0 Cart
Added to Cart
    You have items in your cart
    You have 1 item in your cart
    Check Out Continue Shopping



    You may have noticed by now that Ireland features heavily in my blog, this is for a number of reasons:

    Location - I'm from North West Wales, really really far away from anything of any importance, except for Ireland!

    The Drivers - I've talked before about how the driving standards in Ireland at competition level are out of this world, with it being so close it seems it would be a shame to miss any opportunity to get to see these guys in action.

    Mondello Park – Has become legendary in terms of drifting heritage in the UK and Ireland, and at just 50 minutes from Dublin, it’s seriously accessible.

    Irish ‘grit’ - The ability of the Irish to make the best of any situation, make the most of every opportunity. Make a spectacle from an empty shed, make extravagant locations from disused car parks and loading bays. Because of the lack of tracks, David Evan and the IDC team have brought to reality what can be achieved if you are able to use your mind's eye in conjunction with some savage project management.


    With this in mind the first of my trips to Ireland recently was to witness Round 2 of the Irish Drift Championships: 'Drift On The Docks'.

    It was to be hosted in the disused port of Dun Laoghaire. It was strange. As I pulled up to the once-busy port, I instantly recognised the buildings and the unmistakable 'metro' tramline that I had travelled on whilst visiting as a child.


    Upon arrival we were greeted by a wall of temporary fencing, draped in IDC branding.


    As you walk towards the event you could hear early 2000’s punk/rock music in the distance, which is always a good sign in my book. Once you reach the event entrance gate you then pass through a tunnelled area under a grandstand. I’m not sure if this was by accident or design but as a spectator it really built up the atmosphere, you could hear but literally couldn’t see anything, until you came up through the floorboards of the grandstand.

    At the top of the stairs was an amphitheatre. The presentation of this track was great with banners, food courts and 2 fantastic looking grandstands. As a driver I’m instantly drawn into the track layout. Luckily being an IDC Pro-Am and BDC Pro-Am licenced driver I see the Drivers Packs, which for the purpose of this blog means I can give you guys a great insight into the minds of not only the drivers but the designers of the course.

    On paper this figure of 8 style track looked relatively simple, but rest assured I can guarantee it was nothing short of a challenge.

    The brickwork provided a different surface to what drivers would be used to, the undulations in the loading area of the dock which this track was lay out on were huge compared to what you would normally find on a traditional racing circuit, and the layout was tight and what I  would call ‘boxy’. When you have 3 clips all contained within walls it creates a 3-sided box, the middle clip of this box will always be a challenge.

    This type of arrangement means your radius has to be perfect to maintain a line that will enable you to stay deep into all 3 clipping points, and on a tight track like this it was going to require some excellent driving technique.

    Another thing that the light coloured brickwork highlighted over the weekend was coverage, the rubber lay down over the weekend created a perfect picture of initiation, full throttle, and transition and, more importantly, highlighted the clips that people had been struggling to reach.

    This gave something extra to the weekend for people who like to really get to know the ins and out of drifting. It made me think one day we will have on screen throttle telemetry like you see in Formula 1, it could make some interesting viewing.


    As the weekend progressed, there was so much happening it’s a struggle to get it into words the action and impact that the weekend's events included, so for this issue I’m going to choose 5 topics I felt rose to the top! Topics that didn’t make the cut included ‘where’s Colfer?’ , ‘the McKeever bump’, and ‘ business as usual in the tower’.

    1: The Galvinator

    Anthony Galvin, what can I say about this chap…? If I’m honest before 2017 I only remember the name of the Galvin Brothers mentioned the odd time as being part of the Irish Drift Community, the fact is they are much more than that. Anthony won IDC Pro-Am in 2015, but over the last 12 months had not featured a whole lot as far as I can remember.

    How that has changed in 2017: from the first turn of the wheel this season he has looked in form. I published in my last blog that I felt that he was one to watch, and this weekend again discussing with Ian Waddington the BDC and IDC commentator prior the event I felt like he was one driver to watch for this weekend.

    Throughout practice he was deep into all of the most difficult clips, I felt that he really made a mark on this event, not only that but the guy’s presentation and attitude makes for a great addition to the household personalities on the IDC roster.

    He was unfortunate to go out after an accident in the top 8 against Jack Shanahan, in his own words he was ‘giving 110%’ and it showed.


