EVENT | NI Drift Series | Round 1

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A number of weeks back I visited a drift track outside Eglinton whilst videoing for Chris Brady Motorsport. To be honest I was pretty surprised at what the NI Drift Series guys have done with the track as from what I had seen on some videos was a fairly tame figure of eight setup. Not anymore though as Con Tinney and his team have slowly developed the track into something that is fast becoming one of the most fun track setups in the North of Ireland.

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The new addition of a properly fast entry has added a huge element to the track. Above, Robert Simpson in the Sil80 fronted Nissan and Ken Browne in the s14 approach the new entry. It is very open and wide allowing beginners to be more comfortable with attacking the entry and also allowing seasoned drifters the chance to throw down some big entries. There is also a cheeky little bump in the middle of the corner which always looks great and is ready to test the skill of anyone who gets some air. I am yet to get my zoom lens so I could not really capture it unfortunately.

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Nice to see someone enjoying themselves!! Dom McMullan driving his BMW M3 with his passenger giving me a wave which I thought was nice! 😛 . I have seen quite a few drift series in the past few years from our own ProDrift Series to Drift Allstars and of course FormulaD but no where have I seen more BMW’s than at the NI Drift Series. I know that BMW’s are the weapon of choice in the likes of the Eastern European Series but I was quite surprised to see as many here in Northern Ireland.

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The Toyota Supra is a car you do not often see at drift events although probably the most well known Supra in the UK/Ireland has to be the SATS Supra driven by Mark Luney that boasts 1000bhp. This one driven by 15 year old Evan Black is basically a standard Supra but there was nothing “standard” about his driving. Evan was very, very impressive all day and was top qualifier showing the entire field how it was done. Things did not pan out exactly the way he would have wanted in the battles when he decided to park the Supra on the tires…

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Mark McConnell had some bother with the car not wanting to restart after a spin across the finish line but after a helpful push by the marshals he was on his way again…

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One of my absolute favorite cars of the day has to be the AE86 Corolla of Jonny Irwin. I was really impressed with Jonny’s car control and precision out on the track but it was not really that much of a surprise when I thought about it as he use to be part of a display team doing all sorts of tricks and stunts at car shows around the country. I guess drifting was the next logical step for him.

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Expect to see a feature on the car in the not too distant future ;).

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The man behind the NI Drift Series, Con Tinney. Con was telling me about how the series really just started up for a bit of a laugh and that competitors in the North West of the country had a 3 hour journey before they would get to the nearest drift circuit. So Con and his team setup beside the airport near Eglinton which is an absolutely perfect venue as there are no noise restrictions on the track. The plan is to develop the venue into a proper track and from what I have seen there is massive potential for Eglinton and I just hope that the drivers continue to support Con and his teams efforts.

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The Skylines of Harry Kearney and Rossco Connery. I always admire anyone who drifts something as big as the R33 Nissan Skyline as it really is a big barge to be throwing into a corner but both Harry and Rossco do it with great effect and neither of them are afraid of laying it down on track.

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“Ziptie you are our saviour!” where would we be without the almighty ziptie?!

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Yet another E36 BMW M3 been flung about the Eglinton track by driver Jonny Bleakly and it looked great too with some great entries and initiations. Overall, I am really impressed with not only the organisation and the track but pleasantly surprised by some of the quality of the driving too.

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This Lexus IS200 driven by Arty McMullen has a RB engine transplant and sounded awesome throughout the day and the angle Arty was achieving was fantastic, regularly going past me at what seemed to be full lock. This is probably my favorite capture from the entire event. This was just a short insight into the event and I know many drivers will be wondering why they have not been mentioned. However, fear not as a more in depth report into how the event finished up will be posted with our good friends over on OMGdrift.com towards the end of this week and you will find out how dominant the BMW’s where by holding the three top positions at the end of the day.
 
Words & Photos: Patrick McCullagh
 

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