MALLOW motorsport ace Conor Shanahan has been signed up as part of the Red Bull athlete family.
One of the brightest rising stars of global drifting, Shanahan (17), will tackle the 2020 Drift Masters European Championship with a fresh new look and a renewed will to win.
Conor started drifting at the age of nine and competed in the Irish Amateur Drift Championship; at 13, he featured in the UK TV show, The Grand Tour, competing against host Richard Hammond.
Conor next became the youngest driver to win European, British and Irish professional drift events, making his debut in the DMEC in 2018, sensationally beating fellow Irishman, DMEC and Irish National champion, James Deane, at the Polish round of the championship.
As a full-time Red Bull athlete, Conor joins global sporting stars such as Neymar Jr, Max Vertsappen, Lindsey Vonn and Irish athletes Thomas Barr, Greg Callaghan and Conor Maguire, to name but a few.
Conor will now take the next step up in his career, aiming to be at the very top of the sport, starting with an overhaul on the setup of his 700bhp Nissan, including fresh new Red Bull branded livery.
“The car is looking unbelievable and it’s been a dream come true to see it finished,” Conor said. “It is a real proud moment for myself and my whole family. It has a brand new engine, new gearbox and an awesome livery with the Red Bull branding on there.
“Hopefully, we can challenge for wins this season and regularly be among the top three.”
While the 2020 DMEC is still to be confirmed, Conor remains fully focused on his goals and like Red Bull Formula One drivers, Max Verstappen and Alex Albon, is spending more time on his racing simulator at home, to keep his skills as sharp as possible, commenting;
“I’ve been virtual drifting for six years, and even for my first event, I learned the track and based the car set up on what I learned from the sim.
“I think if you can use a simulator you can drive the car — and sometimes the sim is harder to master than the actual car.
“The sim is a massive part of my career and always has been. Fanatec and Digital Motorsport came on board to hook me up with a pro-level racing sim and I have been competing virtually before this year and the general rise in people racing on sims.
“We have the VDC, the virtual drift championship, and I finished second, so we were quite happy with that — there are a lot of good drivers competing.”