My relationship with drifting goes right back to the beginning of my photography career. I guess it would be pretty fair to say that if it wasn’t for drifting, I likely wouldn’t have had a lot of the opportunities I’ve had so far. Even in saying this, my love for the sport has waned progressively over the years. I’m not going to go into the reasons for this now – it’s covered pretty well in my article on Drifted, linked below – but rather I’d like to take a few moments to appreciate just how much the sport has resurrected itself over the last few years. In Ireland, anyways. Drifting very much so remains a budget motorsport in Ireland. The cost to entry is quite low, but as you examine the top of the professional class standings, it’s evident that a lot of money is required to stay competitive. As it is with any motorsport. 700 plus horsepower isn’t unheard of, nor is destroying a brand new pair of super soft and just about road legal tyres every couple of laps. Some will bemoan this, but it’s exactly what is required for the sport to evolve to a level where the drivers can concentrate all of their energy and time on driving. Whilst only in its second season, the newly formed Irish Drift Championship has been doing everything in its power to bring back the glory days of Irish drifting. For the third round of the 2014 championship, aptly named ‘Global Warfare’, they invited some internationally acclaimed drivers to compete on Irish soil. No non-Irish driver has ever been victorious in Ireland, a record which has so far stood for 10 years. This was the focus of the event projected globally on a high quality web stream, could the Irish […]
What are your earliest memories? I’m not talking about your literal first memories here, but rather something that stayed with you throughout your life. Can you think of one? I can. I don’t know what age I was, but I remember sitting in front of the TV, watching a VHS of ’80s rallying whilst playing with my small Matchbox cars. There was one car in particular that I treasured over all the others though: a 1986 Ford RS200. Over twenty years later, that very same car sits on my desk. A reminder, if ever one was needed, why I love doing what I do. This ‘dinky’ though formed a special bond between a younger and more impressionable version of myself and Ford’s Group B supercar. It’s a bond that has lasted my whole life, and created a special sub-conscious relationship with the car. I’ve been fortunate enough to come across some of the most pristine examples of the RS200 on my travels. From immaculate production cars to more modernised versions. Aren’t they all the same? Of course not. Whilst the RS200 is extraordinarily rare, they all have their own stories to tell. Whilst I can appreciate a retromod example, its more modern touches leave me a little cold. It’s an absolutely fantastic car, and I would do anything to have it in my garage, but it’s not the car I fell in love with as a young boy. C200 MNO on the other hand, is the car I fell in love with… Original Feature on Speedhunters
It must have been back in 2007, when I first saw Simon McKinley drive. It was the Saturday of a two day hill climb event, near my grandparents’ house in Co. Wexford. There were a lot of cars that day, certainly more than what would normally be expected navigating those roads on a Saturday afternoon, that’s for sure. We were close to the start line, but our view was obscured by the trees. Even though we were temporarily blinded, the sound that erupted beneath us, was a sure indication of what was coming. A scream of revs, upshift, more revs, upshift, more revs again, upshift, and just as the noise couldn’t possibly get any louder, a white MKII Escort appeared before us, sideways. Before you could blink, it was already past and into the next section, out of sight. The smiles, applause and laughs of disbelief tell you everything you ever need to know about Simon McKinley’s driving style. It’s almost shameful that it took me nearly seven years to catch up with him again, this time for a dedicated shoot for Speedhunters. Mondello Park had been kind enough to let us loose on their school course, and we were definitely going to take advantage of it. The shoot style was low key. The overcast skies provided gentle light, which I wanted to take advantage of. I think the majority of the static shots came down to two lenses: 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS & 35mm f/1.4 L with my trusty 24-105 f/4 L IS used for the tracking shots. It was a joy to shoot. Processing, again, was kept simple. Some minor colour grading and exposure correction and it was online before I knew it. The chase shots, whilst slightly risky, were probably the most difficult part of the shoot. […]
