There is something quite enjoyable about a big, filthy burnout. No matter how far and wide our automotive tastes extend, a good burnout appeals to all of us. The sight, the smell, the taste and the sound – what’s not to love?
I think this is part of the big appeal of drifting – how it manages to combine all of these things into one elegant assault on the senses.
Drifting an entire course is one thing, but having the ability to complete the course as prescribed by the judges is another level altogether.
The round black rubber things were sure taking a beating in the heat.
There’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes during an weekend too.
I decided to sneak along with fellow photographer David Scotson into the cool shade of the Punchestown Exhibition centre.
David has being doing a stellar job shooting the ladies of Prodrift over the last couple of seasons, always presenting the Prodrift brand with style and grace.
I’ve a lot of envy for photographers who can direct and shoot other people so easily, it’s a natural skill rather than one that can be learned in my opinion.
I’ve done a couple of shoots in the same building before but watching how another photographer tackles the same problems is always an interesting one.
Needless to say, the quality of light inside the building was nothing short of magnificent – so soft and flattering without any artificial light or modifiers.
For those of you wondering, this was the car in the background …
In the paddock area, a collection of cars had arrived for an impromptu static display.
It’s been a long time since I’ve seen this particular S-Body.
Keith Wheldon’s 180SX is simply sublime. So sublime in fact that I’m heading out the door shortly for an in-depth feature on this daily driven car.
Although it was an unplanned showing, the quality of the cars made me pretty happy – it’s great to watch first hand as the Irish scene evolves year on year.
Back at the track, the crowds were starting to file in to watch the top sixteen battles kick off.
Last year’s champion Alan Sinnott has stayed at the wheel of his well proven SR86 but with a change in tyre sponsor to Nexen. He’s also running larger rear rims in a bid to find more traction for the hachiroku.
Alan Lenihan, still representing Hankook, has changed body colors this season for the first time I can remember since he built his PS13 originally. Alan is renowned for having one of the cleanest cars on the Prodrift grid and a capable driver to boot.
Chris Brady returned to Prodrift after a year long absence, this time behind the wheel of an E36 M3. The M3 platform is becoming more and more popular here as parts and cars continue to drop in price.
With no sign of the weather easing off, the top sixteen battles continued under the fierce weather. Well, fierce by Irish standards anyway.
Damien Mulvey, who left most of the rear of his car at an outside clipping point during qualifying seemed unfazed by the cosmetic damage, determined to prove himself once more.
In the battle of the wide bodies, James Deane took on John Paul McCarthy’s V8 E36 M3 …
… with Deane eventually coming out on top in the SR20 powered RX7.
John Paul McCarthy’s brother Paul was storming through the battles in his E36 M3 saloon.
Round one winner Brendan Stone retired with mechanical problems but up until that point, was on it anytime he appeared over the horizon.
A novel way of announcing the the next round of battles, one I’m sure the male supporters will appreciate anyways.
In the final four, James Deane faced the Japspeed driver Shane O’Sullivan.
During the first pair of battles, James held the advantage but surrendered it on the second run when his car appeared to have problems.
He managed to make it back to the line in time before his five minutes expired but with the car still struggling, it was Shane O’Sullivan and his S15 that was heading to the final.
Before the final battle kicked off, the final of the Team Drift competition took place with Barry’s Motorsport taking on Team Manfoot.
Despite a calamitous first run by Team Manfoot, they held it together for the second run and did just enough to defeat Barry’s Motorsport.
The final all S15 battle between Mulvey & O’Sullivan was settled over the course of the first pair of battles. Despite driving valiantly, O’Sullivan just didn’t have anything in reserve to deal with pressure of Mulvey.
The former Prodrift & UKD1 champion Damien Mulvey has signaled his intentions for the year. The MG Crash Repairs team has now enjoyed back-to-back wins in the pro class at the start of this season, but are they strong enough to withstand an assault from the rest of the field?
We’ll be back covering the finale of the Prodrift Series in September at the spectacular Japfest Ireland event in Mondello Park.
By the way Damien, I found the rest of your bumper, you might need a cable tie or two to fix it tho …