    2: The Weather

    As much as this event was a spectacle, the weather played its part in taking the edge away from the raw excitement of the weekend.

    In drifting the weather has a dramatic effect, unlike most forms of motorsport drivers are not on the same section of tarmac at the same time. This can bring up some really difficult challenges; not only for the drivers in terms of car setup and driving style, but judging over a period of intermittent weather.

    The IDC is becoming a compact retailable show, the weather is one thing that the organisers cannot control, and it will be interesting to see how this is managed as the sport's popularity increases.


    3:Location Location Location

    Anywhere is a drift circuit!

    With the kind of performance that was put on this weekend I felt that if we as a motorsport can transport this to areas of increased population, bring it to Dublin, London, the cities instead of trying to pull people to the edges and outbacks of our various countries. Drifting is of a level where we can bring the show to them.

    In a culture of Electric cars and Boris Bikes, it has been proven this weekend bringing motorsport to the masses can be done in a way which requires less than 100 meters squared and can be erected and taken down in 5 days. This could be one a historic step in the continued climb of drifting into the public domain.


    4: Jack Shanahan - The Class Act.

    I feel that at the moment, the only thing that can beat Jack is his own car. If they keep the reliability of his 2JZ S14 in check this season, there is not much that can catch him.

    This weekend he really showed that he is capable of anything. After a difficult qualifying session, he found himself in the sudden death bracket of the Pro Class, having to fight for a place in the Top 16.

    I’ve watched Jack drift more than any other driver over the last few seasons, and for me this was his best drive.

    On an unknown circuit in tricky conditions he went against every style of driver, in a range of cars. From the David Hobbs in the Classic style AE86 which has under 200hp and gets clutch kicked around the track to Championship contenders he fought them all using every technique in the drifting book. If you missed his battles on the way to the program and you want a master-class in modern day drifting -  watch the Live Stream back, you will not be disappointed.


    5: The IDC Crew

    Over the years, the guys and girls behind the IDC have honed their skills as a team and it shows. No matter what surprises each event throws up, they seem to get through it. I’ve seen them have to contend with absolutely extraordinary levels of rain, judging towers failing, electrical gremlins, crazy venues and more recently live streams being overloaded with viewers. For this as a spectator in person, on live stream, or driving at one of their events I’d like to thank them all!


    ‘Drift on the Docks’ was definitely a round for the history books. As far as Irish Drifting goes…. I still think we are in the first chapter.


    Take it easy



      Photos this issue by:


      • FJ photography



      Joe Ankers




       Previous Blog Issues

      Issue Four -  BDC The Preparation

      Issue Five - BDC Round 1

      Issue Six - BDC Round 2




      Drift matsuri is one of the very few events in the drift calendar that makes me believe that drifting in Britain still has some connection & parallels with the kind of events that take place in the motherland of our chosen pastime. Open tracks, the widest range of driving talents i have ever seen,  an insane mix of cars and a shitload of seat time.



      I'm lucky enough for it to be held once a year on a circuit a few miles away from where I grew up, and not too far away from where I currently live.


      The circuit is divided up into 3 tracks: the ‘Practice Hairpin’, the ‘Touge Track’ (part of the coastal circuit, also known as Hill / Mountain track) and the ‘Fast Track’ (Club Circuit). Each one has their pros and cons, but either way all of them are excellent fun and it’s definitely worth spending time on all of them over the Matsuri weekend. Here’s a brief insight into the chosen configurations.



      The Hairpin is an area of the circuit which, for sure, is under used. It has no tyres lining the track and allows you to really test the limits of your ability and car setup with minimal risk. I tested out the car here before moving on to the other tracks!


      My personal favourite is the Coastal; in particular the section from the start line up to the back straight. From the first drift day held at the circuit (around 2013), I have always said that section of track is one of the best sections of track in the UK, and I feel there is some potential here for a great competition layout.



      The layout provides a challenge for all drivers and car set ups, and there are a number of lines to be taken, dependant on your style. My personal favourite is to attack the Hill Section with as much speed as possible throwing the car over the crest already sideways using as much angle as possible to slow the car down for a solid 3rd gear pull onto the back straight. Which is what I have been working on in the previous years.


      The Coastal Circuit continues onto a tight 180 hairpin left and a 90 degree right to finish. This brings you back around to the start line queue, with the option to hit the pits for a fresh set of rubber or move onto the Fast Drift Circuit (Club Circuit).