It’s not often that someone throws open the doors to their collection and tells you to pick whatever you want, but this was exactly the situation I found myself in earlier this year. I shot an overview of the facilities at Mondello Park last year, including an overview of their racing collection which included this Kenwood liveried Kremer Porsche 962C which raced at Le Mans in 1989. I returned in the middle of January to shoot the car in isolation for an ’80s theme on Speedhunters. You can read the full story which is linked at the bottom of this post, but for now here are some excerpts from the shoot. Shot exclusively for Speedhunters.com / Full story here
The now monthly drift practice days at Mondello Park rolled around once again last month. As the start of the 2011 drift season edges closer, some of the pro-class competitors were out testing their updated machinery for this championship year. A large amount of kudos must be sent in Mondello Park’s direction, they’ve always been a huge supporter of drifting in Ireland and these practice days are helping the sport to further evolve. More images after the jump along with a link to the full gallery at the bottom of the post …
Irish Red Cross Japan Tsunami Appeal Passenger Rides with Martin Ffrench in the Wexican Motorsport Toyota Altezza March 20th 2011 For Immediate Release Waterford, Rep. of Ireland – Having organised a last-minute fund raiser in aid of the Irish Red Cross Japan Tsunami Appeal, Wexican Motorsport are proud to announce that the effort was more than worth it having raised more than double the original target they had set out. Due to unprecedented demand, extra cars and drivers needed to be drafted in to help cope with the demand on the day for the drift passenger laps. Even mechanical issues were not enough to put a dampener on the day as more drivers volunteered their services and cars in a bid to ensure that everyone who signed up and donated to the appeal was given their reward. Having burned their way through 20+ tires, we are confident that those kind enough to support the appeal were given a worthy experience. Wexican Motorsport and PMCGPHOTOs would like to offer a special thanks to Wesley Keating of WKD Imports for transporting the car on the day and providing drift passenger laps. We would also like to thank Barry Leonard, Dan Moorhead, Chris Brady, Peter Taylor, Adam O’Connor and Brendan Kearney for providing the extra driving duties and Christy Carpenter and Alvin Reid for providing spare tires for the day. The success of the day was entirely down to the spirit and camaraderie within the Irish Drifting Community. If you were unable to attend but will still like to contribute to this cause or the recent earthquake in New Zealand, please visit the Irish Red Cross website at http://www.redcross.ie/
Last Saturday I had a rare day off which kind of turned into ‘not-really-a-day-off’ but an enjoyable one none the less. The occasion was the first shakedown of the Wexican Motorsport Toyota Altezza and I was on-hand to document the event. It was a pretty chilled affair and was the perfect opportunity to test out some new equipment namely the Canon 17-40 F4 L, Canon 135 F2 L and the Canon 1.4x extender on the Canon 300 F4 L. It’s also been a while since I got to shoot some live track action so it’s great to be getting back into the motorsport season once again. The following shots primarily focus around Martin and his Altezza but if you head over to my Flickr page, there are a couple more images of some of the other attendees’. More after the jump.
[vimeo width=”800″ height=”600″]http://www.vimeo.com/20162768[/vimeo] I spent most of yesterday working on a personal project of mine with Martin Ffrench. I had the honor of shooting the exclusive of his SR20DET Toyota Altezza back in November and even luckier to have the chance to ride along side him during the practice sessions. These are only two short laps from the morning whilst Martin was still working on setups and ironing out any small problems. I’ll have a better video and some photographs up later this week.
A day of mixed weather graced us at Mondello Park, where the sun split the rocks during qualifying and the heavens opened just as the race began. The event was the third round of the Irish Touring Car Championship and whilst still in it’s infancy has proved to be a major success thus far. The series is the brainchild of competitors Brian Sexton, Barry Rabbitt and Philip Burdock who decided to create the series after the Formula Libre class was ‘ruined’ by space framed and sports car entries. The rules are very straightforward; the car must be a production car and was capable of seating four people. Two wheel drive entrants are given the advantage of being allowed to run slick tires, whilst four wheel drive competitors must run traditional threaded road legal tires. Track time however was limited as the ITCC championship had to share track time with Formula Libre, Ginetta Juniors, Historics and Strykers to name but a few. With the rapid expansion of ITCC, I’m sure it won’t be long before they can hold dedicated events. More images from all the days action after the jump …