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Sunday 29 January 2023 Dublin: 5°C
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# Record Breaker
This Irish woman is making all sorts of racing history at the moment
Dublin drift racer Danielle Murphy wants to be crowned Queen AND King of Europe this season.

DRIFT RACER DANIELLE Murphy made history last weekend when she became the first driver ever to lead both the Queen and King of Europe Drift Championships after the first round.

Having won the Queen of Europe title in 2013, the Dubliner finished second behind Ramona Rusu in 2014, but the Saggart born driver proved she will be fighting to regain the crown this year.

Murphy out qualified more than 50 drivers across four championships on the opening day, and then clinched the overall Queen of Europe victory on Sunday, while she eventually placed third in the men’s King of Europe contest.

“I’m delighted to win the first round of four in this years Queen of Europe Championship, and it really gives me the advantage now in terms of points from qualifying”, she explained.

“As always it’s hard to plan these things, it’s just down to making sure the car is 100% prepared and then finding the line on the track and hoping you can drive it better than anyone else.

Whatever about qualifying first in the ladies league as being a goal, but to out qualify the whole event across four different championships and more than 50 drivers was definitely unexpected.

Racing in the men’s competition is not something foreign to Murphy, having taken part in 2013 and 2014, but 2015 looks as if it could be the year she pushes for double success, which she said would be almost unimaginable.

“My points from qualifying first, winning the Queen of Europe class, and also coming third in the King of Europe series has now made me the first ever person to be leading both championships after the first round.

“This is just making me want to fight harder for the remaining three events in Poland, Hungary & Slovakia, and it would be a great achievement if I could win both championships at the end of the season, so I’m definitely going to challenge myself for that now.”

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Murphy, who works on the car herself and generates all of her own funding, had made significant modifications to the ‘Green Monster’ in the off-season, but even the new setup did not hold her back for long, as she explained.

“I had made big changes to the car from last year by adding a Quaife sequential gearbox and massively improving the front steering with a new kit, so it took me some time to adjust and get used to the new setup.”

All of this on top of a very competitive field makes the performance even more special, and it elps me realise that I have to have more faith in my own natural ability as a driver.”

The drift racer impressed so much in Hungary, she has been invited to take part in the opening round of the French Drift Championship this weekend, and Murphy simply could not turn down the invitation, despite it adding several days onto her trip.

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That journey has seen the driver travel, along with her mother, from Dublin to Budapest, with both taking turns behind the wheel, but some help this year from a select few has meant the trip has been easier than in years gone by.

“The guys at the Nissan Generation Next project have been a huge support, and I have been given the use of a van by them, which has made a massive difference” she explained.

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“Five-time Irish Tarmac Champion, Eugene Donnelly, is another who has been a great support, supplying tyres from Lakelands Tyres, and the guys at Westwood Trailers also deserve a mention.”

The King and Queen of Europe events run throughout the year, with the next stage being held in Poland in July. Another trip to Hungary in August will then be followed by the finals in Slovakia in October, before Murphy heads to Australia for the King of Asia event.

For anyone interested, Danielle Murphy will be competing in the opening round of the Irish Drift Championship in Mondello Park on the weekend of 25 and 26 April.

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