Ueo Katsuhiro Added to International Roster of Drivers

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Ueo Katsuhiro – D1
Hometown – Kumamoto, Japan
Car – Nissan Silvia S15

May 26,1972 in Kumamoto, Japan Ueo Katsuhiro was born. His parents where strict and was in the fishing business. When he was young he would go out to sea with his father helping him out during the holidays and summer vacations. While helping out at sea Ueo found interest in engine building and repair. While improving his knowledge and skill he soon started surprising adults around him. This was the start for Ueo Katsuhiro.

When he turned 18 he was helping his friend as a tuning adviser while sharpening his driving skills. Soon he started becoming famous among “hashiriya” or drivers all around Japan. Ueo then met Tsuchiya Keiichi who changed his life. Admired by Tsuchiya’s driving technique he started practicing and learning those techniques on his own which lead to his debut in the drifting scene.

The reason why he started drifting was because of Tsuchiya Keiichi and now that he became a pro-drifter his goal is to test his skills at the world level.

James Deane Added to Driving Talent

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James Deane – ProDrift
Hometown – Castletownroche, Co, Cork, Ireland
Car – 1998 RB26 Silvia S14.5

James comes from a strong Motorsport family background with both is father and uncle recognised as 1980’s rallying legends in Ireland. His brother Mike was one of the first ever people to win a drifting competition in Ireland back in 2003 when James was only 12 years old. From this day James was obsessed with being a drifter. In 2006 his brothers Mike and Kenneth entered him in the Prodrift Junior Championship drifting in a ford sierra. He finished 3rd. At this stage James and his family went on and bought his current Silvia which was running completely standard at the time. In Prodift Round 2 2007 at Rosegreen in Tipperary, Ireland, James managed to see off all the more experienced drivers and won the event at 15 years old. As far as we were aware this made him the youngest driver in the world to win a Professional drift competition. He was later placed 9th overall for the 2007 season and was awarded the title of rookie of the year 2007.

At Prodrift IRL Round 1 2008 @ Mondello Park racing Circuit in Ireland & In front of 7000 spectators James finished 5th overall being knocked out by the legendary Damien Mulvey

Prodrift Europe Round 1 2008 @ Mondello Park Racing Circuit in Ireland
In front of 7000 spectators James was to finish 4th overall and earn very valuable points in the championship.

Prodrift Ireland Round 2 2008 @ Tipperary Raceway Rosegreen in Ireland
Again with record crowds in attendance at the Irish home of drifting. James was victorious over John O’Connell and scored his second win in Rosegreen.

Prodrift Europe Round 2 2008 @ Teesside Autodrome in the UK
James was narrowly beaten by Darren McNamara, a small mistake on the last corner costing him the win. But with again great championship points he want away happy

Prodrift Ireland Round 3 2008 @ Nutscorner Oval Circuit Northern Ireland
James qualified 2nd but was unlucky on the day and was out at the Top 16 stage for the first and last time in 2008.

Prodrift Ireland Round 4 2008 @ Ennis Street Circuit in Ireland
James was on fire from the start and took the win with ease.

Prodrift Europe Round 3 2008 @ Sturup Raceway in Sweeden
At the very high speed track in Sweden James found himself in a new environment. He put on a amazing show and came home in 3rd place.

Prodrift Round 5 2008 @ Mondello Park Racing Circuit in Ireland
James had a good run on the day but in the top 16 battle he came across Deane Kearney the eventual winner and had to settle for 9th.

Prodrift Europe Round 4 2008 @ in Finland
James was under powered from the start and had to settle for 9th place.

Prodrift Round 6 2008 @ Mondello Park Racing Circuit in Ireland
James qualified 6th on the day and finished 3rd and with that he won the 2008 Prodift IRELAND Championship

Prodrift Europe Round 5 2008 @ Lydden Hill racing circuit in UK
James went to this event with a new RB26 engine gearbox and suspensions setup. This could have gone against him in that he might not been able to adapt to the setup quickly. This was no the case and after only 5 practice runs he was on the money. He qualified 2nd and then went on to storm up the field to an eventual 2nd place finish. This also gave him the title of Pro Drift European Champion
In 2008, James managed to win both Prodrift Irish and Prodrift European Championships which has been a huge achievement for him at just 16 years old. James is delighted to be representing Ireland & Europe @ Long Beach and to be taking part in the Red Bull World Drifting Championships.

