James Deane Returns to the IDC, and Welsh Rally Championship
Here we have our (slightly delayed) write-up from the 24/25th of May; Round Two of the Irish Drift Championship sees the return of reigning Champion James Deane and his awesome new Owen Developments boosted 2JZ S14, while Time Attack UK goes north to Knockhill and the Severn Valley Stages and Mini Epynt are held.
Irish Drift Championship
The IDC rolled into Fermoy with the weather not co-operating; the combination of rain and eight rear clips lead to forty crashes on Saturday. Through all of this and off the back of a disappointing gearbox failure at Drift Allstars, James Deane (ODGTX3582R-M) resumed his dominant form from last season qualifying at the top of the Pro field and winning the Superlap with a perfect score. Also out in the Pro class representing Owens were Jack Shanahan (GTX4088R) who qualified a strong third, in 6th was Japspeed’s Shane O’Sullivan (ODGTX3076R-M), 13th was Adrian Walsh (ODGT2871HTA-M) with Wesley Keating (ODGTX3071R-M) in 16th.
Onto the battles; Jack Shanahan’s amazing run of results, including a Super-Pro win in the BDC, would come to an end at the hands of Mike Fitz and a blown tyre in his Top 16 battle. In spite of the blown tyre he kept it pinned but sadly it wasn’t enough to advance. Wez Keating would go out to fellow Owen boosted driver Shane O’Sullivan after going One More Time (twice!), both cars had been in pieces just hours before the event so seeing them both in the battles was no small achievement. Shane was drawn in the round of eight against Formula Drift regular Dean Kearney, Shane moved onto the final four after two clean runs where Kearney was scrappy. Up next was a battle with Duane McKeever for a place in the final, but Shane would go no further, eventually being classified fourth overall.
Meanwhile, James Deane worked his way through the battles with his characteristic smooth driving and amazing proximity on his chase runs. First he saw off Alan McCord, then Paul McCarthy and Nigel Colfer for a place in the final against Duane McKeever. The final was decided in the end on the quality of each driver’s chase run; Deane’s specialty, once the smoke cleared he was awarded the win on his return to the IDC, and the first victory for his new Owen boosted S14.
Round 2 of the Championship sees head north to Knockhill, a favourite track amongst the drivers due to exciting twists and changes of altitude, after a year’s absence from the series. Round 1 went well for the Owen’s supported drivers with Dave Coe (ODGT3586HTA-M) and Phil Reed (ODGT3582THA-M) picking up the wins in Club Challenge 4WD and Club Pro 4WD respectively; could they hold onto their Championship leads?
In very wet conditions that plagued qualifying on Saturday, Dave Coe found himself qualified in fourth place. When the track dried Dave wound the car up and blasted his way to the top of the timing sheets with a 55.047. His time would be enough to secure his second win in Club Challenge 4WD in succession, consolidating his lead in his class. Meanwhile in Club Pro 4WD the Ross Sport Evo driven by Phil Reed in only its second event as a Time Attack car was beginning to look like favourite for the Championship. For the second event in a row Phillip earned enough points to take home the 1st place trophy, qualifying in second and winning the final with the fastest time was set in qualifying. An impressive series of results for a new car.
Welsh Forest Rally Championship/Welsh Tarmac Rally Championship
Luke Francis and co-driver John Roberts took their fourth class win of the season and their third in succession on the Severn Valley Stages, part of the Welsh Rally Championship. His Group A Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX is boosted by an Owen’s Evo IX Grp A turbo and the car was prepared and mapped in-house at Owen Developments. This win puts him back at the top of the standings, nine points clear of Alex Allingham at the halfway point of the season.
Meanwhile another Owen’s boosted Group A Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX, this one in the hands of Robert Tout, was taking victory at the Mini Epynt Stages. This was his fifth class win of the year already and his second overall win. Rob leads the Welsh Tarmac Rally Championship by five points with four rounds left to be run.