Posted by Chris Wold
We catch up with Dean “Karnage” Kearney as he gears up for his homecoming round at Evergreen Motor Speedway for Formula D 2010. We know that the local team and sponsors will be bringing it big for the home field event, Dean lets us know his thoughts on it. Interview by Chris Wold – Photos by Josh Mackey, Paddy Mcgrath and David Hintze
**DISCLAIMER: Dean is Irish. That is all.
NWMotiv: Dean, if you could give us a brief breakdown of your drifting history:
Dean: Hi guys and gals. My drifting career started 6 years ago in an E30 BMW with a welded diff. I quickly out grew the capabilities of this car and moved on to a s14 with some modifications, which lasted about one season before I ended up putting it on its roof after taggin a tire wall exiting a corner. I moved on to the PS13 Onevia which ye might remember I won the ProDrift championship in. This car done 4 full seasons with me and changed color every year, finishing off its competitive life in Maxxis livery. Before I got my lucky break with IntecRacing based in Seattle for Formula D Irwindale last year. Some great sponsors came onboard like v-leds.com for 2010 to make it possible for us to run a full program for this season.
NWMotiv: Can you also tell us a little bit about the cars you have drifted and currently drift?
Dean: as I’ve said I started off in an E30 BMW with a welded diff, cut springs, and not much more. After this was my first of the S-body’s in the shape of an s14 with coilovers, cage, intercooler, turbo and a few more modifications this car started my love for s-bodys. After this was my Onevia with started off with nice power (320bhp) and I made it pretty much competitive from its first outing winning in it. As the months and years went on it went through 2 bare shell re-builds and countless engine builds ending up a tubed, caged, lightweight, big angel, 430bhp drift monster which served me very well. But now I’m little more spoiled than ever before with a superly prepared S-body from IntecRacing. Using sequential HKS tranny, Garrett turbos, Exedy clutch, and Konig light weight wheels. Really just having the chance to drive with the best parts money can buy. Makes the driving fun and very predictable.
NWMotiv: What drove you to want to compete in the Formula Drift series?
Dean: I’ve been following FD and D1 for a number of years and always wanted to drive outside of Europe with other drivers from around the world. But what sealed the deal for me was making the trip over to RBDWC to watch. I left with one thing on my mind and that was coming back to Formula D as a driver not a spectator and A.S.A.P and was very luck to meet the guys in IntecRacing. Which had me in my first Formula D event not even 12 months after leaving the shores of Long Beach…Thanks Guys
NWMotiv: What are the challenges and differences you had to overcome from drifting in the ProDrift Series to the Formula Drift Series?
Dean: There are quite a few differences in these two series ProDrift series is still a relatively youngmans sport in Europe with the average age of drivers been about 25.And drift been the only motorsports most of these drives have competed in where as FD drivers are much more experienced. Also FD is more about speed grip and running walls been a more high budget Championship. PD is all about flare big angel wild entry and smoking the place.
NWMotiv: Are you still competing in any ProDrift Series events? Do you plan to compete in any other international or national (USA) events in 2010?
Dean: I’m still competing in some selected ProDrift events but could not commit to running the full season as I’m away from home a lot with my team developing our new program for 2011.I do love getting out for any of the events I can though when I’m home as the support is great and it’s a more relaxed atmosphere. As for the National event in the USA I’m hoping to take in at least 1 of these this year. Yes
NWMotiv: What is the one thing so far this year that has stood out the most to you in the Formula Drift series?
Dean: How much like a big family it really is and how much every team and privateer all try to help each other out as much as possible
NWMotiv: Which round in the Formula Drift series are you looking forward to running in the most?
Dean: Seattle is the event I’m most looking forward to because it’s my teams home event and my title sponsors home event so we are planning on doing it big with nice pit setup and a few more surprises. And also this will be the first event we are going to that I’m really comfortable in the car.
NWMotiv: How have the fans reacted to you, being an international drifter now competing in the states?
Dean: The fans in the states are great and I feel as if they have taking to me pretty well in fact maybe it’s because I’m Irish I don’t know ha-ha…but im enjoying speaking with them and interacting with them as much as i possible can…
NWMotiv: What does the rest of the 2010 Formula Drift season look like to you?
Dean: it looks pretty good for me I feel the team are just after getting in to its stride and I’m feeling like they have just molded the car around me so I’m feeling confident for some good driving for the rest of the season..
NWMotiv: Do you know what 2011 is going to have in store for you?
Dean: 2011 has lots in store for us as a team but we can’t release anything right at this minute but I’m just going to say I’m really looking forward to all that the team has planned and working with some of the ideas that are been thrown around at the minute. Having said that though we are focused on finishing the second half of the year off now on a strong note now that we have everything the way we want it…
NWMotiv: What is your favorite car you think to drift?
Dean; if you had of asked me this 6months ago I would of just said S15 or 350z but since getting involved with IntecRacing they have opened my eyes and in many ways opened doors to what could be a very interesting 2011 that’s for sure I’m looking forward to putting some of their ideas into practice on a all new chassis
NWMotiv: What car would you like to try to drift in?
Dean: I’m open to any options now and I said above am really looking forward to developing something new fresh…but if i had to pick a car in the morning to start offf with ive love to work with a 370z
NWMotiv: Where do you see drifting as a Sport in 5 years?
Dean: Drifting is starting to get the coverage it deserves online and on TV and its growing still but I can see it evolving into like a half time filler show for bigger series such as Nascar and them kind of events also in the next 5years I could see Fd going from a 7race calendar to a 10-12race calendar..But I do think it’s only going to get harder for young talent to get into sport as the gap between guys doing it on their wages to big budget race teams is getting bigger and bigger every year. With state of the art machinery, tires and money coming into play
NWMotiv: What do you think of the North West part of the States?
Dean; the north west of the states is cool pretty much the same climate as Ireland weather wise and the import scene is pretty big there to with pro-am event happen throughout the year..
NWMotiv: What is Seattle like for you?
Dean: Seattle is cool one of the better places I’ve been in the world with always something to do there be it go-karting or going out. I have to say something Seattle has that Irish reader on here will agrees with me is back home to get something fabricated is a nightmare and one of the closest things to impossible with very few GOOD car builder over in Ireland, but in Seattle you can get anything you need within a matter of days its great ha
To read more about Dean Kearney’s Intec Racing V-LEDS.COM S14, Click Here.