Eric O Sullivan Added to International Set of Drivers

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Eric O Sullivan – ProDrift
Hometown – Dublin, Ireland
Car – Toyota Corolla Vtec-86

Im Eric O Sullivan, 28 years old from Dublin, Ireland.I’ve been riding a BMX as long as I can remember and progressed to motorcycles winning an Irish National Trials Championship at 17.I learned to drive the same year and began modifying and tuning street and show cars before becoming involved in race and rally car preparation.

I discovered drifting in 2004 when I watched a dvd about the street drifting scene in Osaka Japan.Soon after, I bought a cheap AE86 corolla, my first ever rear wheel drive car that I leaned to drift in the industrial areas of south Dublin during the winter.I changed this car for a 20 valve corolla in 2005 and began to compete in the Irish national championship.After failing to qualify at my first two events I finished 2nd in the following two rounds and also qualified to compete against the D1 drivers in the Silverstone exhibition match.

I decided to build a more competitive car after the D1 event and spent most of 2006 building my Vtec powered AE86.I ran the car late in the 06 season and developed a set up with the 2007 Prodrift series in mind.I won 5 of the 6 rounds in the ’07 series and finished 3rd in the other, an amazing season that made all the hard work the previous year worthwhile.

2008 began with a new sponsor, Rockstar Energy Drink, who had just launched their product in Europe.I could now afford to travel abroad and compete in the Prodrift European Series and the UK based JDM Allstars triple crown series.I suffered with a lack of power on some of the larger European tracks but managed to win round 3 in Sweden and finish 3rd overall in the Prodrift championship.

The JDM Allstars series would provide the highlight of the year for me, winning round 2 of the series at Wembley stadium in London.This was the biggest event to ever happen to drifting in Europe, bringing our sport to an iconic location in a major city for the first time.Im very proud to be the first winner of this series that is run by drivers for drivers, giving us some of the best publicity and exposure in the European scene.

Away from drifting, I work 5 days as a mechanic in a Volvo dealership and I’d usually spend 3 nights a week in my own workshop. My friends and myself are all Honda drivers so I’ll work on their cars as well as preparing my corolla for any upcoming events. Whenever I do get away from the tools I’ll be down the local concrete park on my bike with the lads or hanging out with my girlfriend Amy G.

I’m honoured to represent Prodrift and all the Irish drivers at the Red Bull World Drifting World Championship in Long Beach. I’ll approach this as I do every other event, drift as fast as possible with crazy angle to entertain the US fans .

Gary Whiter Added to International Set of Drivers

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Gary Whiter – D1NZ
Hometown – Dargaville, New Zealand
Car – 1997 Nissan Silvia S14.5

Growing up in a predominant farming area called Dargaville which is situated in the upper north of the north island in New Zealand, Garry known as Gaz was initially more of a dirt bike guy, he had a good friend that belonged to the dominating New Zealand drift team called Driftcorp that initially introduced him to the sport of drifting in 2004, after seeing how it works Garry set out to obtain his first car being a 1989 Nissan Cefiro which around that time was a typical choice for any person starting off drifting, NZ had an abundant supply of Skylines and Cefiro’s they were cheap to buy and easy to setup to skid.

Although he was still a rookie to the sport and was competing against the best in the NZ business, with the Cefiro he was nearly always a fixture in top 16, He spent some time in his Cefiro. Looking back now it was basically a stepping stone for research and driver development, it didn’t take long to outgrow his full potential due to the smaller power and setup of his car.

It was then that he and his Father purchased his first Nissan Silvia S14 and set out to build it to compete with the higher level drifters. This in turn paid off as he was getting podium finish after podium finish, with this set up he achieved two very close D1NZ series overall runner ups and finally the long awaiting crowning of the overall D1NZ Driftking for 2008.

In the short downtime of 3 months His father Tony and Garry built yet another S14.5 completely from scratch with new and improved ideas and setups, this vehicle now is faster and more reliable running a PPG gearbox, it looks set to be at a world wide competitive grade. Garry himself has an appetite for improvement and is highly competitive he is also an extremely reliable and consistent competitor much to the delight of his sponsors. He thanks most of his success to his very supportive father Tony Whiter who motivates him and is there with him every step of the way..

In the NZ Drift scene Gaz is regarding as one of the most laid back happy go lucky drivers, he knows how to have a good time but come race day is 100% focused on the task at hand and always aims to win. He’s always easily approachable and ready to talk to his fans and sponsors.
For his future career he plans to be more involved with competing in international Level, with the support of his father and his dependable team mates in DriftCorp he will be sure to achieve his dream.