Cullen-based drifter gets chance to take on Kalle Rovanperä  at Mondello this weekend

Cullen-based drifter Stephen Fitzgerald has been handed a wildcard entry for this weekend’s Drift Masters European Championship at Mondello Park. 

He is one of nine Irish drivers to get the call and the chance to face the best drifters in the world. 

The Cullen-based driver will compete in his 7.4 litre V8 Nissan S15 7.4 LSX.

The Mondello Park event is the first of six rounds and will feature 60 drivers from 28 countries. Among them is young home favourite Conor Shanahan who most recently won Round 3 of the 2021 stop in Latvia.

The Irish wild card entry list include:

Kevin Quinn

Blaine Rafferty

Alan Delaney

Alan Hynes 

Terence Furey 

Stephen Fitzgerald 

Conor Falvey 

Tomás Falvey 

Tomás Kiely 

“These guys are some of Ireland’s top Irish talent, who will be sure to try and put their home advantage into play when they take on the rest of Europe’s best this weekend,” said an event spokesperson.

One of the drivers that they will face is FIA World Rally Championship sensation Kalle Rovanperä who has committed to racing two rounds of the 2022 Drift Masters European Championship, starting with the season opener in Ireland on May 7-8. 

As the WRC’s youngest-ever rally winner and current overall leader, the Finn is in top form – and he brings a passion for drifting and his own finely tuned car to the DMEC grid. Here is all you need to know:

 The 21-year-old will take the wheel of his own Toyota Supra Gazoo Racing drift car when the DMEC season kicks off at Ireland’s Mondello Park on May 7-8, and he’ll drift again when the third round comes to Sweden’s Drivecenter Arena on July 1-2.

“I’ve been doing some drifting over the years, and it’s always been the plan to do some international events if possible,” Rovanperä says. “I think what I like most about drifting is, for me, it’s more free. It’s still really hard and on the limit, just in a different way. Of course when you put the helmet on you always try to push as much possible and have the best possible results, but that is not the only goal for us. The car is quite new for me, so we’re also here to have fun, train and hopefully give a good fight to the drivers who do this as their main sport.”

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