has some nice cars
would like a wallpaper of the super light Trueno
Darren is a Corkman like myself and has repesented both the Irish and European drift scene at the highest level. I had the pleasure of watching him fling his Twincam around Mondello last year and it was just crazy. I'd like to wish him all the best for the future. Come on the D-Mac.
D MAC IS THE EFFIN MAN EVEN IN THAT SATURN , I LOVE WATCHIN HIM RUN
i mean the 7th picture
"that matt black FC RX had been turned into probably the most famous Irish drift car of all time and arguably one of the most respected AE86s on the planet"
This statement makes no sense to me. The FC RX7 is not an AE86, thus cannot be one of the most respected AE86s.
DMAC kicks ass!only wish he would bring his sr86 back to FD
And his TRUENO is sooo nice but a Rotary swap?
Good post though
I think the sentence was just badly formed, and not trying to implicate that an rx7 is an ae86.
It would have made more sense to say
"that matt black FC RX had been 'replaced by' probably the most famous Irish drift car of all time"
Its a simple mistake really.
I met Darren a few years back at an Ireland vs England event at mondello, cant remember which year, but himself, and kiki and Non from option drift club UK were there...I'll have to dig the photos out.
Should of replaced, thats my bad !
here is the link to the battle of McNamara vs Kazama.
i would say at the least ONE MORE TIME but, i think McNamara should have got the victory in that round.
Is awesome to see Darren on here! I can remember driving down from the North (Ireland) to do a shoot of the Corolla at the MCNSport workshop. (http://i85.photobucket.com/albums/k79/Toph_NI/IMG_7414L.jpg) The craic was great, and getting taken out in the car was just something else.
Darren congrats with your success and wish ya all the best for the future!!
When I met Darren for his headshots for the DMac retrospective , he had only just put the finishing touches
I hope sony put that in the video section of the Playstation Network,
I had a chance to watch MCN at Round 2, He put up alot of fight