      Unfortunately Matsuri for me didn’t go to plan and I only managed a couple of passes up the hill in somewhat sketchy & patchy conditions, trying to get used to a new set up with a poorly car.


      I have put together a little video of one of the last runs before I had to call it a day. This pass over the hill has a little extra manji on the climb up the hill than I would normally like to do. However, it was still fun and I seemed to be getting some accuracy on the line after a few sketchy runs. While getting used to the rebuilt S14, I was happy tagging a few nice rear clips.


      The Fast Circuit is basically 3 corners, a fast 90 degree left onto a strait and into a banked 180 degree right into a large 4th gear (in your 300bhp Stock SR20DET and SR Gear Box) 90 degree right. This course is a challenge, and to do it well requires some serious commitment. The first straight is linkable with a huge transition, or even with a single manji, which if you're progressing from Manjis working onto a transition gradually increasing the speed and commitment, the feeling of nailing it is amazing. However, a lot of dudes think that the aim is to get as many manjis per straight as possible, after all you can do what you like, but it does mean that it can get tricky at times (Although personally for me 6 manjis per straight is a waste of speed and tyres).



      The 180 degree hairpin is deceiving as the bank means you can hit it with way more speed than you think, the following straight again is about maintaining speed and getting your initiation for the fastest corner timed right for maximum angle and speed.


      The event has a really chilled vibe and the fact it’s a 2 day event really removes a lot of the pressure you would get on a practice day, the seat time was great and some of the drift train lengths were into double figures.



      The weekend didn't come without its casualties this kind of event takes its toll on cars if not mechanically then certainly aesthetically and it wasn't just the grassroots guys, some of the Pro level drivers see this as the last event of the year so quite often like to see it off with an actual bang.



      One guy keeping a lot of the drivers on tack, either with repairs, recovery or even getting parts shipped to the track throughout the weekend was Hywel Rosenthal. He is the MD of local garage Race Day Developments (RDD) with the help of his mechanic Olly had a busy weekend repairing drift cars. Some of you will know that RDD have sponsored me over the last few years, but this weekend Hywel was kept busy by not just myself but many other drivers. Just the few times I managed to catch up with him he was welding lower arms, hubs, steering racks! There are a few people missing from this list but a run down of the people i can remember he has helped in one way or another are: Marc Huxley, Ryan lawrence, Adam Agatowski, Sid Crowfoot, Stuart Roy, Nat Younger, Chris Bate, Hayden Jones, Jesse Ashley on behalf myself and all the people he helped I think he is definitely worthy of some thanks!



      This year the night fight for me was not quite as good as the previous 2 years (2014 was a full BDC level comp ran on the BDC circuit which was ruled by a fantastic drive by James Deane. 2015 was an insane open pit session on the fast track in the dark which I was lucky enough to drive in). This year saw the return of competition format on the reverse of the BDC layout and then continued around to the back of the circuit. For me it was too spread out and not as focused as when the BDC layout is used (especially from the spectators point of view). That said, people doing insane drifts in the dark is never a bad thing!



      The following day, drifts resumed, albeit with a few sore heads after the ‘Party In The Pits’ (featuring a questionable DJ). The chilled vibe continued and the seat time was phenomenal, unfortunately still sitting out the day with the car not 100%, I took time to spectate from some of the more remote parts of the circuit, the coastal and mountainous views are spectacular and well worth the 15 minute walk up the hill.



      Probably the highlight of the weekend was getting a few laps out with TJ Berney and the Irish guys. There’s no reason for me to hide the fact I have huge respect for TJ, the guy bossed the IDC Pro Am in a car not much higher spec than my own, here are a few clips from the laps I got with him, including a classic drift save moment!


      Drift Matsuri has never disappointed and this one was no different, as a driver a spectator and a drift fanatic Matsuri's are here to stay, my only hope is they become more common, less oversubscribed and sensationalised and be about drivers getting out on track together!



      Til’ next time, as always check out these useful links, and take it easy!


      Joe Ankers



      • All photos this issue by FJ photography




      • Joe Ankers




      • Drift Matsuri

      Drift Matsuri Website




      • Previous Blog Issues

      Issue One - The Introduction

      Issue Two - The Irish Drift Championship