Green With Envy: A 16-Year-Old’s 850hp S14
A Title Contender

Can you remember what you were doing at 16 years old?

I don’t think I would be alone in saying that I most certainly wasn’t driving an 850+hp Nissan S14 to within an inch of its life on a regular basis. And even at almost twice that age, I still don’t see myself driving an 850+hp S14 any time soon. But this is the reality for Tomás Kiely, a genuine Pro title contender in the Irish Drift Championship.

Tomás is no stranger to these pages, you might have read about his title challenge that went right to the wire last season.

2016 Tomas Kiely S14-3

For the 2016 season, Tomás is once again be behind the wheel of his S14, but it’s had a little refresh over the winter months.

2016 Tomas Kiely S14-5

What I’m quite enjoying about IDC’s 2016 Pro cars is that fine balance a lot of drivers seem to have found between style and function. Tomás’ car is no different and retains a distinct JDM flavour, thanks to the Origin Labo wheels and kit.

2016 Tomas Kiely S14-2

What is a big change for Tomás this season is his switch to Achilles Radial tyres. The IDC Pro class seems pretty split on being on either the Achilles 123S or the Westlake Sport RS rubber; I guess time will tell which one will eventually win out…

2016 Tomas Kiely S14-10

There’s no point in having sticky tyres if you can’t spin them and this is probably something that Tomás doesn’t have to worry about too often. At the heart of the build is a Deane MSport-built 3.4-litre HKS 2JZ with a big single turbo, dry sump system and mapped by TDP to around 850hp at low boost on Sunoco race fuel.

2016 Tomas Kiely S14-6

DeaneMSport is actually responsible for the build, from “top to bottom” in Tomás’ own words. The name ‘Deane’ might be clue enough, but yes, it’s the family business behind one James Deane, the current reigning IDC and Drift Allstars champion, run by James’ brothers Mike and Kenneth. There’s an awful lot of success coming out of their workshop in rural Ireland.

2016 Tomas Kiely S14-17

Underneath, the car is running a Wisefab package with Stance coilovers. There’s also a Winters Performance quick-change rear end which is connected to a custom GSR 4-speed dog box with Andrews gears and a custom shifter built by Race Tech Services. By round two, the car will be fitted out with a Wisefab rear too.

2016 Tomas Kiely S14-18

The rear mounted radiator setup is fed through some tidy ducting in the rear Lexan window along with venting on the boot lid itself.

2016 Tomas Kiely S14-19

Inside, is your typical tidy Pro class drift car interior, albeit with an S15 dashboard.

There’s still a long way to go in the 2016 IDC season and I wouldn’t expect any less of Tomás but to be challenging for the title again this year. He might be young, but his driving aggression and intelligence belie his years. At 15 years old, he beat Daigo Saito in battle and won his first Pro event. What will 2016 see for him?

Paddy McGrath
Instagram: pmcgphotos
Twitter: pmcgphotos

Cutting Room Floor
2016 Tomas Kiely S14-1
2016 Tomas Kiely S14-4
2016 Tomas Kiely S14-15
2016 Tomas Kiely S14-7
2016 Tomas Kiely S14-8
2016 Tomas Kiely S14-9
2016 Tomas Kiely S14-11
2016 Tomas Kiely S14-12
2016 Tomas Kiely S14-14
2016 Tomas Kiely S14-16


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Wish you could drive on your own at 16 here in Pennsylvania...


@mlc5309 I agree


He can't legally drive on the road in the UK or Ireland until he is sixteen. Motorsport and drifting licences are different though

turbo BEAMS ae86

ireland: some call it villanous


AndrewBradley  mlc5309 

The same thing happened to Max Verstappen(F1 driver), he had his "super license" before he could even drive on public roads.


Sweet car!

Props to Tomás! Good stuff.


s chassis + 2jz + wizefab seems to be the magic combo.  Still can't believe he's only 16.


That's about as far away from real drifting as you can get. 

Would love to see him have a go in Japan in something a little more basic but that's probably not going to happen.

Steve McGowan

@Nic So you wouldn't see the likes of this car competing in D1? C'mon man, this is a fully built out and out competition car, designed to compete with the people at the top end of the spectrum. You hardly expect a kid who has the skill to almost clutch a drift championship title to not use all that is available to him? 

Also, I'd like to see you walk the paddock at Mondello and tell the guys in the likes of the semi-pro and pro classes that what they're doing isin't "real drifting".

Drifting is about doing stupid stuff in a car while having fun with your friends.


@Steve McGowan I just wrote an essay length reply and then it disappeared, nice. 

Key points of why I don't see it as good drifting

-Weak initiation, barely any weight shift or steering wheel input
-Barely any angle in the first corner (like 1/4 turn opposite lock) the whole point of having wisefab is so you can have bulk angle around a corner without losing all your speed from your front wheels fighting each other
-Very slow transition into the second corner, angle winds on really slowly
-Second corner would have been the perfect place to showcase what I consider real drifting, a super fast transition, massive angle with all 4 wheels sliding, then using the power to push the car away from the edge of the track
-Instead the entire thing looks like a race which is boring for everyone
-The lead run should be the same as the qualifier so the chase car can tuck up nice and close
-Only the Japanese seem to get that though, the rest of the world treats drift comps like it's a race

If you look at the specs then it's pretty similar to a D1 car but the way it handles is vastly different.

While not the best example take a look at this run by Sakuma at Odaiba -

You can clearly see how much he throws the car to the left before initiating and how much more angle he is getting as evidenced by how much counter steer there is, years of difference between that and the video in the article.

Anyway it doesn't matter what I think, I'm no pro drifter, not even a good one. Maybe the video in the article isn't even a good example.


Somehow this reminded me of that little sh** Nick Hogan who's on the complete other side of the spectrum.


@Nic nice point there, only time will advance kid like these....


@Nic He qualified first in pro. I'm sure he doesn't need your expert tutoring based off one video.


mlc5309 He can't drive a car on the road here until he's 17, but he could drive a tractor or moped at 16.


I thought this young lad would get quite a bit of hate, and quite a few comments below sadly have delivered, at the end of the day guys what where you doing at 16? because hes doing a lot more than i was at his age...


Paddy McGrath here here


Jeez! He makes driving that thing look easy!


@Nic He just makes the driving look easy because he's cool, calm and collected just as any good driver is.. go and find some footage of some of this kids runs from outside and you'll see that what he's doing with that car is batshit mental. I've been following drifting for over 12 years now and I have to say that Tomas and James Deane going at it at the last round of IDC last year at Mondello is by far and away the most intense drifting I have ever seen.


I am 16 and this really makes me green with envy. Don't get me wrong, I am still happy for him to be able to compete at the age of 16. What i am doing at this age? Driving lethargic moped, struggling to get enough money for driving license and a car, and spending most of my waking hours in front of my computer. I have really next to no chance of getting even a folkracing car, let alone drifting car. And in addition to the car, there's running costs and safety gear to buy. Also i can't drive to the event so myself and most of them are really far away. I would be really, really happy if i could do even folkracing. But i quess some people just come from non-motorsporting and not very wealthy families. I think i'll end my whining here.


To answer the 1st question. I was fapping to Erika Eleniak from Baywatch!


There's nothing bad I can say about a kid who's doing something like this at only age 16.  Take it as far as you can Tomas!


No_Chance instead of whining here, you can enroll to programming / designing / whatever free cources, and spend some time there. Then maybe you can find some freelance job, or if you dont like to spend time with computer - there`s a lot of local jobs for you at your city. Cmon dude, you can do even better, and take yourself a Silvia or whatever else car you like - all you need is a will to do it.


Wow that came out more poisonous that i thought looking at it afterwards. I didn't mean to bash him. I dont even know the reason why im whining over the internet, like it's going to change something.


No_Chance the only thing which is going to change something, is actually YOU )


Finally the article ive been waiting for :D thanks paddy!


Alex Sharpz No_Chance I have will to do it. I am currently in high school and there's very
little local jobs in here. I live in such a small place (city/town of
20,000 people) that it is impossible to find jobs for such loosers like
me. I was too late to apply for city's summerjobs SECOND YEAR IN A ROW!
What sort of idiot does that?! Local businesses have already picked
their summerworkers and ofc i were too shy and idiotic to apply. I most
likely won't get a job unless im the only applicant. And i really don't
have any skills that i could use to do freelance jobs if i could even
find something. I am waaay too slow typer for programming, im totally
sh*t writer and my designing skills and problem solving is bad at best. Couple that with totally garbage social skills and chances for finding a job are really quite slim. I
need some really good luck to get a job.Just checked country's biggest
used car sale site, silvias start at 5200€ (wrong side driven) so yeah,
performance cars are quite expensive here.


@Nic Honestly, 90% of comments like these are made out of jealousy. Don't have to rain on his parade because he has a fully built car at 16. Not even going to mention your top comment as it is nonsensical.


No_Chance alternatively, you can find something you're passionate about (cars perhaps?), and offer to volunteer in a local garage.  Sweeping floors, cleaning up, etc.  Such experiences not only teach you by immersion, you will also make the contacts needed, if you're open to it, to secure a paying position.


@revtil9k No_Chance Garages are number 1 on my list of places to try find a job from, although i am fairly sceptical of my chances of getting one.


MBN to be privileged and sponsored


Paddy McGrath As should anyone who is given a pro drift car/support when they're 12.


SonnyNguyen We must be about the same age!


He beat Daigo Saito at FIFTEEN?!? Jesus.


This cars sits fantastically well.
One of the best built cars with one of the best drivers there is.


No_Chance I normally don't comment and especially reply to other people's comments but i feel like I had to.

I used to be in your position but thanks to hard work and proving myself (to my parents as they didn't approve of me buying a car at such a young age) I managed to buy a S13 project car at 15 years old without any financial support of my parents... Over the years I've continued to work towards my goal and now at 18 years old I've acquired my "dream car" which is a Nissan Skyline C110 Coupe. 

Now, don't get me wrong. I'm not trying to bash you. What I'm trying to say is: You could do this too! Don't forget that It's never too late to achieve what you want! Just work hard and don't give up even though it might seem out of reach because you'll get there eventually.


I've been on speedhunters longer than he's been wrenching on cars!


@Guest Thanks for inspiring words :)


Young boys is hungry, we got several 15-16 years old teenagers drifting in the Norwegian championship also - They are fast learners !!
- The young guy at the picture stared working and saving money at the age of 11 to buy his own supra at 13, so yongster's leave the Internett and start working Hard ;)


I understand the people who are envious of Tomas, as despite the well intentioned advise being given out even if other young kids go out, work hard etc, they still are unlikely to end up with a car like this, especially if we're talking within 5-10 years.
But to put yourself in Tomas' shoes, if your family or sponsors will fund a car like this, how many of us would turn that down? None! He's doing an amazing job and no one should begrudge him, just as no one says Max Verstappen doesn't deserve his drive in a far more expensive car than this s14!


As I read down through these comments I see a large number of people giving out they didn't get such a start in life. Consider for a second that maybe Tomas's family didn't get such a start? (I don't know them or anything about them btw). But set out to give their kids the best chance they could. Is this not noble, is this not worthy?! 
I don't know a lot about the people behind the scenes in Irish drifting, but to me they seem largely 'club men' laying every penny on the line for what they love. And I doubt the Shanahans or Kielys are any different.
On the other end of the spectrum which I have seen is the huge expenditure it costs to go high level go kart racing in Ireland (or anywhere for that matter). The cost of this S14 and a years running cost is pocket change compared to the 'traditional' entry into Motorsport at a high level. Yet it is more acceptable for a kid to have 100k put at them in a years high level karting, and not make it. And do the same the following year, and not make it! etc etc
What I see is a family who gave their son a wise and hard earned (on their behalf) chance to make it, actually make it, at a fraction of the cost of turning up at entry level karting. So I say fair play!
Now that that is out of the way and people's envy has been addressed, lets move on to the real talking point, the kids talent! And he is talented! Put the best drivers in the world in Mondello Park in equal machinery and this kid will put it up to them. He isn't just doing so well because he has the machinery (well not entirely) the kids ability and understanding is beyond his years! He can make many well seasoned drivers look average! Raw talent yes, but that is only one part of it, these kids having a mentor in James Deanne should not be lost. Deanne is undoubtably one of the greatest, his approach is perfect, to the car, to the setup, study of the track, brief etc the approach is perfect, and it is as far as I can see mirrored by the young kids coming up. It is done right.
So many drifters turn up with all the gear, but lack the right approach to progress. These kids got it covered.
People can hate all they want, but this is a new age of professionalism entering drifting. A career path, and these kids simply want it more!! They want it more than the hobby drifter, they have the means and the backing and they will work tirelessly to get it. 
Many are surprised at the level of progression for their age, to me they are simply doing it right, at a higher level (in all aspects) while many simply can't keep up.
Highest level, not just yet, not in the full package imo just yet, still a bit to learn, but very soon they will be and then undoubtably unstoppable.
Stop watching this kid with envy and start watching all that he is doing right!


HelgeMyrseth you know what i was saving my money at 11? a kph unit for my bicycle!


Your the dumbest cunt ive seen mate. Money makes you drift not hopes and dreams.


Straya m8 Let me help you out with that....
*You're the dumbest cunt I've seen mate ;)
Money makes you turn up, ability makes sure you make it around the first corner.
Drifting is entering a new age of professionalism, following more traditional motorsport approaches and setup year on year for advantages. The knuckle draggers that think money is all they need will be left behind wondering what happened.

Bisch Im That Guy

I'm in the same position as you, it sucks


Just to let the idiots here know, I know the family and live a couple of miles away from them, I don't know them very well but did train Tomas in gaa and he was extremely competitive and eager to succeed and you could see the 'drive' in him excuse the pun. His father has a garage and doesn't stop working day or night so I think they have earned the money to let Tomas compete through hard work which is an admirable trait in anyone so **** the begrudgers


with a driver that is very reliable car that can drive very well


the car was very good 
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